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2024 10 Rater Nationals at Datchet Water – Report and Results

June 8/9 2024

Following on from the Marblehead Nationals held the previous weekend, Datchet put on another good display. The competitors arrived to a cool West to North west wind which placed the racing on the North side of the clubhouse. Unlike last weekend the wind behaved so we could stay in the same place all weekend with minor tweaks to the course as the wind shifted according to the forecast.

B rigs were mostly used as the wind varied from 5 to 15 with rare gusts of 20 mph from the West to the Northwest.

13 hardy competitors battled the elements over 28 races, but the chase for the podium places was close between Matteo Longhi, with a Trance, Graham Bantock, with a Diamond and Nicolas Willefort, also with a Diamond. Matteo put a marker down winning the first race and then strung a series of 1’s and 2’s for the next 14 races to lead comfortably from Nicolas and Graham.

An interesting feature of the day was a Southern Schools team racing final with a course located next to ours with the occasional invader into are territory but overall they were very well behaved and looked to be having some great racing.

On Saturday night, Graham and Elaine Hetem put on another magnificent barbeque, held upstairs in the club with glorious views over the reservoir.

Sunday dawned bright but cold with the wind conveniently blowing from the Northwest. Matteo continued his dominance, but Graham fought back strongly with a string of great results and many close battles with Matteo but mostly finishing a close second. The racing was appreciated by the race team, watching two highly skilled sailors battling for the win. If there was ever an edge, it was on the Trance’s downwind performance. Nicolas had started the weekend well but struggled to mix in with the lead protagonists on the second day. So Matteo won, Graham second and Nicolas third.

A special mention must go to Darin Ballington, who sailed an elderly looking Prizm into 4th place and 15 year old Nicholas Fezer Brown who not only finished 7th but executed the only port tack start to perfection, leading at the first mark by 30 yards.

At the prize giving, Matteo thanked all the volunteers who gave up their weekend and announced that he would be back next year.

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