You don’t necessarily need a large entry on a big lake to have an enjoyable event. What is required is a competitive field of good skippers, tricky conditions to test the skills and well organised event.
The 36 National was one that fulfilled all of those conditions. A small field of 10 boats with skippers from all around, a good strong home based fleet, a variety of designs, light winds and fortunately a relatively treeless Bournville. Mark Dicks as Race Officer and his able assistant Martin Dovey used the lake to its best advantage to keep the fleet on its toes and sailed 14 races in the day.
Courses had to be moved around a bit to accommodate the wind direction changes just to add to proceedings. Chris Harris sailed extremely well to take the Championship, was challenged by Peter Moore, Dave Andrews and Dave Kent. It was good competitive racing throughout the day and throughout the fleet.
36’s are tricky to sail at the best if times, they really are the things to hone your sailing skills on. True to say that 36’s are not flavour of the month but that does not detract from their fascination. Those of a certain age grew up sailing this class, garages and lofts all over the country must have at least one gathering dust.
Gents it’s time they were rattled out, dusted down, fettled up and sorted for next year. It looks like next year’s National will be at Hampton Court so you have plenty of notice and only a letter from your Mom will excuse you. See you all there next year.