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Shadow Nationals during Regfest at Brightlingsea Sailing Club

by Mike Martin 3 Oct 2012 15:01 BST 28-30 September 2012

The Shadow Cat Nationals were included in the bi-annual Regfest Cat Regatta, held at Brightlingsea over the long weekend September 28-30.

The club did its usual splendid job of dealing with large numbers of boats and hungry sailors both on and off the water, as Hurricanes, Spitfires, F18s, Tornados and of course Shadows went about the business of enjoying themselves.

The Shadow fleet might have been bit low on numbers this year with a number of regulars absent, but the level of enthusiasm was as high as ever.

Most travelled visitor was Bjorn Singer from Scotland (wherever that is) where he sails on Loch Lomond, followed by the usual posse from the Isle of Wight.

Friday, the second day of the Regatta, saw the first 2 Shadow races in very fresh conditions which threw up a spectacularly steep chop on the way to the start. This defeated all but the doughty Chas Bedford, who battled out to the sailing area and 2 races later came ashore with 2 uncontested bullets to kick off his campaign!

By contrast, Saturday was the most perfect Autumn sailing day imaginable, with a spanking breeze and a cloudless sky, and the fleet made the most of it. After a less-than-crisp start for all boats, Robin Leather led the first race from the start, with Mike Martin and Carl Blenkinsop closing on occasion but losing ground in dirty wind on the last downwind leg.

Race 2 saw a much closer start, with Carl Blenkinsop squeezed out onto port while Leather and Martin pursued the starboard tack. Carl gained loads off to the right and was never seen again. Ouch!

Leather returned to form in race 3, holding off all the chasers with fair ease before all returned to shore after 5 great but tiring hours on the water.

The wind piped up again for Sunday and the aching fleet didn't need much persuading to call it a day and pack the boats up ready for home.

On the strength of his noble achievements on day 1, Chas Bedford from Sheppey is the Shadow National champion for 2013 – a stout effort from him.

Once again, thanks go to Brightlingsea S. C. for laying on a great regatta, with everything just right apart from the wind – maybe somebody whistled just a bit too loud.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1st31Chas BedfordIsle of Sheppey SC11444(DNC)DNCDNC28
2nd85Robin LeatherGurnard SC(DNC)DNC121DNCDNCDNC32
3rd64Carl BlenkinsopGurnard SC(DNC)DNC312DNCDNCDNC34
4th32Mike MartinGurnards SC(DNC)DNC233DNCDNCDNC36
5th33Graham TomlinEastbourne Sovereign SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC49

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