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Melges 2023 - Melges 15 LEADERBOARD

West Country Boat Repairs 2000 Class Millennium Series Round 7 at Chichester Yacht Club

by Rob and Gemma Burridge 4 Oct 2023 06:51 BST 30 September - 1 October 2023
2000 training day and Millenium Series at Chichester © 2000 class

Chichester Yacht Club was the setting for round 7 of the West Country Boat Repairs 2000 Class Millennium Series, a one day event held on Saturday 30th September followed by a coaching session for class members on Sunday 1st October.

With 23 boats signed on, it was one of those days to be glad that you were not the Race Officer, the forecast promised a 180 degrees wind shift and a gradual increase in the wind at some point in the morning...

As it turned out the wind thought about a bit of a switch but couldn't quite make its mind up to blow from a consistent direction, not helped by the big black clouds that floated over the racecourse, increasing and decreasing the wind speed. The RO and support boat team did an absolutely fantastic job all day, anchoring and moving the committee boat and moving marks as required. After a postponement of approximately 45 minutes, the first of three back-to-back races took place in a gentle 5 -7 knots breeze.

Due to the south easterly direction, the race track was laid across Chichester basin and gave competitors short course racing, no sooner had your brain commuted shifts, gusts, tide and other competitors upwind, then it was time to turn the corner and do it all again downwind. Rob and Gemma Burridge got to the windward mark first gradually pulling away from the rest of the fleet to win with a battle being fought behind them. Ed and Ruben Dodwell fought hard to finish second, followed by Iain and Sarah Yardley. Adrian Stell took the opportunity of light winds to take his very young daughter racing, she did exceptionally well to wait out the 45 minute postponement and then post a very credible 12 place.

After half an hour of racing the wind decided to switch direction making the windward/leeward course into two tight reaches and the RO took the opportunity to shorten the course as he didn't think anyone would want to sail that course for another 15 minutes.

Race two was held in a freshening breeze, and with the tide ebbing and after a general recall Rob and Gemma got to the front and led to the finish. Joff and Matthew Bailey were second with Ed and Ruben third. Race three started with the individual recall flag hoisted. Rob and Gemma, and Joff and Matthew quickly went back and both started a climb through the fleet. Ed and Ruben took the lead with Joe Gallivan and Sarah Burridge hard on their heels. Joe and Sarah managed to get past Ed and Ruben down the run and then spent two laps fending off Rob and Gemma who had made their way through the fleet to challenge for the lead. Joe and Sarah managed to hold on to first place right until the last leeward gate when an unkind wind shift gave Rob and Gemma the favoured gate for the finish and their 3rd win of the day by half a boat length! Joe and Sarah were second and Helen and Andrew Phillips third.

On Sunday a class coaching session took place with eight members signed on. On shore, Rob took them through the running rigging and the set up needed for different wind conditions. Afloat, the eight crews practised their settings on a windward/leeward and follow my leader course. After lunch, the crews practised holding station and accelerating towards a start line. The starts became more and more competitive, with, at one point, all the boats over the line! Thanks go to Rob for the coaching, Chichester Yacht Club for the use of facilities and Noble Marine who support 2000 class training.

Overall Results:

1st Rob and Gemma Burridge, Weir Wood SC
2nd Ed and Ruben Dodwell, RAFSA
3rd Joe Gallivan and Sarah Burridge, Weir Wood SC
First CYC boat - Helen Green and Thomas Knight

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