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Thornbury SC Regatta 2014

by Paul Craig 22 Jul 2014 12:35 BST 19-20 July 2014
Thornbury SC Regatta 2014 © Sandy Harper

During preparations for the clubs annual regatta on the Friday evening, most thoughts were about how to protect against sunburn and deal with heatstroke. Tents were erected, the clubs marquee erected and setup, and the boatshed galley stocked and prepared for the onslaught of bacon butties expected to be consumed on the Saturday morning.

Day 1

Turn to Saturday morning, and for those who had arrived on the Friday night there was much talk about the 3 storm cells which swept over the club in the night providing an excellent light and sound show. There was however very little wind and lots of rain.

Jeremy Warren fresh from sailing around Great Britain in his Wayfarer took up the challenge to try and get some racing in as RO, and with a back drop of thunderstorms and lightning rolling along either side of the river, somehow one light wind race was held.

In the slow handicap fleet the Graduate of Mike & Rhian Baylis got away to the best start but by the end of lap 1 the RS200 of Tim & Janet Webber had got away from the pack. The poor starting Graduate of Paul & Izzy Craig, desperately tried to claw their way back into the mix, and halfway down the final run drew level with team Baylis only to then drop back.

In the fast handicap fleet, the RS700 of John Harvey got away from the fleet only to miss a mark of the course and with the light winds, getting back proved costly. Barry Smith & Olivia Stodieck in the Fireball kept themselves between the 29er of Cameron Webber & Tom Sully, and the Cherub of Round Britain Wayfarer sailor Phil Kirk crewed by Callum Bennett to take the race win.

In the cruiser fleet a long upriver race with the tide was held, 'Romper' sailed by Bill Beere sprinted away, with 'Mercenary' sailed by Fergus Macgregor in hot pursuit. With a bit of experience of the course from a previous week in similarly light winds, it was Mercenary who was able to pull away at the end of the upwind leg into a lead that was never to be challenged.

With the light and fickle winds, easing towards nothing, a postponement brought the competitors ashore to escape the lightning. Jeremy Warren waited for as long as he dared with the falling tide before canning further racing for the day.

With the arrival of the late afternoon, came glorious sunshine, enjoyed with copious amounts of beer and cake, followed by the excellent Kerris Riviere blues band that played well into the night.

Day 1 Results

Slow Handicap:
1st Michael & Rhian Baylis, Graduate 2882
2nd Tim & Janet Webber, RS200 791
3rd Paul & Izzy Craig, Graduate 2928

Fast Handicap:
1st Barry Smith & Olivia Stodieck, Fireball 14889
2nd Cameron Webber & Tom Sully, 29er 843
3rd Phil Kirk & Callum Bennett, Cherub 3203

1st Fergus Macgregor/Rob Hudson, Hunter Impala 'Mercenary'
2nd Bill Beere, Hunter Impala 'Romper'

Day 2

Talk about a turnaround! On day 2, most awoke to sore heads, but beautiful blue skies. The wind looked a bit light and some were worried that it might never arrive, but in true Thornbury style, as the tide came in so did the wind. Many who were put off by the weather on the Saturday, made the journey for the Sunday, and were not disappointed. Race officer Martin Sully must have known what was coming, having set some challenging long courses.

In the slow handicap fleet, John Harvey now sailing his RS200 quickly established a lead off of the line in race 1, with Nick & Indigo Smith sailing their Miracle leading the rest of the fleet. With the breeze building Stuart Ford in his Laser managed to break free from the pack and fought his way past the Smiths. In the stronger breeze the battle of the Graduates was won by the Craigs.

In race 2 gusts of 20kts blew across the course, and the fleet were clearly keen, as a general recall was called. On the restart it was John Harvey again sailing away in his RS200 closely followed by the Laser of Ford and the charging Miracle of the Smiths. Further down the fleet a close tussle developed between the Solos of Dom Whiston and Martin Allen and the Graduate of the Craig's, with Whistons extra speed on the downwind legs just giving him the edge, while the Craigs held Allen out.

In the fast handicap fleet it was a one-two for the charging Cherub of Paul Croote and Tim Unerman, with all the racing taking place behind them.

In race 2 thanks to the recall in the slow handicap fleet, there were a few casualties coming through the downwind gate as the fleets converged in opposite directions. The 29er of Webber & Sully and the Fireball of Smith & Stodieck showed their consistency by finishing 2nd & 3rd.

The cruiser race again took the fleet upriver with the tide but in the stronger breezes it was 'Romper' sailed by Bill Beere that led the way followed very closely by the Hanse 301 of Gordon Craig.

Day 2 Results

Slow Handicap:
1st Nick & Indigo Smith, Miracle 3805
2nd Stuart Ford, Laser 122263
3rd John Harvey & Julie Crocker, RS200 542

Fast Handicap:
1st Paul Croote & Tim Unerman, Cherub 3212
2nd Cameron Webber & Tom Sully, 29er 843
3rd Barry Smith & Olivia Stodieck, Fireball 14889

1st Bill Beere, Hunter Impala 'Romper'
2nd Gordon Craig, Hanse 301 'Cutty Stark'
3rd Fergus Macgregor/Rob Hudson, Hunter Impala 'Mercenary'

Full results can be found at:

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