Bewl open regatta yesterday and Jo’s dream came true! She hoped to get at least 30 boats on the start line and, in fact, she got well over that number. Pleasing to note that that number included nine Fifteens with, this week, three Fifteen sailors on the committee boat. It was good to see Helen and Steve backing up Jo and Amanda as AROs. Put Oppies on your twins Christmas list, Helen, and you could get out in Reflection again. It was also nice to have Noel back with us for the day, crewed by Bill.
Just two starts, one for adults and one for juniors, saw a crowded , fairly short, start line. OK for the Fifteens who are used to it but, possibly, a bit intimidating for the other competitors. However, the fleet captain of the slow handicap fleet was heard to say that it was good to start with a lot of boats rather than the one or two that he is used to. Clearly a potential recruit for the Fifteen fleet!
In such a large fleet it is difficult to comment on progress of individual boats during the races but I could see Noel leading the Fifteens at the start of the first race but Vic, with Dave Geal as crew, giving him a good run for his money and actually managing to pass him once only to loose out again when caught out by a wind-shift. That also allowed Jim and Geoff to get past which resulted in Noel crossing the line 10th overall, Jim and Geoff 12th and Vic 13th. The second race of the morning was a much closer affair for the Fifteens with Jim finishing ahead of Noel, closely followed by Vic. The afternoon race had a much better showing for the Fifteens with Noel getting well away from the main bulk of the fleet and getting a very creditable second place overall, Simon and Alastair fourth and Roger and Jim (Wood) eighth.
In the fairly light winds, a force three at the maximum, there was a good performance from the Fifteens against the lighter boats. The eventual winner of the regatta was Alan and Caroline Williams, fairly new members to the club, sailing a very pretty looking Snipe which they have lovingly brought back to almost new condition. Above the waterline it closely resembles a Fifteen but, on the day, they had the advantage of not dragging round a lump of iron underneath.