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K1 Long Distance Race from Tewkesbury to Severn

by Neil Cooke 3 Jun 2013 21:24 BST 25 May 2013
K1 long distance race from Tewkesbury to Strensham Services © Alan Utteridge

Course: From Tewkesbury Cruising & Sailing Club near Tewkesbury town, under the M5 and on to Severn Sailing Club near Strensham M5 services. This race is probably the only sailing event in the UK where a Motorway is part of the course.

Seven K1's took part in this scenic Avon race which is 4 miles each way. The river meanders From Tewkesbury past Croft Farm, Bredon's Hardwick, Twyning Village, The Fleet Inn, under the M5 Bridge. Then past Bredon Village, Bredon Marina and Bredon's Harwick, before reaching Severn Sailing Club near Strensham Services. The river is 30 to 40 metres wide and in most places not obscured by trees and provides fantastic views of the Avon Vale, Malvern Hills, Bredon Hill, the Cotswolds and lots and lots of sheep.

We set off from Tewkesbury at 11 am upstream using a 10 minute widow start. This start method records the start time of each boat as they set off at their own pace within the time window. Window starts are common to river clubs where mass starts are impractical, and rafting up can be a problem.

Unfortunately for our race the wind was so light and variable that the race was almost un-sailable. But at least the sun was shining and we had epic views and marvellous wild life to watch, including king fishers, herons and river voles, whilst basking in the sun in our K1s. It took almost three hours for all the K1s to reach Severn Sailing club, where we enjoyed, their hospitality and fantastic real ales and our TCSC picnics.

At 3pm we set off somewhat merrily from Severn Sailing Club with Severn Sailing Club taking our Window timings. If anything the wind was worse but at least it was downstream and sort of downwind too. The return journey took 2 hrs for all the K1s to reach Tewkesbury.

The event was won by Mike Dean from South Windermear SC by a huge margin, followed by the locals, who concluded that Windermere must be as shifty as the Avon.

The following Monday both clubs ran their picnic races swapping clubs for lunch. The wind was gusting 24 knots and the Albacores completed the journey 35 minutes down wind and 67 minutes upwind, with Severn Sailing club wining on corrected time.

Our thanks to Severn Sailing club for providing our lunchtime Haven, and to Tewkesbury Cruising & Sailing Club for hosting the event and delivering our picnics to Severn Sailing Club.

Overall Results:

PosHelmClubTCSC to SSCSSC to TCSCPts
1M DeaneSouth Windermere SC112
2N CookeTewkesbury CSC235
3G BrownSevern SC426
4M GreenWimball SC369
5J ShimellChew Valley SC549
6B JubbQueen Mary6713
7J Vander BorghDunkeswell9514

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