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Bytes at Weston Sailing Club's WOSH 2017

by John Saunders 15 Aug 2017 15:33 BST 12-13 August 2017
Bytes at WOSH 2017 © John Saunders

A dozen Bytes turned up to race in Weston Sailing Clubs WOSH single hander event over the weekend of 12/13 August.

The Byte turnout was somewhat reduced because of the recent bumper Nationals at WPNSA and the teenage section of the fleet being off on holiday. This left the more 'mature' sailors to battle things out among themselves for valuable points in the traveller series. Once again the Byte proved its suitability for lighter crews but on this occasion it was the older demographic enjoying that advantage with the recently introduced smaller C1 rig proving very popular.

The tide dictated afternoon starts on both days and after a relaxed morning racing began with a substantial fleet of Contenders away first followed by a slow handicap fleet and the Bytes with their own start. Wind was brisk and chilly and would remain so for the four back to back races.

Louis Saunders (Combs) won the first race cleanly followed home by Stuart Moore (WSC) and Emma Pearson (WSC) sailing with her C1 rig and appropriate PY.

Race two saw Louis win again but on this occasion Emma was second using the C1 PY and Stuart was third.

In the third race Louis won again with Emma, having beaten Stuart on the water, in second with Stuart a close third.

The final race of the day saw Louis win again from Stuart and Emma.

A good day's racing had been enjoyed by all and the fleet spent the evening eating fish and chips, with curry for the more adventurous. It has often been observed that Byte sailors are possessed of prodigious appetites and while larger sailors from other classes need to control consumption to avoid further increase the Byte fleet throw caution to the wind and simply indulge.

Racing on day two was in question because the forecast indicated a dire lack of wind but by 2pm a breeze kicked in and racing began in beautiful sunshine. However the Race Officer was kept busy moving marks all afternoon to cope with the fickle nature of the breeze.

Louis nailed another win in race 5 coping well with the shifty conditions. Stuart was second but this time with Rachel Mackinder in third sailing with another C1 rig.

Race six saw Louis confused by a recall on the line get away badly and found himself following Stuart who kept him at bay and finished first. Louis was second with this time Olwen Binks (WSC) taking third.

Race seven, the final race, was won again by Lou is from Stuart and Emma. Stuart did lead Louis for most of the race but before the final run Louis caught him and they sailed a close tussle towards the line with much snaking and gybing when a recovering Contender decided to sail between them! I believe Louis discouraged him with a polite word or two and at the line Louis took the win by a narrow margin.

It had been an excellent weekend enjoyed by all. Louis and Stuart are established front runners but Emma who is fairly new to the class is now playing a significant part at the front. The C1 boats once again proved their worth but on this occasion to the advantage of some of the more mature lady sailors, rather than lighter teens, who could relish the dynamic excellence of the Byte but with a reduction in power.

Next on the Byte calendar is Combs SC in Derbyshire home to multiple champions Rick Whitehouse and Louis Saunders as well as several other Bytes. This friendly, attractive and welcoming club is a must visit event for many sailors who return to it year after year. It is therefore an excellent location for any newcomers to make their debut into the racing circuit. We hope to see you there.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1st3573Louis SaundersCombs SC11111‑216
2nd3608Stuart MooreWSC2‑33221212
3rd3078Emma PearsonWSC32235‑6318
4th3577Rachel MackinderWSC457‑834427
5th3611Celia RustonWeymouth5444‑65628
6th850Olwen BinksWSC66‑8543731
7th3565Chare MachWSC‑885677538
8th3563Maggie FutcherWSC7767‑88843
9th3587Paula BentleyFelpham SC(DNS)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC66
9th2623Jo AndrewsFelpham SC(DNS)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC66

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