Please select your home edition
Edition
Craftinsure 2012

Wayfarer Southern Area Championship at Datchet Water Sailing Club

by Tim Townsend 16 Sep 2017 08:28 BST 9-10 September 2017

Three visiting teams from as far away as Canterbury and Derby joined the growing local fleet at Datchet Water Sailing Club to compete for the Southern Area Championship. Several of the usual travellers were unavailable for a variety of reasons, but Michael McNamara made the long journey from Norfolk just to return the trophies, while David Roberts also popped in for a tea and a chat before racing began.

The weather forecast was suitably autumnal with the threat of rain on Saturday and a westerly 13-18 knots, while Sunday was predicted to be very blustery with gusts in excess of 25 knots (and increasing) in the early afternoon. In the event we had 8-15 knots on Saturday, accompanied by sun, rain and thunder. Sunday was only a little windier, and the strongest gusts and steady rain only arrived as we were all safely ashore and de-rigging our boats. Water levels in the reservoir were very low which meant that wind shadows from the wall were more extensive than usual.

The event was shared with the K1 National Championships and a Flying Fifteen Open Meeting so there were plenty of boats on the race course.

Racing started after a short delay on Saturday with three races back to back on a classic triangle/sausage course. The pattern for the weekend's racing was set early on with Len Jones and Jamie Lea taking an early lead followed by Andrew and Tom Wilson. Racing behind these two was close with several place changes before Derek Lambert and Oliver Gore Lawrenson got the nod for third.

The second race of the day was again led from the start by Jones/Lea, although positions at the windward mark were close with Lambert/Lawrenson and the Wilsons close behind. Jones/Lea led from start to finish with the Wilsons finishing second and the Tim and Jacqueline Townsend just pipping Lambert/Lawrenson for third.

By the time the third race started the wind had increased and there was sporadic rain and claps of thunder. This time Jones/Lea and the Wilsons exchanged positions a few times during the race before Jones/Lea pulled clear to take their third win of the day. The Townsends finished third in this race too, a comfortable distance in front of the pack.

Sunday dawned with the promise of more wind than the previous day. There was more wind, true, but not as much as forecast, and the fleet generally coped well with the slightly tougher conditions. Although Jones/Lea had dominated the first day's results, they could still theoretically be beaten if the Wilsons won all of Sunday's races. Andrew and Tom did their very best to beat the odds by enjoying a very close fourth race with Jones/Lea; the lead changed hands several times and at the finish it was the Wilsons who took their first win of the weekend. Tony Cooper and Neil Hume got their best result of the weekend holding off the Townsends to claim third place. After a distinctly average (for them) first day this also saw a resurgence of form from Nigel and Michael O'Donnell until they had a brief inversion just after the second gybe mark while lying fifth.

The fifth race was also a humdinger. The Townsends were OCS (and took nearly two minutes to extricate themselves and return to the start!). However, at the front, it was Jones/Lea and the Wilsons going at it hammer and tongs, once again exchanging the lead several times. In the closing stages of the race the Wilsons held a slim lead but they were unable to hold off the series leaders who took a narrow win and, with it, the Championship. Lambert/Lawrenson took third in this race and went into the final race with one foot on the third step of the podium.

With the runners up spot guaranteed the Wilsons exchanged positions for the final race of the event. Rumour has it that Jones/Lea also intended to swap positions in the boat but abandoned the project after an adverse risk assessment! The race began with a general recall, but got away cleanly at the second time of asking. Jones/Lea took an early lead and led throughout. The Wilsons proved it's all about the team (not just the helm) by taking the runners up spot from the Townsends. The O'Donnells planed across the finish line in fourth place for their best result of the weekend as the wind started to build inexorably.

Overall Jones/Lea dominated the weekend's racing, winning five of the races, although often only after tussles with the Wilsons who secured a comfortable second place. The Townsends' third place in the final race was enough to see them step onto the podium at the end.

