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Blithfield Barrel 2021/22 Overall

by Ted Kurcaba 11 Feb 2022 10:39 GMT 6 February 2022
Mike Senior (with crews Liz Senior/Ollie Woodhead) wins the Blithfield Barrell 2021/22 © Alastair Reed

Sunday 6th February, with the final two races (7 and 8 in the series) for the 2021/22 Blithfield Barrel, was forecast to be cold, wet and windy, which it exactly what it turned out to be.

WindGuru for Blithfield Reservoir forecast 23knots from the West, steadily increasing all day with gusts of 35knots, and on arrival at the club this is what was seen on the water, but the club weather station ultimately recorded a peak gust sometime in the afternoon of 54knots.

This forecast was enough to put off quite a few visitors and club members from rigging for the first race, preferring to sample the Vice Commodore's hot bacon and sausage baps which kept coming out of the galley all day.

So only eleven boats reached the start line at 12:00 for race 1 of the day (no 7 in the series), and at the gun James Goss and Chris White in Merlin 3814 and Mike Senior and Ollie Woodhead in GP14 13417 crossed line together with a second to spare, closely followed by Eden Hyland in Blaze 848 and Andy Couch in Phantom 1456.

This was the running order for the whole four laps, with James Goss crossing the line in first position, closely followed by Eden Hyland in the Blaze and Andy Couch in 3rd in the Phantom, and Eden finished the first race in first position on corrected time overall, but it was dark horse Mike Senior in GP14 13417 who came in a strong second also on corrected time, 16 seconds later, thus bagging another 2 points to his total and keeping Eden at bay, who was sitting in second position overall at that point.

The wind had eased off considerably during the race, with the sun peeking out at times but picked up again on lap 4, with dark clouds and a drop in temperature forecasting a cold and gruelling second race.

As all the boats were lapping at 11-15 minutes, there was not long to wait for the second race, as the SIs called for back-to-back races, to get everyone off the water, and warmed up with hot showers and even hotter pies from the Galley, so the 2nd race started promptly at 13:15, with another clean start. The race started with some sunshine and a steady F5, but soon picked up again as forecast, but only 7 boats started.

At the gun, it was tight at the pin end, as everyone was pushed up there by the wind, and again it was James Goss in Merlin 3814 over the line first, with Mike Senior running out of room electing to tack onto port and weave his way through the fleet coming on starboard.

Eden Hyland was set for a first position finish on the water and corrected time after getting past James Goss in Merlin 3814, until lap 2 when he cruised past the Committee boat with his main 12inches short of the black line and a kink in his mast at the gooseneck, resulting in a tow back to the shore.

This left James to cross the line first, but it was Andy Couch in Phantom 1456 picking up first position on corrected time. Yet again it was Mike Senior, plugging away steadily and keeping his GP14 flat, until a slight overshoot at the gybe mark round no.7 resulting in a quick swim, but then a quick righting and a plane down to mark no.1 and a quick beat to the finish bagged another 2 points for a second position finish on corrected time.

Congratulations to Mike Senior and crews, Liz Senior and Ollie Woodhead, from South Staffs SC sailing a 30+year old, wooden GP14 'Racys Rocket' and the first GP14 to win the prestigious all-comers Blithfield Barrel in 2021/22, and we welcome Mike back in November to defend his title in the 2022/23 premier winter series.

For history on the event visit

Final overall results:

1st Blithfield boat, SuperNova 1066, Julian Bassett

PosClassSail NoHelmCrewPYR1R2R3R4R5R5R7R8Pts
1stGP1413417Mike SeniorLiz Senior/Ollie Goodhead113011  142211
2ndBlaze848Eden Hyland 1033  12831DNF23
3rdSolo6004Jonathan Woodward 114226912914  52
4thSupernova1066Julian Bassett 1077681015‑21125 56
5thMerlin‑Rocket3749Colin AndersonSean Anderson980897101410  58
6thSupernova1277Doug Rankin 107712151719‑26‑237575
7thSupernova1175Ben Eaves 107791711171713  84
8thSupernova1139Dana Church 1077NSC41292215  88
9thWanderer1810David MooreBernard Taylor119314 85519  105
10thSupernova1237Paul Hollis 1077101316132330  105
11thVX One267Peter SlaterNeil David8601212137ocs21  107
12thLaser213809Paul Powell 110016161818‑3029DNF 108
13thFlying Fifteen3563Martin SmithKarenBeston1021171414142724  110
14thPhantom1456Andy Couch 1004  21  31115
15thMerlin‑Rocket3814James GossChris White980    2143118
16thBlaze606Nick Woodhead 1033  2023352886120
17thOK11Andy Davis 1104  4369  130
18thComet839Jenny Cheun 1210182221203332  146
19thPhantom1478Steve Hendon 100445  1220  149
20thRS 4001Paul Keeling 942711158    149
21stOsprey1331Jon BattJon Gibbons930DNF3  108  155
22ndRS 300414Rob Kennaugh 970  51125DNF  188
23rdMerlin‑Rocket3547Tim MaleRebecca Male980  19163433  210
24thMerlin‑Rocket3518Julian HarmsGeorge Bender980    18229 211
25thLaser Radial217835Henry Walker 11471919  3634  216
26thVX One173Andy CouchMartin Couch860    32  221
27thMerlin‑Rocket38Pete GrayRachael Gray98032      221
28thAlbacore8192Matt BiggsMark Fowler1040  34    223
29thGP1414185Nick CraigToby Lewis1130    45  225
30thSupernova1067Peter Male 1077  23223735  225
31stLaserPKPaul Keeling 1100      64226
32ndLaser Radial213563Joe Scurrah 1147  66    228
33rdOsprey1381Richard HartleyMark Hartley93059      230
34thMerlin‑Rocket3787Chris MartinJohn Thilby980    77  230
35thD‑Zero341Karl Bird 1029  2221dnfDNF  230
36thFireball15002Simon KelsallTom Burrows952    206  242
37thLark2468Samuel BaileyFinlay Morgan1073    1611  243
38thMerlin‑Rocket3716Steve LeneyGill Leney980    1117  244
39thOsprey1368Steve LeneyAndy Watterson9301118      245
40thSolo5837Richard Instone 1142    1318  247
41stMerlin‑Rocket3624Phil Mason 980DNF7      249
42ndRS 200967Graham FlynnDarcie Flynn1046    1916  251
43rdMerlin‑Rocket3547Peter MaleAdrian Male9802020      256
44thEnterprise22901Paul YoungNathan McGrady1122    1526  257
45thMerlin‑Rocket3541Rob SwinnockEsther Swinnock9802121      258
46th 420 55D FlemingT Kelsall1105    3124  271
47thFireball15130Dan JohnsonMatt Barks952    2431  271
48thPhantom1437Josh Hyland 1004    2827  271
49thNational 123457Steve McCarthyToby McCarthy106415       285
50thFlying Fifteen3698Steve TattonMegan Green/ Chris Guy1021    32DSQ  289
51stLaser133555Phil Dunn 1100DNF       296
52ndSupernova1251Andy Mellor 1077    29   299
53rdLasernnJamie Mason 1100        324

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