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Thornbury Regatta 2013

by Paul Craig 2 Jul 2013 21:01 BST 29-30 June 2013
Thornbury Sailing Club Regatta © Martin Bradford

On the 29th & 30th June, Thornbury SC welcomed 54 entries to its annual regatta backed by the #GetOutAndSail initiative.

Day 1 started out as a perfect summers day with the exception of one thing, wind! Race Officer Paul Craig, held the fleet ashore for 30minutes until the light Northerly Breeze swung around to the SW and stabilised. The fast fleet got away in a very light patchy breeze which filled in halfway up the first beat. The RS600 of Nick Antonczyk (TSC) led away but as the breeze continued to build he was caught first by the Merlin Rocket of Paul & Peter Jenkins (Weir Wood SC) and then the Cherub of Andy & Jill Peters (Queen Mary SC). With the building breeze, the slow handicap fleet got away with some of the stragglers from the fast fleet and Mark Riddington (TSC & Emsworth Slipper) powered away from the fleet in his RS300 catching many of the fast handicap fleet in the process. TSC sailor Andy McDonald who hasn't set foot in a Laser since the early 90s scorched around the course but local Miracle sailors Nick & Indigo Smith kept both in their sights to ensure a win.

With the breeze still building to a solid F4, a larger course was selected for both dinghy fleets. In the fast handicap fleet the long downwind leg seemed to pay and it was the Cherubs who really let rip. The Peters holding off the Kirks for a Cherub 1, 2 with the RS800 of Dave & Henry Morgan splitting the pair on the water but finding themselves squeezed out on handicap. In the slow handicap fleet it was again M. Riddington sailing off into the distance but gear failure ended the amazing Laser comeback of A. McDonald. The Smiths had a coming together with a GP14 but somehow the GP14 came off worse and they smoothly sailed on to a 3rd place. Finding her form was Steph Webber sailing an RS200 with dad Tim who managed to leave the other 200s behind, securing 2nd place.

In the cruiser fleet the up-river course took the fleet out of the established SW F3-4 and into some particularly variable conditions. Bill Beere sailing his Hunter Impala "Romper" managed to his way through and took a comprehensive win while the following pack fought it out. Unfortunately Tony Page sailing his Heol 7.4 "Heoligan" ran aground on the final spectators lap in front of the sailing club, leaving the GK29 of Adrian Maddison and the Hanse 301 of Richard Harper to take 2nd & 3rd respectively.

Day 1 Results:

Fast Handicap
1st A. & J. Peters, Cherub 3202 (Queen Mary SC)
2nd P. & P. Jenkins, Merlin Rocket (Weir Wood SC)
3rd P. & S. Kirk, Cherub 3203 (Thornbury SC)

Slow Handicap
1st M. Riddington, RS300 432 (Thornbury SC)
2nd N. & I. Smith, Miracle 3805 (Thornbury SC)
3rd S. & T. Webber, RS200 791 (Thornbury SC)

1st B. Beere, Hunter Impala "Romper" (Thornbury SC)
2nd A. Maddison, GK29 "Temujin" (Thornbury SC)
3rd R. Harper, Hanse 301 "Swn-Y-Mor" (Thornbury SC)

Following racing on Saturday the competitors were treated to a fantastic meal and the sounds of "5 second rule" as featured on Chris Evans Radio 2 show. The band has close ties with TSC, as Bassist James Warren is the son of club member & ex-commodore Jeremy Warren. A fantastic night was had, helped by the Wickwar BOB at £2 per pint!

Day 2 promised to be a good day with a forecast of 10-15kts but it soon became apparent that we were in for a far bigger day! Wind speeds were typically between 20-26kts with gust of 35kts so a reduced number braved the conditions and took to the water. Paul Croote and Ed Higham led the fast handicap fleet around on the 1st lap, but a capsize while gybing led to confusion amongst the following boats regarding which mark was next! The confusion ultimately led to four of the top boats failing to finish handing the race to the Sprint 15 of Malcolm Worster. The other Sprint 15 of Nick Morgan suffered a capsize and decided to head for shore, while Steph Webber now sailing the 29er with Olivia Winther failed to finish after realising that they had their spinnaker rigged back to front, oops! The slow handicap fleet seemed to be coping with the conditions a little better. Phil & Sarah Kirk opted to leave their Cherub in the dinghy compound and instead launched their Enterprise. They revelled in the conditions and were able to stay with the RS200 of John & Julie Harvey. The conditions proved too much for M. Riddington in the RS300 who having completed 1lap decided to go wind surfing instead!

With dwindling numbers still on the water, a second race was started. Tom & George Macgregor swapped their RS800 for their Buzz and valiantly chased the 29er of Webber & Winther around the course but the girls were on fire, and took an easy win. The slow handicap fleet had a sense of de ja vu, as the Kirk's Enterprise pulled ahead on the upwind legs and reaches only for the Harveys in the 200 to come back at them on the downwind leg. In the end the Harveys just couldn't get away and so the Kirks took another race. In third place the visiting Solo of Dom Whiston from Baltic Wharf SC kept just far enough ahead of the charging Wayfarers and Wanderers.

The cruiser fleet were again sent up the river but with the increased wind strength the course was extended. The long beat back proved to be a tough leg and it was Harper who was the first across the line but the GK29 of Adrian Maddison was able to hold on close enough to take the win on handicap with the last finisher of Rob Wallis's Achilles 24 taking 3rd.

Day 2 Results:

Fast Handicap
1st S. Webber & O. Winther, 29er 843 (Thornbury SC)
2nd M. Worster, Sprint 15 1286 (Thornbury SC)
3rd T. & G. Macgregor, Buzz 503 (Thornbury SC)

Slow Handicap
1st – P. & S. Kirk – Enterprise 22975 (Thornbury SC)
2nd – J. & J. Harvey – RS200 542 (Thornbury SC)
3rd – D. Whiston – Solo 4303 (Baltic Wharf SC)

1st A. Maddison, GK29 "Temujin" (Thornbury SC)
2nd R. Harper, Hanse 301 "Swn-Y-Mor" (Thornbury SC)
3rd R. Wallis, Achilles 24 "Snifter" (Thornbury SC)

As the weekend also formed part of the Cherub Travellers circuit, prizes were awarded to the top 3 Cherubs.

1st A. & J. Peters, 3202 (Queen Mary SC)
2nd P. & S. Kirk, 3203 (Thornbury SC)
3rd N. Pratt & J. Hutchinson, 2646 (Frensham)

Full results can be found on the Thornbury Sailing Club website.

A big thank you to and the #GetOutAndSail partners for all the fantastic prizes; Crewsaver, Gul, Harken, International Paint, Navigators & General, Noble Marine, Ovington Boats, Rooster Sailing, Seldén Masts and Wildwind.

photo © Sandy Harper

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