Club: Datchet Water Radio Sailing Club Class: International Marblehead Date: Novemberber 18-19 2023 Author: Richard…
When I left for Keighley in the Campervan from Hampshire, I had visions of a weekend of cold weather, grey skies and high winds. How wrong could I be. Temperatures were in the mid 20’s, the wind was warm and softish, and not a cloud in the sky until it was time to leave on Sunday. In fact when I woke up on Sunday with the sun on the back of the van, I touched the canvas and thought it was on fire.
We arrived to a great reception from the Keighley team and a few of us helped out to set things up. My first task was to knock a tube in the ground for the MYA flag which took some doing but by the time I finished, I had burred the edges of the tube to stop the flag pole going in. I handed the task of repair to someone more capable and did a job more suited to my skills. i.e. sweeping duck poo away from the benches.
Once everything was set up and an endless supply of tea, coffee, sweets and lunch made available in their clubhouse, John Tushingham briefed the competitors and explained the course. Because of the shifting winds and the direction, it was not possible to set a windward leeward course so we had some creative courses sailing around the reservoir. Despite this Saturday proved to be a good test of racing.
On Sunday, the forecast for early afternoon was ghastly with a front moving over us incorporating thunderstorms, wind and rain. Thankfully the said front was late and we managed to get 6 races in before it hit. The last A fleet race was exciting for the skippers who persisted with A rigs. We should have learnt from the B fleet. 3 boats with B rigs shot ahead of the field and even they at times had issues downwind in the 20+ knot gust. If you had an A rig you spent more time looking at the rudder than the rig but we all got round somehow.
Chris Harris had a stellar weekend and showed us all the way round the course. On Saturday he won the first 5 races followed by a second. The other two results were discards. Even when he was buried in the fleet he found a way through. One noticeable feature of his sailing which I certainly learnt from, was his clear communication when interacting with other boats. There was no shouting just clear calls so the opposing party knew exactly what was coming.
Darin Ballington and Martin Roberts filled the remainder of the podium spots on Saturday with Nigel Barrow and Darin filling the spots on Sunday.
Our thanks must go to the team at Keighley. It was a great weekend and I am looking forward to returning for the M nationals in September.
Below are some pictures and the full results.
MYA Racing Officer