Grafham, June = No wind or so reputation has it – oh so wrong on this occasion!
7 visiting boats, from Bewl Valley, Broxbourne, Chew Valley, Draycote, and Hayling Island and 10 from GWSC arrived at the club in clear sunshine and F4-5 SSW winds, gusting higher on occasions, many occasions!
Under the stewardship of PRO John Aston and Sue Saxton aided by many others, and with the committee boat located near Pylon for a decent length beat into the South West corner of Grafham Water, 3 races were held on Saturday and 3 on Sunday, comprising of Triangle-Sausage-Triangle and Sausage-Triangle-Sausage, 3 lap courses. Whilst the beats sorted out the pecking order especially near the windward mark, the reaches were magnificent, even if they were challenging angles for some to carry spinnakers on all but one leg on most occasions. Certainly, from the rear of the fleet the whoops of exhilaration were to be heard and surprise that we topped 15 knots on occasions. Some gloating too was heard especially when on one reach a two sailor stormed past a 3 sailor competitor – a memory that will be replayed many a time! Equally challenging to some on occasions were the ‘sausage’ legs in 20 deg shifting winds!
Sunday’s racing was in slightly calmer winds – a good F4 though, but sadly one or two boats did not make the start line for reasons of gear failure and timidity.
From the racing perspective, there were some cracking performances and the results below show the outcome, our congratulations go to Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett of Draycote for winning the last 4 races (a stunning performance) and for coming 1st overall. Richard Lovering and Matt Alverado of HISC (2nd overall), and Ian Cadwallader and Bill Chard of Chew Valley (4th overall) were the other two boats to win races. Congratulations also go to Mark and Ben Longstaff of GWSC on their 3rd place overall; & well done to those who came so close and survived – another day.
As Jeremy Davy mentioned in his speech, John Aston and Sue Saxton ran the racing in a very professional manner and our thanks go to them for a superb event.
Finally, I should mention that it was not chivalry that let our visitors off the water first – they were consistently excellent, thank you for joining in and being part of our open – a lesson to many of us in reducing the error count! We look forward to seeing you all next year at the Inlands at GWSC!
For Pictures and videos, with thanks to Andy Omullane – see https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bzi4ITIyYo3bU2NkZ0VXemh1WWc