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UK Wayfarer Finale at Bough Beech Sailing Club this weekend

by Tim Townsend 7 Nov 2019 11:32 GMT 9-10 November 2019
Craftinsure Wayfarer 2017 Finale at Bough Beech © Martyn Smith

This weekend sees the final Wayfarer open meeting of the 2019 season which will be hosted by Bough beech SC. Perennially well supported by the racing sailors, twenty or more teams are expected to descend on the west Kent reservoir for four races and a meal on Saturday night at the nearby Greyhound.

Traditionally the Finale has been a game of two halves; one day is sailed in gentle autumnal breezes while the other is sailed in a complete blast with capsizes galore.

Unusually, 2018 saw two days of moderate breezes, enough to cause the occasional capsize although most of the fleet survived both days with exceptionally close racing. For 2019, Saturday is expected to see a force 3 to 4, blowing from the SE or SW (or both) while Sunday should see a force 4-5 from the N (perfect for a long beat at this venue). Of course, being England, the forecast could change completely by the weekend.

All the normal suspects have said they are travelling to Bough Beech. Near the top of the tree this weekend will be Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend who are the reigning International, European and National Champions (as well as the current Inland and Southern Champions) but they will be pushed hard by Andrew and Tom Wilson who were third at the International Championships, runners up at the Nationals as well as the current Western Champions. Do not discount Bill Whitney and John Shelton who have stood on the podium at several events this year.

There will be a strong local presence too with Guy Marks and Mel Titmus (current Eastern Champions) leading the charge along with John Clementson (multiple dinghy class champion). Dave Roberts from the host club has also put in several strong performances in 2019 and will be one to watch. This event will also be the last for Simon Winn (MYC/BBSC) who has raced in a Wayfarer for over 35 years and is hanging up his wetsuit boots.

This open meeting is also the culmination of the Craftinsure National Circuit and Travellers Series 2019, where several top positions are up for grabs. The end of season prize draw will also be held with many great prizes donated by Craftinsure, Hartley Boats, McNamara Sails, Allen Brothers and Pinnell & Bax.

The Wayfarer is a great all round boat; a cruising dinghy with some extraordinary achievements to its name (including the remarkable non-stop voyage round Britain earlier this year) as well as a sophisticated dinghy raced by club sailors and champions alike including Olympic sailors and multiple champions in other classes. For more information, reports and videos visit the UKWA website at wayfarer.org.uk

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