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Wayfarer Open at Banbury Sailing Club

by Andy Darby 6 Jun 21:19 BST 3 June 2023

The sun shone on Boddington Reservoir all day for the Wayfarer Open event. Five Wayfarers competed. All the boats had been prepared with loving attention by the eager helms and crew who launched them with a touch of nervous anticipation of the races ahead.

The wind was forecast as NE blowing force 3 or 4 gusting 5. Of course, in a 'lake' environment that means anything from North through East to South and from 1 knot of wind to a rare gust of 18 knots.

The Race Officer, Neil Firth, cleverly set courses to match the conditions. This provided for some close racing in challenging conditions demanding concentration throughout.

The first gun was at 1055hr and the race started promptly at 1100hr. Andy Darby & Paul Rhodes (9646 Whaleshark) were first to cross the start line, but George & Naomi Mitchell with their 7 year old daughter Florence (7601 Daisy Way) came through at pace. Not far behind were Vic Gyselynck & Tony Archer (3722 Wayfs-n-Strayz), Mike Ewence & George Scott (9644 Betty Blue) and Richard & Vensa Moffatt with son James in their "woodie" (1237 Blue Minx).

Daisy Way was first to reach the windward mark with a close fight next between Whaleshark and Wayfs-n-Strayz. Unfortunately, the tiller extension broke away on Wayfs-n-Strayz, leaving Vic & Tony diving for the nearby pontoon and a temporary repair.

There was close racing all the way up the reservoir and back with Whaleshark reaching the leeward mark ahead. Not to be outdone, Daisy Way again reached the windward mark in the lead, with close racing until the end, where Daisy Way won the first race with Whaleshark second and Blue Minx third. It must be said that, despite the stop for repairs, Vic & Tony in Wayfs-n-Strayz still finished that race in 4th position.

The course was changed for the second race, using about half the reservoir. This gave a four lap race rather than a two lap one.

Wayfs-n-Strayz had the best start and they reached the windward mark in the lead. However, Whaleshark was in the lead at the windward mark of lap 2. It was a very close fleet with lots of place changes throughout. Wayfs-n-Strayz fought back, reaching the windward mark before the others on lap 3. Sadly, Wayfs-n-Strayz had to retire yards prior to the end of lap 3 due to an injury (thankfully Vic is OK now though, even if a little bruised). Whaleshark continued sparring with Daisy Way and crossed the finish line first.

Lunch: a time to take on more ballast! Not only that; it was delicious!

The Race Officer utilised seven of the eight buoys for the third race. As Vic retired injured, Tony Best stepped in on Wayfs-n-Strayz. William Crighton also replaced Naomi & Florence in Daisy Way. The conditions again demanded constant concentration, but the fleet spread out; completing each lap in the same order! Whaleshark led from start to finish, bringing wide smiles to the faces of Andy & Paul, with Daisy Way second.

In the clubhouse afterwards, tea and cake were served and the prize-giving was conducted by Committee Member Ivor Smith-Davenport. Of the 3 races (2 to count) Whaleshark won and Daisy Way was runner-up.

Next year, the Banbury Sailing Club Wayfarer Open will be on the National Circuit and take place at the beginning of June over two days.

Overall Results:

PosHelmCrewSail NoBoat NameClubR1R2R3Pts
1stAndy DarbyPaul Rhodes9646WhalesharkBanbury SC‑2112
2ndGeorge MitchellNaomi & Florence7601Daisy WayBanbury SC1‑223
3rdMike EwenceGeorge Scott9644Betty BlueBanbury SC‑5336
4thRichard MoffatVensa & James1237Blue MinxBanbury SC34‑57
5thTony BestTony Archer3722Wayfs‑n‑StrayzBanbury SC(DNC)DNC411
6thVic GyselynckTony Archer3722Wayfs‑n‑StrayzBanbury SC4(RET)DNC11

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