The annual Bewl Flying Fifteen Open meeting was held on the weekend of 9th/10th AprilThis was the third Open meeting organised by the emergent Bewl Sailing Association, with Martin Brooking and the Laser sailors making up a highly efficient race management team.At 21 boats, the Bewl Flying Fifteen fleet is one of the biggest in the country. 11 of these competed in the Open, including returnees Robert Hogben and Glyn Morgan, who are usually to be found on the national and international circuits.
On Saturday afternoon the mainly SW Force 3 wind, in bright conditions, accommodated a large trapezoidal course using the majority of the lake. By the start of the race a port bias had developed and after a confused, noisy, start Hogben and Morgan led the way consistently through this and a subsequent second race with the same course. By the third race a wind change necessitated a move of the start line and a course change to a triangular configuration. Again, Hogben and Morgan took the course change in their stride, whilst most of the excitement occurred further down the fleet, with the occasional grounding and gear failure enlivening the proceedings.
After dining in the newly refurbished Boathouse Bistro on Saturday evening, sailors found that the wind had freshened to a lively Force 4 on Sunday, though roughly in the same direction. Using the same windward mark but moving to a different triangular course the fleet was provided with an excellent long beat, exciting spinnaker run and a final tight reach. As on Saturday, Hogben and Morgan provided a master class to the local sailors and proved the overall winners of the event.
Fleet captain Jim Vince had managed to secure generous sponsorship from Korkers Sausages in Rolvenden who donated a splendid array of new trophies, and the prize for first Bewl boat was awarded to John Wardrop and Mark Munday.
Everyone enjoyed a fantastic weekend of sailing and, in his winner’s speech, Glyn Morgan echoed the sentiments of the assembled company. He hoped the event would attract significant numbers of visitors to one of the most attractive sailing locations in Southern England.