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Buzz National Championships at Highcliffe Sailing Club

by Jane Noble and Mark Wilson 21 Sep 2012 08:39 BST 15-16 September 2012
Michael and Nathan Stanier during the Buzz nationals at Highcliffe © Jane Nobl

Arriving at picturesque Christchurch Harbour in early autumn sun we had perfect conditions to rig the boats and it was great to see some new crews making their first appearance on the circuit.

A gentle sail to the race area was soon followed by the wind picking up and we had 4 races in the best conditions many of us could remember for a long time – the downwind legs had the all fleets (we shared the event with the ISOs and the 4000s) grinning all the way as we merrily surfed the waves in the steady F4 conditions.

In the first race Matt and Graziano (748) were fast off the line and led to the windward mark, but were overhauled on the down-wind legs, first by Stuart and Zoe (1000) and then Mark and Jane (1027).

Mark and Robbie (763) made an appearance for the second race having missed the first sorting out the cats-cradle of a spinnaker created while rushing rigging. Going up the beat Julian and Lauren (966) went off on port which paid off as they reached the top mark with the leaders, though were unable to capitalise on their position and Stuart and Zoe confirmed their intentions by securing the second of their four wins of the day.

Race three saw a number of breakages with Graziano falling out of 748 when the trapeze handle broke, though a quick repair didn't loose them much time; a capsize resulting in a broken tiller, and a broken jib halyard proved more costly for Neil and Martin (1089) and Roger and Ransit (994).

The turned tide for the final race of the day left most of the fleet shy of the line allowing 748 to make an early break, but again lost out on the downwind leg as they were learning to cope with the waves.

Tired but happy a dinner cooked by the fantastic galley crew was enjoyed by all in the club house as tales of the day were exchanged.

Day 2 again produced great sailing conditions, though a little lighter. Jon and Ethna (971) made a cracking start and led at the first mark closely pursued by 748 and 1000, and with some canny work on the downwind legs managed to hold on to deprive Stuart and Zoe of the clean sweep.

763 produced their best result of the day in race six managing a credible sixth, with Robbie having fun on the trapeze.

The wind picked up for the final race when Ian and Bridget (919), the 2011 champions, found some form to finish 3rd having survived a melee of 4000s and Buzzes at the final mark. The back of the fleet also bunched up on the run-in to the line with Mike and Nathan (921), who have much improved on the beats this year, managing to retain their place as others failed to get water at the last mark. Most of the male-only crews lost out to the lighter mixed and parent / child crews in the lighter winds on the second day apart from 748 who had found their feet in the waves.

Stuart and Zoe were the deserving winners of the event with six firsts to count, with Julian and Lauren, having picked up several places on the second day, taking the newcomers prize.

This was an extremely well organised event, so a big thank you to all the volunteers helping on the beach, in the clubhouse and on the water, and especially to the race officer for the good courses and the fast turn around between races. A perfect weekend of sailing.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1st1000Stuart BaileyZoe BaileyWilsonian SC1111‑2116
2nd971John HainelEthna HainelLangstone SC‑423412214
3rd748Matthew ButlerGraziano SpanoSW SC33‑4233418
4th1027Elizabeth NobleMark WilsonLangstone SC242344‑519
5th919Ian StaplesBridget StaplesBartley SC555‑655328
6th921Michael StanierNathan StanierSeafarers SC6‑76577738
7th966Julian MilesLauren MilesMayflower SC997(DNC)68645
8th1089Neil OxtonMartin AustinPlymouth Corinthian SC76‑10799947
9th763Mark TurnerRob TurnerWarsash SC(DNS)DNF9886850
10th994Roger FrancisRansit VergheseBell Quay SC888(DNF)10101054

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