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Buzz National Championships at Mount Batten Centre for Watersports

by Roger Eyre 31 Jul 2013 11:39 BST 27-28 July 2013
Buzz National Championships 2013 in Plymouth © Keith Kendall

The Buzz Nationals were held this year as part of the Port of Plymouth Regatta hosted by the Mountbatten Water Sports and Activity Centre with two excellent days of exciting boat-on-boat racing over the weekend of 27-28 July.

The Race Officer predicted the forecast light to moderate sunny conditions for Saturday and the likelihood of the fleet being blown out on Sunday with a worsening forecast of heavy rain and 18-35 knots! In the event the weekend proved a great success with a six race series completed in a full range of weather conditions.

The Nationals saw one of the largest Buzz fleets for some years largely due to the strengthening number of Buzzes in Plymouth. Crews ranged from couples, friends, father and son/daughter and even scratch, proving the Buzz extremely flexible for crews of all ages from teenagers to those with bus passes!


The mood in the boat park was calm as the initial breeze appeared very light. Once on the race track conditions improved to light to moderate conditions of 8-10 knots which tested light wind sailing and 'soaking' skills.

Race 1 started from just south of Drakes Island with the windward mark to the SE under Jennycliff. Two laps of a long course saw Buzz 1000 finish out in front, setting the pace for the rest of the fleet.

Race 2 saw a great start again by 1000 closely followed by 987, burning off the rest of the fleet both were clear away by the end of the first lap. However this coincided with a major wind shift seeing the leaders having to sail upwind to the leeward mark and the Race Officer had no option but to abandon. The race was restarted with the windward mark to the SW. On the restart 859 was over the line – just too eager to get off again! The positions at the top of the fleet remained much the same with 1000 in the lead closely followed by 919 and 1027. 1089 started to settle into the racing and banked a much improved position.

Race 3 was the windiest of the day's races and saw an interesting shift of domination. 966 banked a stonking 1st position and 921, enjoying the windier conditions, banked a much improved result. 1026, with the youngest crew member of the fleet, also made a good finish to round off the day on a high.


The fleet reconvened with nervous anticipation of what the day's weather might throw at them. Mercifully the forecast conditions did not materialise and the fleet enjoyed a superb day of full-on blasting putting on a "Great Show" for race officials and spectators alike in the ideal 15-24knt winds.

Race 4 saw 987 and 1000 make a great start which allowed them to pull away from the fleet and bank an easy 1st and 2nd place. 919 had spinnaker problems and dropped down the fleet allowing 763 to take full advantage and bank another good result.

Race 5 was started in strengthening wind conditions and saw 748 losing his crew overboard! Fuelled by adrenalin, they then made an amazing recovery to finish the race in 2nd place. 763 and 1089 also chose the favoured side of the race course and banked 3rd and 4th respectively – banking their best result of the Championship. 919 suffered more difficulties with the spinnaker and retired from racing with 1026 who found the strengthening wind too much to handle.

Race 6 was all about bumper boats and capsize, allowing 859, after a weekend of frustration, to bank a superb 4th place after a good 'Port Flyer' port tack start at the pin end, but did not maximise on it to the windward mark and dropped back. 1027, after a challenging Race 5, made a flying start on port tack allowing them to lead the fleet for 2 laps, only to be overhauled by the superior boat height and speed of 1000 on the last windward leg to finish 2nd.

At the prize giving at the Mount Batten Centre on Sunday the Regatta Race Committee thanked the Buzz Fleet for coming to join in the Port of Plymouth Regatta saying "It was such a pleasure to host the Buzz fleet for their 2013 Nationals. They stood out as being such a friendly fleet, both on and off the water, and amazed us on the race course by managing to stay upright in conditions which got the better of other asymmetrics. They put on a great show for the race committee. We would welcome them back any time!"

Overall Results

1st Buzz 1000, Stuart Bailey & Vicky Noble, Wilsonian SC Kent
2nd Buzz 1027, Jane Noble & Mark Wilson, Langstone SC Hants
3rd Buzz 748, Matt Butler & Helen Springett, SW SC Beds
4th Buzz 987, Roger & Penny Eyre, MBC Plymouth Devon
5th Buzz 966, Julian & Lauren Miles, MBC Plymouth Devon
6th Buzz 919, Ian & Jess Staples, Bartley SC W. Midlands
7th Buzz 763, Mark & Tris Turner, Warsash SC Hants
8th Buzz 1089, Neil Oxten & Martin, MBC Plymouth Devon
9th Buzz 859, Henry Marshall & Nathan Barnard, MBC Plymouth Devon
10th Buzz 921, Mike & Nathan Stanier, Seafarers SC Hants
11th Buzz 1026, Guy Michelmore & Son, Plymouth Devon

Mark & Tris Turner (Buzz 763) won the prize for the most improved team in the regatta.

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