The 26th and 27th September saw the Wayfarer Inland Championships hosted at Datchet Water Sailing Club on the Queen Mother Reservoir; a large expanse of water within sight of Windsor Castle on the outskirts of West London. Fourteen wayfarers were joined by Larks and OKs at this shared event which attracted a total of 35 boats. Each fleet shared the same course but were separated by a five minute start sequence. The Wayfarers set off first in the sequence with all fleets enjoying tight tactical racing throughout the weekend. Courses were varied with Quadrilateral, Q, Triangle and Sausage courses with a gate on the upwind leg which was prohibited on off wind legs ensuring challenging sailing and boat interaction.
The Saturday morning saw light winds which led to the Race Officer Mike Clapp and his team deciding to postpone, resulting in three races being run back-to-back later in the afternoon. The event started in fickle easterly winds which gradually increased to force three, sometimes veering through 90 degrees. The wind direction proved challenging for both the race team and the competitors as the windward mark was directly under the reservoir wall adding to the interesting conditions because of the low water level.
The conditions were mastered in the first race by Martin and Donna Rouse-Collen in Pieces of Eight W88; a second place in race 3 secured their lead on the first day. Mike McNamara and Simon Townsend in the Poacher W10648 were first in the second race ensuring a second place. Big Dipper W10688 crewed by Bill Whitney and John Shelton put in a brilliant performance with two second places ensuring a third place over all on the first day. The results were varied leaving it all to play for on day two.
Sunday, like the previous day was dry and bright but with an ever increasing wind reaching force four accompanied by some harsh localised gusts. The wind continued to veer throughout the day’s racing to a Southerly, adding further challenges for the race team, who dealt with the situation admirably. Mike McNamara and Simon Townsend dominated the day, coming first in races five and six to win the Championships. Len Jones and Jamie Lee in Rumours W11067 from Medway Yacht Club secured a well-deserved second place after adding another win in race four to their first place in race three. Martin and Donna Rouse-Collen in W88 Pieces of Eight took third place overall. Racing throughout the weekend was tight and enjoyable with only two points separating the top three boats after the two applied discards from six races.
The junior trophy was awarded to James Harris aged 8 who crewed for his Father in Sonic W10984.
Anthony Cooper, Angels’ Share, W10921