2011 Final at Datchet !!….

The final open for the series took place at Datchet on 15/16 October.   

Those who studied the weather forecasts and decided not to come got it right.       Saturday was a beautiful sunny day but sadly just enough wind to allow a trickle round for the first race;   and the wind failed entirely at the end of the second.    On Sunday, we had thick fog.    After several cups of coffee we gave up, distributed prizes and went home.

Results for the series

As usual, no-one qualified for the open fleet.

The silver prize was won by Alex and Mike Tatlow in 3288 from South Cerney.

The classic prize went to Tony Oatley and Tim Greaves in 2801 also from South Cerney.    No, 2801 is not an error.   The boat is one of those numbered above 2700 and subsequently classified as a true classic.

Congratulations to both and to South Cerney.

Next year

It seems that fewer ffs travelled this year than last and the STS suffered from the same problem.    Three races to qualify and too few qualifiers – indeed the two winners were the only qualifiers.    Determined regulars from previous years sailed two events only.

The obvious solution is to ask for two races to qualify.    If we do that it is quite possible that a classic from, for example, Llangorse and  another from Broxbourne  could win two races each without sailing against each other!    Something similar could apply to the silver fleet.

Watch this space!

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Llangorse Open Meeting…..

Eighteen boats contested the annual Open Meeting on Llangorse lake in the picturesque scenery of the Brecon Beacons. There were 4 Open Fleet boats, 3 Silver and a hotly contested fleet of 11 Classics. Eight of the competitors were visitors. This was also the first event of the season in the Southern Travellers series.

Because of the possibility of transferring killer shrimps into the lake one of the visiting boats was lifted by a few volunteers from its road trailer, in whose frame these now famous creatures were deemed possibly to exist, onto a local trolley.

On Saturday the breeze was 12 knots gusting over 20 from the North-west and down the lake allowing the Race Officer, Robert Dangerfield, to set long challenging beats. In the first race the Open Fleet was led initially by Bill Anderson and Sally Farrant in 3453 followed by the local boat of Nick and Claire Taylor (3751), both with light crews prudently using the spinnaker. This pattern continued through the day, Anderson winning race two and Taylor race three.

Peter Card and David Hemingway won the first race in the Silver fleet despite flying their spinnaker rather longer than necessary when it refused to come down. In the second race, though, the conditions got the better of them and they produced the broach of the weekend allowing Alex and Mike Tatlow to win this and the next race.

The Classic fleet began their close contests with a general recall at the first start. After the second attempt David Morgan and Lorina Walden led in 2663, a previous World Champion boat in Simon Dangerfield’s hands. But there was very close competition between them, Tim Tomlinson and Jim Reid in 2433, Johnny Craddock and  Kendal Paul in 2695 and Peter David and Andy Tulk in 2645. Tomlinson  won followed by  Morgan. These three continued to battle out the remaining two races of the day, Tomlinson winning both and the others changing places. Having moved from an Ovington Mk 10 to 2663, David Morgan appeared to be taking time to get used to the older-style controls.

After a good day the competitors repaired to the Red Lion in the pretty village of Llangorse for traditional real ale and Chicken Curry.

On Sunday the weather was cold and the wind 14 knots with strong gusts, usually at the gybe mark.

The same wind direction allowed the setting of long windward-leeward courses along the lake for the Simon Dangerfield Memorial Race in its second year. Nick Taylor led the Open fleet throughout and Alex Tatlow won the Silvers race.  The Classics again provided the excitement. A boat returning from a premature start rammed the safety boat. Tim Tomlinson suffered some gear failure after the start allowing David Morgan away but he recovered and passed Morgan to take the race. Llangorse’s old lady, ff 55, retired with gear failure at this point but will soon be back in action.

For the final race the course was changed to allow some fast reaches to test the tired crews. The order was as in previous races but the last beat proved decisive with one side benefitting from a very favourable windshift. This allowed Bill Anderson to pass Nick Taylor in the Open fleet and Alex Tatlow to do the same over Peter Card in the Silvers. Tomlinson took the Classic race to complete a clean sweep.

The Southern travellers will move to Cardiff Bay for the next event.

For Results, click here

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