Haversham SC, near Milton Keynes, hosted the third event of the Craftinsure Wayfarer National Circuit and Travellers Series over the late May Bank Holiday weekend of 27th and 28th May 2017. The open meeting was also the Inland and Junior Championships for the class. Fifteen boats attended the event including three local boats, two of which were helmed or crewed by juniors.
The weather forecast for the weekend was for strong southerlies on the Saturday and light or non-existent winds on the Sunday. This is pretty much what came to pass. Saturday provided winds typically at the top end of force 4 but with gusts very much at the top end of force 5. The gusts were visible on the water, but determining whether they would be lifts or headers or quite how strong the gusts would be was much more difficult. In addition, the relatively small playing field at Haversham meant that the opportunities to get in a rhythm or, indeed to have a runway to see off the gust before the next manoeuvre was required, were strictly limited. Sunday conditions were completely different, with a very light southerly(ish) breeze which allowed the race officer to get in one race before it failed completely bringing a premature end to the proceedings. The race team did very well to achieve five complete races before binning the sixth to the relief of most of the competitors. Unfortunately the race officer was unable to do anything about the weed in the lake which bedevilled the racing and affected all competitors to a greater or lesser extent at some point during the racing on both days. ...read more
How many sailing reports can record that one boat dominated the event, but that the same boat capsized in two of the four races which were sailed on the Saturday and broke its spinnaker pole? This is what happened to Len Jones and Jamie Lea from Medway Yacht Club, who won the first race on Saturday fairly comfortably but capsized in the second, damaging their Windex (a new one for Len who had written off a Windex the previous weekend) and breaking their spinnaker pole. They recovered fairly quickly however and Jamie was to be seen flying the spinnaker without a pole for the rest of the race while they recovered to 2nd place. A replacement pole was found and a small team of helpers assisted Len in turning the boat on its side so he could straighten the Windex; but while damaging it once was unfortunate, to damage it again in the same manner in the third race was simply careless. Yet again, Len and Jamie recovered from their swim magnificently and pulled up to 2nd place at the end. With very few alarms, they won the fourth race too. On Sunday, caught out on the wrong side of a big shift, Len and Jamie were unable to recover so many places and picked up their discard. They therefore retained the title of Inland Champions which they first won in 2016.
Behind Len and Jamie, Bill and Lisa Witney from Shoreham SC were sailing very consistently too. Having finished 3rd in the first race, they won races two and three, before finishing in 4th place in the last race on Saturday. They too discarded their race result on Sunday, and finished second overall.
Completing the podium were Brian Lamb and Sam Pygall from Wilsonian SC. They avoided capsizing on Saturday and improved as the day went on. They won the Sunday morning race too to consolidate their position overall.
As for the rest of the fleet, most had at least one shocker during the weekend. Some boats enjoyed multiple capsizes, while others simply sailed the wrong course. Some did both, which is not a recipe for a successful series. This cannot be said of thirteen year old Lilly Gosling who helmed and completed every race without capsizing and, most deservedly, is the Wayfarer Junior Champion 2017.
The members of Haversham Sailing Club are extremely hospitable and they go to great lengths to welcome and help their visitors (even finding a spare spinnaker pole when necessary). There was a terrific meal in the clubhouse on Saturday evening and the free beer was welcome as usual. Quite rightly, at the prize giving, Len thanked the shoreside members as well as the race officer and his team, and the rescue boat crews for all their hard work which had gone into a successful weekend.
|1st||11067||Len Jones||Jamie Lea||Medway YC||1||2||2||1||-7||6|
|2nd||10688||Bill Whitney||Lisa Whitney||Shoreham SC||3||1||1||4||-6||9|
|3rd||11170||Brian Lamb||Sam Pygall||Wilsonian SC||-8||5||5||3||1||14|
|4th||11093||Andrew Wilson||Sue Risbridger||Datchet Water SC||9||4||3||(DNS)||2||18|
|5th||9416||Scott Hamilton||Bob Maddox||Datchet SC||6||-11||9||6||4||25|
|6th||10777||Russell Perry||Dave Machin||Haversham SC||(DNF)||8||7||8||3||26|
|7th||11012||Tim Townsend||Jacqueline Townsend||Medway YC||2||7||8||(DNF)||10||27|
|8th||10828||Derek Lambob||Oliver Lanson-Gore||Datchet SC||7||6||6||-10.5||8||27|
|9th||10768||Colin May||Sarah Heasman||Parkstone YC||(DNF)||DNF||4||2||11||33|
|10th||11189||Nigel O’Donnell||Belinda O’Donnell||Swarkestone SC||(DNF)||3||DNF||9||5||33|
|11th||10673||David Roberts||Mike Bryant||Bough Beech SC||5||10||(DNF)||5||13||33|
|12th||11183||Mike Weighill||Carl||Swarkestone SC||4||-12||11||10.5||9||34.5|
|13th||10585||Lilly Gosling||Steve Garrett||Haversham SC||11||9||12||-13||12||44|
|14th||77X||Sean Muldoon||Jasmine Gosling||Haversham SC||(DNS)||DNF||10||7||14||47|
|15th||10755||Leslie Burton||Julie Wilson||West Oxfordshire SC||10||(DNF)||13||12||15||50|