posted on September 15, 2010
This open held on 4th/5th September was a meeting of the Southern Travellers’ series which we have resurrected last year. 4 visitors and 6 locals met in glorious sunshine and a warm welcome from South Cerney Sailing Club. It is part of the Cotswold Park, a large area of old gravel pits now well established, green, gently undulating country and very beautiful. A newish clubhouse also makes for an enjoyable meeting.
The breeze was shifty and gusty, sometimes light with well hidden holes and us sailors were glad we were not race officer. However Neil Richardson realigned buoys after most of the races to give us a good beat and a long run for all of them. Silver/classic PY corrections were also applied to the results to make the racing more interesting.
The first race saw visitors from Datchet Mike and Mark Firth in 3385 win, after a close battle with Llangorse’s John Craddock and Paul Kendal who showed good speed in a Copland Mactinosh 2695 to come second; locals Derek Harrison and Mike Weeks in 2263 were third, and locals Richard Taylor and Rosie Wiltshire in 2626 fourth.
The second race saw the first 4 boats locked into a close battle, but a keen eye on the wind shifts by Craddock/Kendal saw them turn the tables and go onto win from Firth/Firth, with Derek Harrison/Weeks 3rd and Broxbournes’ Brian Turner and Peter Coomber in 3031 4th.
The last race on Saturday, Craddock/Kendal were locked in a race long battle with Firth/Firth, who rounded off a splendid day with a second win, with local Andrew McArthur and Fiona Farquar, in an unusual boat - a GB registered Aussie built Shand hull 3330 3rd and a consistent Harrison/Weeks 4th.
Overnight, Firth/Firth led by 1 points from Craddock/Kendal, with Harrison/Weeks 3rd and Taylor/Wiltshire 4th! A good mix of home and visitors - Llangorse, Datchet, S. Cerney and Broxbourne. All to play for on Sunday!. Racing was followed by a fish and chip supper with real ale, luckily most only had to rolled out of the club house straight into their tents under a beautiful star lit sky.
Sunday dawned with more sunshine, with the breeze up a bit, and a bit shiftier.
The first race settled to the usual pattern, with Craddock/Kendal and Firth/Firth battling for the lead, and the rest following on closely. Up front, Craddock/Kendal clinched their win from Firth/Firth to make them equal first on points. With Harrison/Weeks 3rd, and Taylor/Wiltshire 4th
The last race was in the strongest breeze of the weekend, with the first whole fleet rounding the first mark together. Second lap show the first 4 boats with 20 seconds of each other swopping places on the beat. The finish was extremely tight with Firth/Firth achieving line honors only to loose first place by 9 seconds on corrected time, 3rd was Taylor/Wiltshire and 4th Turner/Coomber.
At the prize giving race officer presided supported by the class captain. Overall the visitors filled two of the top three places with Craddock/Kendal close winners by one point winning the splendid Classic presentation barometer for the second year. 2ed place and Silver winners were Firth/Firth who were awarded the Silvers barometer also for the second year, with Harrison/Weeks in third, and Taylor/Wiltshire in fourth, and Turner/Coomber fifth
Race Officer Neil Richardson did a splendid job in tricky conditions, and was warmly thanked. Thanks too to the club organizing and to the ff fleet captain Tony Oatley who even lent his car to Mike Firth whose accommodation arrangements collapsed.