This was the sixth event of the Craftinsure National Circuit and Travellers Series for the UK Wayfarer Class and the results mean that the Wilsons continue to lead although Jones/Lea have closed the gap to 0.5 points, with just two events to go. Bill Whitney and Lisa Whitney/John Shelton lie in third place but the Townsends move up to fourth overall.

Datchet Water SC put on a good event, with excellent race management and lots of assistance on the shore from students of Brunel University who helped launch and recover the boats. Club Commodore, Mike Becket, presented the prizes. Thanks to all of them, and also to Neil Hume who provided much of the material for this report.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st11067Len JonesJamie LeaMedway YC‑111‑2114
2nd11093Andrew WilsonTom WilsonDatchet Water SC‑2‑221227
3rd11012Tim TownsendJacqueline TownsendMedway YC‑6334‑6313
4th10828Derek LambertOliver Gore LawrensonDatchet Water SC344‑73‑714
5th10921Tony CooperNeil HumeDatchet Water SC4‑5‑634516
6th10984Nick HarrisLuke HowellsDatchet Water SC‑7‑6555621
7th11189Nigel O'DonnellMichael O'DonnellSwarkestone SC57‑8‑88424
8th9416Scott HamiltonBob MaddoxDatchet Water SC‑8‑8767828
9th8454Matthew HodgesLaura HodgesDatchet Water SC99(DNF)9‑10936
10th1Simon EtterSue RisbridgerDatchet Water SC(DNC)(DNC)DNC1091040

Related Articles

Wayfarers at Swarkstone
Craftinsure National Circuit Round 7 A small but select fleet of Wayfarers sailors met at Swarkestone SC, just south of Derby, for their inaugural Wayfarer Open Meeting over the weekend of 6/7 October 2018. This was also event 7 of the Craftinsure National Circuit and Travellers Series. Posted on 12 Oct
Wayfarers at Swarkstone this weekend
Arms race in the Wayfarer Class? Arms race in the Wayfarer Class? A dinghy class which has been around 60 years and is a strict one design with one builder where the rules clearly state that if something is not permitted in the rules it's just not permitted. Posted on 4 Oct
Wayfarer International Rally
114 people cruised the Norfolk Broads Wayfarer sailors from eight nations gathered in Norfolk last week for the Wayfarer International Rally. Organiser Ralph Roberts saw his target of 100 participants exceeded as 114 people took to the water. Posted on 17 Sep
Wayfarer Southern Areas at Medway
Craftinsure National Circuit Round 6 For a good championship, you need some help from nature and fortunately, the weather was fair on the river Medway over the weekend of the 8-9th September for the Wayfarer Southern Area Championships hosted by the Medway Yacht Club. Posted on 13 Sep
Wayfarer Southern Area Championship preview
Craftinsure National Circuit Round 6 at Medway Yacht Club This weekend sees the Wayfarer fleet descend on Medway Yacht Club for their Southern Area Championships and event number 6 of the Craftinsure sponsored Travellers and National Circuit Series. Posted on 5 Sep
Zhik Poole Week overall
Saving the best till last Poole Week started on Sunday with rain, gales and no sailing. It ended on Friday with wall-to-wall sunshine, a perfect breeze and the Red Arrows looping the loop in the background. Small-boat racing in Poole Harbour doesn't get much better than this. Posted on 1 Sep
Zhik Poole Week day 5
Gently does it Some days you know you're going to be lucky to get any wind. Posted on 31 Aug
Zhik Poole Week day 4
Bring on the breeze! It was all action in Poole Harbour as over 200 sailors took to the water for the third day of racing in Zhik Poole Week. Posted on 30 Aug
Zhik Poole Week day 3
Changing wind, changing fortunes Sailors have long known that they can take little for granted on the water, but one certainty in Poole Harbour is that each day is going to be different from the one before. Posted on 29 Aug
Zhik Poole Week day 2
A classic afternoon's sailing After Sunday's rain and gales put paid to any racing, Monday brought what many competitors described as perfect conditions in Poole Harbour. Posted on 28 Aug