The prosecco was drunk and the cake was eaten at the Wayfarer Class 60th Birthday party at the RYA Dinghy Show at the beginning of March. That was just the start of the year’s celebrations. The party continues with the Craftinsure National Circuit and Travellers Series 2018 which begins with the Inland Championships at Datchet Water SC on 7/8 April, the first of eight events covering among other things, various area championships, the 2018 National Championships, racing at a variety of salt and fresh water venues and culminating at the Bough Beech Finale in November. ...read more
|7-8 April||Datchet Water SC||Inland Championships||NCS #1 (F)|
|21-22 April||West Oxfordshire SC||Open Meeting and Junior Championships||NCS #2 (F)|
|1-3 June||Castle Cove SC||National Championships||NCS #4 (S)|
|28-29 July||Waldringfield SC||Eastern Area Championships||NCS #5 (S)|
|25-26 August||Langstone Harbour||Western Area Championships||NCS #3 (S)|
|8-9 Sep||Medway YC||Southern Area Championships||NCS #6 (S)|
|6-7 October||Swarkestone SC||Swarkestone Open Meeting||NCS #7 (F)|
|10-11 Nov||Bough Beech SC||Season Finale||NCS #8 (F)|
Diligent readers will notice there are only seven events listed (above), not eight*. This is because Shoreham SC, which was due to host the Western Area Championships in May has regrettably had to cancel the event because its new launching ramp will not be completed. The UKWA is actively looking for a club to host the Western Area Championships in mid-May or late August. If you think your club can help please email the UKWA Racing Secretary, Tim Townsend, at [email protected] Any suitable venue west of Hastings will be considered west enough to host a Wayfarer Western Championship!
Who’s competing at the Inlands? A number of the main protagonists have threatened to start the season at Datchet. These include all of the podium placed teams from the 2017 National Circuit Series, Michael McNamara/Simon Townsend, Andrew/Tom Wilson and Len Jones/Jamie Lea or Pete Mitchell. They will be joined by the enthusiastic and competitive fleet from the host club, and many visitors from the South and Midlands. It looks like it will be a keenly contested weekend with six races scheduled and a social on Saturday night.
How have the teams been warming up? The Datchet fleet has raced most Sunday mornings all winter, so is well practised. Guy Marks and others have been competing at the Bough Beech Icicle, Guy comfortably winning the series. Further north, Wayfarers have been competing in the Blithfield Barrel. Andrew and Tom Wilson have been racing at Datchet but also flying the flag for the Wayfarer Class at the GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series 2017, finishing on the podium at each of the three events in which they competed. Michael McNamara has been spotted cycling up and down the hills of Norfolk in a concerted effort to improve fitness levels. Doubtless, Simon Townsend has been doing something similar on the South Coast (but with hills). Bionic Len Jones has a new boat and new body parts (I’m sure titanium is not allowed on the boat) so he will be as quick as ever. No doubt the top few will be quick and well sailed but the exciting thing about each new season is that last season’s pecking order is consigned to history. The Craftinsure Wayfarer National Circuit and Travellers Series is shaping up to be a series to savour.
– Tim Townsend
* Happily, since Tim wrote this article a venue has been found, and the table reflects this eighth event