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Wanderer Inland Championships at Cotswold Sailing Club

by Bernard Taylor 23 May 2022 13:33 BST 14-15 May 2022
Wanderer Inlands at Cotswold SC © Ray Workman

The Wanderer fleet once again gathered at the delightful Cotswold Sailing Club with some arriving on the Friday night, but the majority opting to arrive on the Saturday morning, travelling from as far afield as Essex and Kent and up to the wild and unknown parts of Derbyshire, but an encouraging 14 boats making the pilgrimage for the weekend.

With 3 races planned for the Saturday, race officer Ray Workman (as last year) faced setting a course in very light winds!

Race 1 got under way at midday, with only one boat over the line! A slow beat up to the windward mark ensued, with 2021 Inlands Champion Mike Clayton and his son, James (W1779) leading the way. However, all was not well, with David Moore/Bernard Taylor (W1810) trying to sail Cotswold SC Commodore Leonie Milliner and daughter Evelyn (W1800) past the windward mark, forgot about the Claytons who had just rounded the mark, and proceeded to try and take him out of the race by other means! Fortunately, the Claytons had the foresight to see what was going on, and with both boats taking swift action, the collision was thankfully relatively minor, with no damage to either boat. A swift 720 followed, allowing the Claytons to gain a bit more on the fleet. Given the light winds, the race became somewhat processional, until David Moore and Bernard Taylor took a slightly different option on the 3rd beat and managed to sneak past. Most of the fleet were able to use their spinnakers for the downwind legs (even though some of the reaches were a bit "tight". Ian Simpson/Dave Bardwell (W1004), was, as always close behind, with Colin and Sally Gilbert (W1819) making good progress in 4th place, and Leonie Milliner (W1800) coming up on the rails to take 5th place.

It was planned to sail Race 2 immediately after, however with continuing light winds, and a slight change in direction, the race officer decided we could have an early lunch.

With a re-positioned windward mark, race 2 got under way, and pretty much followed the format of race 1 (this time without start line collisions!). There was a grand bunfight attempting to round Mark 2 in front of the clubhouse as eight crews ramped up as the gentle breeze collapsed. Philip Meadowcroft/ Adam Wickenden (W1541) somehow managed to sneak very tightly round the windless mark and got well away to take a good 3rd place, with another Cotswold SC member, Lindsey Weatherley/Hilary Handley (W1795) pipping her club Commodore to take 4th place. With the Claytons leading the way, Moore/Taylor had to wait for some downwind legs with spinnaker hoisted to overhaul them, and take the win in race 2.

Race 3 was held back to back, and the same course was set, with winds continuing to drop off as the afternoon progressed. A busy start line saw Moore/Taylor get a good start, however Claytons were still first at the windward mark, with the Gilberts in 2nd place, and Milliner in 3rd. With a fairly broad reach down to the next mark, there was a debate whether or not to hoist the spinnaker given the light winds. The Claytons went for the hoist, as did Moore/Taylor, with Moore/Taylor deciding to sail slightly higher, and after gybing round the next mark overhauled Clayton by the next mark. Meadowcroft/Wickenden worked hard to lead the chasing pack and took 3rd again, with the Gilberts again claiming 4th, and Richard Maltby/Mark Skipper (1561) taking a well deserved 5th.

Saturday evening's warm sunshine saw the host club put on another splendid BBQ with Neil Weatherley doing the cooking and a special treat of Leonie's homemade apple crumble. More good grub came from the tireless CSC galley team on Sunday with loads of home made cakes and tea after the final race. And all that was preceded by Saturday and Sunday morning bacon butties. Wanderers prefer to sail on their stomachs.

Sunday arrived with some more wind, and consequently a ripple of excitement amongst the fleet.

The two races on day 2 were to be held alongside the normal club racing, with the fast fleet getting proceedings under way.

Special thanks must be given here to the Cotswold Sailing Club sailors, who ensured that they did not interfere with the Wanderer fleet, including tacking off starboard in order to give the Wanderer sailors a "clear course"! Many thanks for your sportsmanship!

Race 4 commenced with the usual protaganists on the line. However Simpson/Bardwell (|W1004) and Meadowcroft/Wickenden (W1541) were far too enthusiastic and were hooted to restart. The former dipped back relatively easily, but the latter crew was badly boxed in and suffered a nightmare re-start from which they never recovered.

Moore/Taylor had taken a conservative "middle of the line/middle of the lake" approach, however when Mike and James Clayton sailed off to the wrong mark, Moore/Taylor expected an easier time. On the other hand, Leonie Milliner was showing a good turn of speed, and led the fleet for the first few legs. The Claytons again appeared out of nowhere to take the lead again, showing good speed upwind. Moore/Taylor got past Milliner on lap 2, and given the lead that Clayton had, decided to cover Milliner for the last beat to the line. So at last a win for the Clayton, with Moore/Taylor taking 2nd, and a well deserved 3rd for Milliner, with Ian Simpson/Dave Bardwell taking an excellent 4th, and Lindsey Weatherley/Hilary Handley 5th.

With the results thus far pretty much deciding the outcome of the Championship, race 5 was no less competitive, with a bit more wind and some hope of a "bit of a blast" round the course. With a couple of boats over the line at the start (including the Claytons), Moore/Taylor got off to a good start However the Claytons again were 2nd at the windward mark and challenging for the lead. Spinnakers now hoisted by most of the fleet, Moore/Taylor managed to demonstrate some good downwind speed, and at last managed to find a bit more speed upwind as well. This enabled a relatively comfortable win for Moore/Taylor, with the Claytons again taking 2nd place. Leone Milliner continued her good form with another 3rd, with Simpson/Bardwell again gaining 4th place, and a well deserved 5th for Weatherley/Handley.

With four firsts, Moore/Taylor (W1810) took the Championship and the Dolphin Cup, with the Claytons taking a very close second place and the Ted Shephard Cup with 1 first and 3 seconds. Ian Simpson/Dave Bardwell (never far behind) took 3rd place and Ted's Tankard. With local sailor Leonie Milliner awarded the Davies Dish and Philip Meadowcroft next, both with 21 points, with Lindsey Weatherley on 22 points, and Colin Gilbert on 23 points.

A good Championship weekend, with close and fair racing. Many thanks to Leonie and Lindsey for again organising an excellent weekend in a beautiful location, to Roy Workman (the race officer) for managing 5 races in some challenging conditions, and to the "local" sailors at Cotswold SC for their understanding and sportsmanship.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1David Moore1810Swarkestone111(2)14
2Mike Clayton1779Royal Harwich(2)22127
3Ian Simpson1004Tudor35(6)4416
4Leonie Milliner1800Cotswold510(11)3321
5Philip Meadowcroft1541Henley(9)339621
6Lindsey Weatherly1795Cotswold(11)485522
7Colin Gilbert1819Grafham474(8)823
8Drew Hines1575South Petherton66(10)6725
9Richard Maltby1561Whitstable YC(10)9571031
10Lee Harper1214Sutton Bingham SC7(11)710933
11Nigel Lamb477Chipstead889NS)NC)39
12Colin Houseman9Banbury Cross13(NF))12121148
13Neil Millington1797Rickmansworth(14)1313111249
14Robin Dent1835Keyhaven SC1212(NC))NC)(NC))54

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