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CoastWaterSports 2014

Wayfarer Finale at Bough Beech Sailing Club

by Tim Townsend 20 Nov 2021 12:55 GMT 13-14 November 2021
Wayfarer Finale at Bough Beech © Sarah Seddon

"It's never normally like this" they say. And what we got was not what we were told to expect. "Typical Bough Beech" I say. With forecast winds of 10-22mph from the North-ish, the wind the Wayfarer class actually enjoyed at its last open meeting of the season, the Finale at Bough Beech SC over the weekend of 13-14 November 2021, was 5-8mph (with occasional squalls of maybe as much as 10mph).

So why do I (and the Wayfarer class) make my annual pilgrimage to Edenbridge over the Remembrance Sunday weekend each year? Reasons are varied and plentiful. For me, I love the Autumn colours in the surrounding countryside of course, but we also receive a friendly welcome from the club each time and some teams turn up who we haven't seen all year because they have been busy doing other things. It's also an opportunity to celebrate the end of a long season, and traditionally to award trophies to the winners of the National Circuit and Travellers Series; more recently we also hold the prize draw where generous sponsors prizes are won.

And then there's the sailing. I've written before that there is always something in the weather for everybody at Bough Beech. It wouldn't seem like that this year but the conditions and close racing meant that the racing was far from processional. A cursory glance at the results will show that almost every boat had at least one poor result. Even the winners! The boats that limited their disasters to just one race did best. Elliott Marks and Rory Moppett had a wonderful and consistent set of results (in conditions which ideally suited their old Mk2) until the last race when they were squeezed out at the leeward mark and never recovered.

Nigel and Belinda O'Donnell met with disaster before the first race as a broken self bailer saw them filling up with water. However, kind assistance from a local Finn sailors and a tube of St*cks L*ke Sh*t saw them back on the water for the second race and scoring a counter. Better still, on Sunday morning, they were placed second to last at the first windward mark but this put them in an ideal position to avoid a raft of boats impeding each other at the leeward mark; they came out smelling of roses and went on to claim second (from first) in that race! Other boats had issues of their own which prevented them from converting good starts into good results.

In this Strictly season, one team was giddy after doing countless fleckerls after an incident when well placed at the windward mark. And I will remember forever the look of bewilderment on Michael McNamara's face as he (and we) tried to claim our rights as the carnage of the aforesaid raft started to unfold (many, many boat lengths outside the circle, I might add for the benefit of those to windward and/or on port who started claiming "Room" at least 50 metres before the mark). With apologies to Talking Heads, Michael was obviously thinking "well, how did I get here?" He recovered well but that race was probably one of Mac and Simon Townsend's worst single race results of the season.

The point is almost every one of the fifteen competing teams had at least one a-ma-zing result and one disaster, darling. That's Bough Beech for you.

The Saturday forecast was for winds from the North West. Racing started with a breeze from the West which slowly veered towards the North West. Steve Knowles and his race team, who did an excellent job all weekend, set a skewed figure of eight course.

Race 1 was won by Andrew and Tom Wilson at a canter. Michael and Simon enjoyed a good tussle with Elliott and Rory (who had an excellent start) but prevailed in the end.

Race 2 saw Elliott and Rory get away well again but soon a race long fight for the lead developed between Michael and Simon and Andrew and Tom. They were joined by Martin and Donna Rouse-Collen whose light weight (and excellent light air sailing skills) saw them pinch the win at the end. Michael and Simon finished second. Andrew and Tom completed the podium and they led overnight on count back.

In Race 3 on Sunday (in a still gentle North Westerly breeze and P course) Elliott and Rory and Andrew and Tom enjoyed the best starts and were clear around the leeward mark on the first lap. Behind them the raft developed as the fleet compressed and Nigel and Belinda took advantage to have their moment in the sun. Andrew and Tom went on to win, followed by Nigel and Belinda and Elliott and Rory.

For Race 4 it was those who managed the first beat best who did well. Bill Whitney and John Shelton led for much of the race followed by Michael and Simon. Richard Bailey and Ian Curtis were also showing well at the first mark (in fact this team enjoyed several excellent starts and first beats over the weekend). A short distance behind the two leading boats a close battle developed between three boats with several place changes. At the end of the race it was Michael and Simon who prevailed followed closely by Bill and John while Guy Marks and Katy Seddon completed the podium.

Overall winners of the open meeting on count back were Andrew and Tom Wilson. This was a popular result because Andrew and his various crew have finished as runners up to Michael and Simon at every other championship and open meeting this season. Completing the podium were Elliott and Rory, showing that a well sailed and tuned "old" boat can be competitive in these conditions.

There was still time to hand out the UKWA trophies and conduct the prize draw. Winners of the Craftinsure National Circuit Series 2021(best three results to count including at least one fresh water and one salt water event) were Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend. Well deserved winners of the Travellers Series (all nominated events to count) were Nigel and Belinda O'Donnell who hitched up their boat and competed in each of the eight events.

The UKWA must thank its generous sponsors for the prizes for the end of season draw. The more events a boat has attended the greater its chance of winning. A McNamara Sails genoa was won by Steve Perkins and Martyn Hare; a voucher for insurance from Craftinsure was won by Nick Harris; and a cover presented by Hartley Boats was won by Bill Whitney and John Shelton.

The curtain closes on the UKWA season for 2021. A busy programme of events is planned for 2022 including the International Championships in Florida in March (with half a dozen UK entries). The highlight of the domestic season will be the National and European Championships which will be hosted by Arun YC in Littlehampton in August. For more information on the Wayfarer visit

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st11093Andrew WilsonTom WilsonDatchet Water SC131‑75
2nd10648Michael McNamaraSimon TownsendRollesby Broad SC22‑415
3rd1112Elliott MarksRory MoppettBough Beech SC343‑1110
4th88Martin Rouse‑CollenDonna Rouse‑CollenUpper Thames SC71(OCS)412
5th11120Guy MarksKaty SeddonBough Beech SC6‑125314
6th10688Bill WhitneyJohn SheltonShoreham SC85‑11215
7th11282Nigel O'DonnellBelinda O'DonnellSwarkestone SC(DNS)72615
8th11012Tim TownsendJacqueline TownsendMedway YC410‑12519
9th10673David RobertsMike BryantBough Beech SC596‑1020
10th11211Mark LeeSam PygallMedway YC‑1068822
11th10918Richard BaileyIan CurtisRollesby Broad SC98‑10926
12th11118John GoudieSam BonifaceWilsonian SC11‑1371331
13th10686Brian McKenzieLiz McKenzieMedway YC‑131191232
14th11129Paul HughesCam HughesArun YC12‑14131439
15th10922Gavin ThorpeAlex DuffieldBough Beech SC14(DNF)DNCDNC46

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