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Blithfield Barrel 2021/22 Round 1

by Michelle Keeling 25 Nov 08:52 GMT 21 November 2021
Blithfield Barrel 2021/22 Round 1 © Iain Ferguson

Sunday 21st November saw the first round of the infamous Blithfield Barrel. 23 boats lined up for the day's racing in the late autumn sunshine with a chilly force 3-4 breeze from the N-NE.

Race officer Alan Skitt and his team got the fleet away on time at the first attempt. With the wind coming slightly off the club bank, hitting the shifts right was the order of the day. First to the windward mark was the VX-One of Peter Slater & Neil David, closely followed by the Ospreys, RS400 & Merlin Rockets. Racing was tight at the front of the fleet with regular place changes on the snakes and ladders beats. Never far behind the fast fleet action was the GP14 of Mike & Liz Senior who took race 1 convincingly on handicap. Second was Jonathan Woodhead in a Solo & 3rd Pete & Rachel Gray in their Merlin Rocket.

After a very welcome warm lunch the fleet launched for race 2. The race team shifted the line & altered the beat as the wind had moved round slightly. The fleet again got away at the first time of asking & with the right-hand side of the course paying the Osprey of John Batt & John Gibbons were first round followed by the VX1, RS400 & Merlin Rockets, another closely fought race ensued. John & John were on a mission after an unusual swim in race 1 & almost did a horizon job. Only the VX 1 could keep up with them & did eventually pass towards the end of the race. Again, never far from the action was the GP14 of Mike & Liz Senior who also took the win in race 2 followed by Pete & Rachel Gray in the Merlin Rocket with John Batt & John Gibbons in the Osprey 3rd.

So overall Mike & Liz Senior lead with 2 wins, Pete & Rachel 2nd & Jonathan Woodhead in 3rd.

The top 3 boats were awarded prizes from our sponsors Hartley Boats, prizes were also awarded to Jenny Cheun in the Comet being the first Lady Helm & Toby McCarthy first junior sailing his first ever open crewing a National 12!

The next round of the Barrel is on 12th December with the series continuing in January & February.

We also offer a very competitive winter membership package from November through to March & includes all the Barrel events for free.

For more details and results visit

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