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Thornbury Sailing Club Regatta 2016

by Paul Craig 16 Jun 2016 08:20 BST 11-12 June 2016

With high pressure sitting over the UK and a particularly wet front slowly moving over the west-country, anyone would have thought that the weather gods were against TSC.

Luckily there are still people out there who don't watch the forecasts too closely and they were greeted by some of the most miserable, wet, cold and windless conditions we have had on the Severn for some time.

The light winds on Saturday didn't really work in the favour of the catamarans, so Tim Unerman and John Maddison in the Cirrus F18 were never really able to stretch their legs. The RS800 of Dave & Henry Morgan faired a little better but it was the Fireball of Barry Smith and Jim Storrar that stole the day in the fast handicap fleet.

In the slow handicap fleet the competition was tight especially amongst the Graduates who were also holding an open within the event. Locals Paul & Izzy Craig got away in the first race from the other Graduates and were able to cover the other Grads all the way to the finish but in the second race it was Chris Parker and Katie Ross who got the better start. A brief recovery down the first downwind leg got the Craigs back in front but they were later re taken and had to settle for second with David & Sandra Wilson hot on their heels. Unfortunately the Miracle national champions (Hannah & Nick Smith) sailing in their other boat (RS200) had another gear and were uncatchable sailing away from the fleet and taking line honours in both races.

In the cruiser fleet the light winds proved tricky for Adrian Maddison's GK29, who had to watch the Hanse 301 of Rich Harper and the Impala of Bill Beere sail off into the distance.

As is usually the case at Thornbury SC, following the racing there is a great deal of relaxing, chilling out and drinking with the fantastic backdrop of the Severn estuary and Severn Bridges. With pints of Wickwar Brewery 'BOB' at £2 per pint many got into the full swing of the party in the evening. I'll say no more on the subject for fear of incriminating individuals;)

Sunday dawned in a typical big TSC way. A building breeze established as the rain made way for wall to wall sunshine and the fleets launched into a F4-5. In the big breeze the F18 of Unerman and Maddison was really letting rip but the lads were struggling for consistency and so were unable to challenge the Fireball of Barry Smith this time crewed by Martin Allen. Steve Curry and Caroline Blakeney in the Dart 18 were also enjoying the conditions posting a 4th and a 3rd.

In the slow handicap fleet it was the day of the RS200s and Lasers. John Harvey & Tim Webber leading the way around followed closely by Steph Webber and Robin McKenning. Further back the ongoing tussle in the Grads between the Craigs and Parker/Ross was getting interesting. The Craigs were finding their jib too full for the upwind legs and struggled to stay in contention but their off-wind speed got them back in the game. In race 1 they beat Parker/Ross by a boat length.

Sunday's cruiser race was a battle of the Hunter Imapalas with Bill Beere's Romper holding off Gary Chapman and Jon Everett on Rocker, with Rich Harper not far behind.

A great weekend was had by all we even had the COAST presenter Mark Horton as assistant race officer on Saturday!

One final tip from Chris Parker; If you are planning on camping at the TSC regatta don't hide your tent poles so deeply in your van that you assume you must have left them at home. Hotels for the entire family are significantly more expensive than the free camping at TSC.

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