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Burnham Week 2023 Day 1

by Sally Harbott 26 Aug 2023 21:30 BST 26 August - 2 September 2023

Over 130 boats raced today on the opening day of Burnham Week 2023. Multihulls and IRC rated cruisers right through to Lasers and Fevas with day boats in between came out to enjoy great racing.

The river front was buzzing and by 11 o'clock moorings were empty and the fleets were headed to their respective start lines. Pile House, the downriver line, was for day boats, cruisers, multihulls and Ospreys. All other dinghy classes raced from the Burnham Sailing Club.

The Elites were the first fleet off with their class having two races today. Both races had them going up and down the Roach to Wallaseaness and down the Crouch to Holliwell a couple of times. Richard Bavin in Serious Moonlight won race one with Neil Fulcher in All the Gear taking the second race. The first three boats are all on 4 points with Neil Fulcher leading on count back, Serious Moonlight second and Bill Blank in Blind Squirrel sitting in third.

The fantastic fleet of over 25 squibs went off next and with a warning from the race officer to take care with a fair tide downwind start got away cleanly first time. Dan Wastnage in Firework took the bullet with Mickey Wright in Spoof second and Sophie sailed by Stuart Mears third. In their second race Budgies Tongue, Jack Grogan from West Mersea YC won with Sophie second. Budgies Tongue is leading overall on countback from Sophie after the first two races.

The three MOCRA yachts went off next heading down river with NRB leading the other two. The course took them right out to Sunken Buxey twice after a short leg up the Roach to Jubilee. NRB owned by Julian Linton took the win on corrected time with Triassic owned by Nigel Stevens from Hoo Ness second.

Class One were also careful not to set kites too early with one or two a little line shy they got away safely with Slipstream, Mantra and Santa Evita setting their kites first. They headed off down to Crouch and Outer Crouch 1. Provisional results which are subject to protest show Lizzie Brown in Slipstream winning from Digger Harden and Mike Schneidau in Santa Evita helmed by Doug Duce. Phillip Harbott in Mantra is in third.

Burnham Week 2023 Day 1 - photo © Alan Hanna
Burnham Week 2023 Day 1 - photo © Alan Hanna
Class Five who this year are racing YTC (with spinnakers) were also careful on the start with Ophelia owned by Richard Moore and Ernie Breavington's Sandhopper at the pin end on the gun both with quick spinnaker work. Daryl Mylroie in Eclipse also getting a good start more midline. Eclipse took line honours with Ophelia coming in second. On corrected time Ernie Breavington in Sandhopper won with Peter Hooper in Trinco the Contessa 26 second and Ophelia third.

Class Six, YTC without spinnakers, also has a good number of entries this year and it's great to see some boats returning as well as some new to Burnham Week boats taking part. Dabtoe, Nicholas Moulton, got a great start and took line honours. On corrected time Lucy Lee owned by Ian Keam George took the win with Dabtoe second and JodeAnni, Danielle Southey third.

The day boats as always were well supported with a brilliant fleet of ECODs out. These elegant boats designed by G Laws with all 10 built by William Kings boatyard at Burnham were originally all built gaff rigged but some now are Bermudan rigged. Wizard, David Smith won (gaff) with Witch owned by Paul Jeffries of Blackwater Sailing Club second and Gi Gi, Celia Wilson (Bermudan) third.

The RCODS had a good start with Justin Waples in Cormorant and Corella, Nick Bacon, at the front playing cat and mouse as they got their kites pulling on the first leg. Corella won with Cormorant second and Sue Law in Coralie third.

The Dragons had a good race down to Outer Crouch 3 twice coming back up to Inner Crouch in between. Mark Wade took the win in Avalanche with Peter Marchant in Beauty and the Beast second and Hands Off, Andy Moss third.

The RBOD fleet was led by number 2 Red Jacket owned by Stephen Herring who took the win with Phalarope Tom Corrigan second. Aquamarine, Angela Shepherd took third.

The Sandhoppers had a great first day and sailed a couple of times up the Roach to Jubilee. Peter Thompson in Sea Phantom won with White Gull, Kevin Whittle, second. Third was The Dogs.......5 sailed by Mark Jewell.

The Ospreys enjoyed their first race from Pile House with Lethal Weapon, David Carroll winning with Ghost Ship sailed by Roger Blake second and Robert Shaw in Bird of Prey IV third.

Up river the line was full with a superb fleet of Lasers with a class of Phantoms, and two mixed Handicap classes. The lasers have seen a real revival on the Crouch with over 20 entered and the racing they enjoyed superb. The rounding of the windward mark saw many place changes with some taking a wider route with the ebb tide.

The fleets each enjoyed two races today from the Burnham Sailing Club and the results will be available at

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