The sixth and last event of the Wayfarer National Circuit series took place at Bough Beech over the week-end of 8/9 November . The series was sponsored by Hartley Boats and the final event was sponsored by both Hartleys and Craftinsure . The class are grateful to both for their continued support.
All four leading contenders for the overall title were present and a tight contest was expected . The leading four were joined by 17 others and were confronted with a forecast of strong winds on the first day and much lighter winds on Sunday .
Going into to the event Quentin Strauss , crewed by Class Secretary Sarah Burgess , led the series with 4 points followed by the Collens with 6 points and Richard Stone and Catherine Gore on 11 points . All three teams would have to count their results from this last meeting to satisfy the four events qualifying condition . Lurking behind them were Brian Lamb and Sam Pygall with 13 points but with the advantage of having already sailed the required four events .
The first race started in a force three with force five gusts coming over the dam wall to the south of the reservoir . Recently crowned European Champions Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend got away with starting a few seconds late on port at the pin-end helped by a last-minute 15 degree shift which enabled them to cross the fleet . They were never headed even though they declined to use their spinnaker on all the off-wind legs in the strengthening wind and ever- increasing gusts . Second and third at the first mark were two of the older Wayfarers, 7470 sailed by Guy and Tom Marks and 9558 with the heavier crew of Dave Roberts and Mike Bryant aboard . The order at the front remained unchanged until the third beat when the Lamb/Pygall team worked their way through at first to third and subsequently to second swapping places with the Marks family .
The first race had seen a few capsizes but these were to become more frequent as the wind increased to the disadvantage of the two leading contenders sailing the non-self-draining wooden boats .
The stronger wind suited Barrie Wolfenden and Alan Richie from the local Scorpion fleet , at least up the first beat ,only to find their borrowed Wayfarer rather hairier than expected down-wind !! They had their moment of glory by leading at the first mark from Brian Lamb with McNamara lurking further back .
Good spinnaker work as usual from Simon Townsend soon propelled the team into the lead while Bill Whitney and John Shenton made a late charge into second place despite not using their spinnaker at all ! The Marks family filled third place.
Sunday morning greeted the fleet with a flat calm which led to an hour and a half delay before it was possible to start in a force two south-westerly . The Lamb/Pygall combo had mixed feelings about this as a cancellation would have given them the series trophy due to their wooden boat rivals coming to grief the previous day . As it was Strauss/Burgess team showed their determination to correct the situation and won a closely contested pin-end start only for Michael Mac to be lifted up through them soon after the start .However it was the group that went west that prospered and Tim Townsend crewed by Eliot Marks , in the newest boat in the fleet , narrowly beat the Collens to the first mark . There was rather more weight in the Townsend boat than in the pursuers and they were passed by Mike Mac, the Collens , the Stone/Gore crew and the Marks family all of whom held their positions to the finish of the somewhat shorter race .
With all to play for in the final race it was Brian Lamb’s turn to win the pin-end contest but proceeded south and was beaten to the first mark by the Wolfenden/Richie team and the Collens .
Downwind Brian Lamb took the lead from the Colllens with Mike Mac in sixth place . By the time the last mark was reached Mike and Simon had a narrow lead over the Collens but on the last leg the Collens dramatically crept over the line first by what the PRO , Brian Whitmey who had had a good week-end , described as a ‘ coat of varnish’. Richard Stone and Catherine Gore were third only a short distance further back .
Thus the meeting ended with Mike and Simon winning overall from Guy and Tom Marks with Richard Stone and Catherine Gore third . They were followed by Brian Lamb and Sam Pygall in fourth , the Collens’ fifth and the Shoreham team of Bill Whitney and John Shenton sixth .
The fifth place of Martin and Donna Collen was just good enough to secure the Hartley Brothers impressive National Circuit Trophy with 11 points ahead of Brian Lamb and Sam Pygall with 13 points, Richard Stone and Catherine Gore with 14 and Quentin Strauss and Sarah Burgess with 17 .
Brian and Sam got some satisfaction after their narrow defeat by winning the Travellers’ Trophy which is awarded to the crew having the best results from all six National Circuit races without any discards .
Michael McNamara, on behalf of the class, thanked the Bough Beech Officers and staff for putting on a memorable event .
Alan Chaplin- Wayfarer Racing Secretary