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Buzz Inland Championships at Draycote Water Sailing Club

by Buzz Class 10 Oct 2012 17:03 BST 6-7 October 2012

The Topper Buzz Class Inlands have been held in Draycote this year, confirming the venue as the preferred one for this event for many years. Light winds were forecasted for all the weekend and the weather was confirmed as the buzzes approached Draycote water on a sunny Saturday morning.

A good fleet of 9 Buzzes gathered on the shore for the first race after a short briefing with the friendly Committee. As usual new faces and very well known buzz sailors got together in a very friendly atmosphere. The first race started at 11.15 am while the buzzes were still looking for patterns in the light patchy winds.

The first start saw boats starting on an almost even line, fighting for clear winds through the first beat. Buzz 763 who sailed directly to the starboard lay line was brilliantly first at the windward mark having found more breeze on the far right hand side of the race course in a very split fleet. Buzz 1089, 1027, 1000 and 987 followed. The unstable winds made a huge difference in the consequent legs, giving advantage to the buzzes keeping a flexible strategy trough the beats and runs. The decision on which of the leeward gates to choose added a further dimension where gains could be made and lost just as easily. Buzz 1000 caught 1027 up on the downwind leg to make a close finish, with 1027 first. Very tight finish for third and forth between 987 and 748.

Wind conditions pretty similar for the second race, forcing sailors to hardly adapt to oscillating and patchy winds tactics. Ian and Jess Staple (919) led from start to finish confirming more than half fleet being fast and very competitive in light winds. Tight racing between 1000 and 748 on the downwind leg, 1000 gybed to the pin end going for an upwind beat on the starboard side of the race course whereas 748 continued to the committee boat end for a more cautious strategy., followed by most of the Buzzes.

Whilst the front of the fleet began to emerge as a clear force to be reckoned with in the changeable and unpredictable winds, the remainder of the fleet battled it out in close racing which saw 987, 921 and 968 in many close and exciting encounters including tactical tacking and lee-bowing manoeuvres to protect position and give competitors disturbed air.

Very port biased line for the third race starting with only Buzz 1000 and 748 noticing it for a port tack start and taking consequently the lead. The wind condition changed during the race with the wind building a bit at times from port, and then shifting back to the right down the hills at the lake background, making fast and smooth upwind mark rounding very difficult. Also alternating marginal conditions for trapeze for the lighter crews at the windward mark made things even more interesting. Buzz 748 loses distance at the windward mark in favor of Buzz 1000 and 1027. 1000 2nd to last boat round the mark but caught up on the downwind leg by overtaking everyone to windward to be 2nd round the leeward mark.

What looked like a permanent shift to the right preannounced race 4 with the most of the fleet trying to get the most of the initial starboard upwind tack. 748 rounded the windward mark in 1st position, followed by Buzz 1000, and then 919 and 1027. Tight racing was battled between 1000 and 748 for 1st & 2nd before confusion at the line, which led to 748 going for the far pin end leeward gate. 3rd and 4th battle between 919 and 1027 during the first lap. The wind decreased a bit later on in the late afternoon, with pressure shifting back on the left hand side of the lake just at the end giving the sailors who gybed at the windward mark hard times to defend positions. Buzz 1000 closed in first position, followed by Buzz 1027 who made the most of the last pressure shifting and overtaking at the line Buzz 748 in a very tight end. Buzz 919 followed.

Having made more than one poor start 987 managed to climb their way back (gradually) through the fleet, just managing to hold off 921 in the early races until a schoolboy error saw them closed out of the start in race 4 by 968 to leave them trailing the rest of the fleet.

Meanwhile, 1089 and 763 put in some excellent upwind legs, only to lose out downwind as they struggled to hold their position in the patchy and fluky winds.

Races on Sunday morning were finally abandoned by mutual agreement between sailors and the race committee due to the total absence of wind.

Well done and congratulations to Stuart and Zoe Bailey who eventually succeed in winning the Europeans, Nationals and Inlands in the same year, setting up an interesting record hard to break for the years to come!

Many thanks go to the Race Committee of Draycote Water Sailing Club and all the club members who professionally and very friendly helped out in hosting the event for both Buzzes and ISOs.

As last event of the year many congratulations go also to all the Buzzes sailors who attended and supported open meetings and official events of the season, confirming the Buzz class nowadays as a very active one and encouraging for a new season with a plenty of Buzz events on the calendar! Goodbye to the next year!

Overall Results: (top three)

1st Buzz 1000, Stuart Bailey & Zoe Bailey
2nd Buzz 1027, Elizabeth Noble & Mark Wilson
3rd Buzz 919, Ian Staples & Jess Staples

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