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Royal Burnham One Design 90th Anniversary on the first weekend of Burnham Week 2022

by Mel Lewis 30 Aug 2022 19:33 BST 27-29 August 2022
RBOD Amanda on Burnham Week 2022 Day 1 © Alan Hanna

Unbelievably there were 19 of these venerable one designs on the start line over the first weekend of Burnham Week, second in number entries only to the Squib fleet. The sunshine and breeze made for perfect sailing conditions in the strong tidal waters of the river Crouch.

Celebrating their 90th year there was a mixture of ages sailing these Norman Dallimore designed day boats. One boat helmed and crewed by the designer's great grand children. Ages between helms and crew varied from mid 20s to mid 60s and everything in between.

For the first time in the class's history a U flag was flown after two general recalls proving the competitive nature of the sailing. There was much short tacking to the first mark against the strong tide followed by a sausage course. David Smith in Amanda - a regular winner in the class won the first race although he was chased hard by Freddie Pitcher in Simonetta second and Phil Plumtree in Ariel, third.

The second day and everyone was off on the first gun. Red Jacket, Stephen Herring took the committee boat end of the line finding clear air and managing a port tack infront of the incoming starboard tack boats. This left him ahead and in clear air to sail round the course without interference from the rest of the fleet who were battling for the other places. Belinda - a class owned boat chartered for the week by Rory Munro helmed by Ben Harden (Blaze National Champion) came in second with Whimbrel, Tye Witchard third.

This left several boats in contention for the weekend points so it was all to play for. Again it was a tense start against a strong tide, RO Edwin Buckley had set a pin end favoured start line and yet again the U flag was flown as so many were over the line - much to the irritation of Simon Hollington in Beryl who had pin pointed the perfect start the first time. Red Jacket managed to curl herself around the committee boat end just in the nick of time but was far too far to leeward to make an impact on the race.

After a long short tacking exercise to the first mark several positions changed but David Smith in Amanda had managed to get himself into clear air. With no mistakes he sailed fast around the twists and turns of the course and on to win the day with Belinda second and Ariel third. So, the weekend trophy went to Amanda, David Smith, Belinda 2nd, Ben Harden and Ariel, Phil Plumtree 3rd.

The RBOD class have made ready four class boats which are being sailed by a group of young experienced sailors this week. Anyone interested in becoming involved in the class should contact Mel Lewis RBOD class secretary by email

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