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Zhik 2024 March - LEADERBOARD

Enterprise Thames Valley Bowl series at Broadwater Sailing Club

by Hilgard Muller 31 Mar 2023 09:44 BST 25 March 2023
Enterprise Thames Valley Bowl series at Broadwater © BSC

Following on from the success of 2022, Broadwater SC again hosted an event in the Thames Valley Bowl (TVB) series, but this time jointly with the Solo fleet. This boosted the number of boats, people and helpers and created a nice buzz on the foreshore and in the clubhouse.

Three local Enterprises and four visitors braved the conditions - F5 gusting F7 being forecast. A strong and gusty westerly did indeed greet the fleet but it seemed a little tamer on the water - was that just bravado or perhaps denial? It least it was warmer than previous weeks and the sun showed itself at various points throughout the day, along with a little rain at other times.

Following rigging, tea/coffee and bacon butties (and chatting), RO Tim Platt and David Wilson briefed the competitors in both fleets and everyone launched for the first two pre-lunch back-to-back races. Two further races were held after lunch with just a minor course change. The RO team had set a course with two beats, nominally two reaches, a run and wisely set the gybe mark close the club house to 'ensure anyone who capsizes is not at the far end'. Yours truly duly tested that!

After launching, several competitors spent a few minutes enjoying superb planing conditions behind the start line while Steve Swinchatt, Helen MacVean and Andy Wheeler kept an eye on us in the safety boats.

The Ents were up first for a Race 1 start. The westerly forecast and layout of Broadwater lake meant a course layout with an obstruction (island) upwind to port of the start line - the result being vocalisations by helms requesting water to tack onto port, which did not necessarily last for long as they came across those still on starboard with plenty of water. Made for an interesting first leg.

The conditions in Race 1 were tough, forcing three capsizes and retirements. Fortunately, conditions eased slightly by Race 2 and competitors stayed the right way up after that.

Ann Jackson & Alan Skeens (Burghfield SC) prevailed overall with a solid 1-1-1-(3) set of results and, with the one discard in effect for their final race, they scored 3 overall and won the BSC Enterprise Chess Trophy. Very well done. Second place was closely contested. Paul Young & George Bender (Midland SC) and Bernie Banks & Calvin Merry (Broadwater SC) were both on 8 points each after discards, so it was down to countback which meant Paul & George with their first place in the final race took second overall over Bernie & Calvin, now placed third.

Even fourth placed Les Smith & Alex Smith (Broadwater SC) were in the running for a podium with just 9 points after discard. Very close.

The remainder of the fleet, who had suffered in the first race, had some highs with good starts and good choices up the beats. Robin Broomfield & Paul Bloomfield (aka Two Bees, Minima YC) had a flying start in Race 3, which translated into their best result of the event, while Hilgard Muller & Chris Brown got lucky on the left side of the first beat in Race 2 to go from fourth to a second place finish in Race 2. That felt good after the gybe mark incident.

Sadly, Martin Davies & Rebecca Bradley (Rugby and Daventry SC), last year's winners who were in the leading group in Race 1, had to retire early from the event.

Despite the conditions, it was a great event, boosted by the presence of the Solos, and made exciting by the shifty and gusty westerly! We hope to repeat next year and see all the competitors again - maybe a few more.

Many thanks to the RO/ARO team, Safety Boats and Galley team comprising Jane and helpers for lunch, Helen and Steve on buttie duty. Also Tim, Neil, outgoing Vice Commodore Jeremy for prize-giving and all the others who showed up to help. Special thanks to Alex from the Solo fleet for leading the event organisation.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
123170Ann JacksonAlan SkeensBurghfield111‑33
220937Paul YoungGeorge BenderMidland‑43418
322179Bernie BanksCalvin MerryBroadwater24‑528
422857Les SmithAlex SmithBroadwater3‑6249
522705Robin BroomfieldPaul BloomfieldMinima(RET)53513
623094Hilgard MullerChris BrownBroadwater(RET)26RET16
722320Martin DaviesRebecca BradleyRugby & Daventry(RET)DNCDNCDNC24

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