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Bewl Blaster: Phew, what a blast!

by Martin Brooking 1 Mar 2016 10:58 GMT 28 February 2016
Strong winds for the Bewl Blaster © Richard Hayden

Despite a raw NE breeze which whipped up white horses across the long reach of Bewl Water, 9 boats turned up for the Bewl Blaster event held on Sunday 28th February, organised by Bewl Sailing Association (BSA). Race officer Jo Mayes, ably supported by Amanda Conrad and Ann Marsh, set a challenging triangular course which involved a killer gybe at the wing mark, just where the wind was peaking.

Three races were held back-to-back. Jo and her team showed true girl-power by starting the second and subsequent race less than 60 seconds after the last boat finished, so that the sailors would have the minimum wait between races in the freezing winds.

Rob Cage, returning to Bewl in his Laser Radial, took the first race comfortably from Martin Dennant, also in a Radial. However, despite a leisurely start (only just on the water at the 5 minute gun), Bewl returnees Robert Hogben and Glynn Morgan chased down the fleet in their Flying Fifteen to finish fourth behind local boys Jim Vince and Geoff Hilton, also in a Flying Fifteen.

The second and third races were held in ever increasing gusts, with Flying Fifteens being laid flat on the upwind legs and fighting occasional broaches downwind. Those onshore were treated to spectacular scenes of boats charging full pelt downwind. Both races were won comfortably by Robert and Glynn, with Rob Cage second. Jim Vince and John Mansell shared third place honours in their Flying Fifteens.

This was the first open meeting of 2016 at Bewl and the first since the new owners “Bewl Water” took over the site and facilities. Although the changing rooms and old clubhouse were out of action due to extensive refurbishment works, Bewl Water donated the use of a marquee, alternative changing facilities and power for heating etc. to help make the event a success. BSA manned the support craft and provided an excellent prize-giving and lunch, with soup and hot drinks, giving the competitors a warm welcome as soon as they came off the water. There were big smiles all round for a hugely enjoyable event.

The next open meeting at Bewl will be for Flying Fifteens on 9th and 10 April. With newly refurbished facilities, this will be an event not to be missed. More details to be released soon.

Bewl Blaster Results:

1st Robert Hogben and Glynn Morgan (Flying Fifteen)
2nd Rob Cage (Laser Radial)
3rd Jim Vince and Geoff Hilton (Flying Fifteen)
4th Martin Dennant (Laser Radial)

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