After the rather horrid weather of the past week keeping all but the most devoted at home, the weather finally gave way to the most perfect day, sunshine and a 5 to 10 knot westerly wind, near perfect conditions for sailing at Bourneville’s Valley Park home.
Sadly the event failed to attract much of an entry, ten in total but only seven making an appearance on the day.
14 races were sailed in all, each with duration of 12 to 14 minutes. Initially the fleet was quite spread out by the end of each heat but as the day progressed this became far less pronounced as skippers adjusted to the Bournville wind shifts and accustomed, in some cases to the boat they had chartered for the event and in other case, as the cobwebs cleared.
The result sheet really does not tell the story of the titanic battles that took place up and down the fleet, during each heat, the cover and counter cover tacking matches and the downwind manoeuvring to take advantage of Valley Park’s localised wind channels.
Results and confirmation of the Championship are subject to ratification by the MYA
Chris Harris did not have things entirely his own way as the results might suggest and had to claw his way through the fleet in a number of heats but did win the day to retain the 36R Championship title and the honour of storing the trophies for yet another year. Mark Dicks achieved second place on the day taking line honours in a number of heats sailing a chartered boat with the most horrid transparent sails. Peter Moore was ever handy and ready to pounce upon any errors made by Chris and Mark and achieved third place for the day.
One must make mention of Alf Reynolds from Chelmsford Club, not only did he have to face the challenge of adjusting to Valley Park’s unique conditions but has little opportunity to sail 36R during the year. Similarly one must mention Steve Hodgkinson who spent Saturday making a new set of sails and did not get an opportunity to trim them before the event improved markedly during the course of the day.
Whilst not exactly a novice to 36R Sailing, Peter Hopkins was awarded the Novice Trophy. This trophy is awarded to the highest placed championship non-winner. Sadly this trophy was NOT returned by the current holder so it could not be properly awarded.
Entries: 7. Heats sailed: 14. Total race time: 3h 35 mins. Last Race: 15.35. General recalls: 1. Protests: nil. Incidents: <7, all resolved on the water.
Race report by PRO David Alston.