On arrival at the club members were confronted with a glassy lake with vespers coming and going all over the surface. There were 24 entries, but where had all the Lasers gone? Only three turned out from the strongest fleet in the club, whereas there were seven 2000’s. Robin Courtney, the 2000 fleet representative, did a great job in rallying the troops.
Pete Clifton, the Race Officer, called a briefing and a 30 minute postponement was announced; fortunately a breeze materialised during this time and it was decided to start the first race.
The agreed course format for the meeting was two windward/leeward races and two ‘round the buoys’. Racing got underway only 30 minutes later than the scheduled start time of 10:30 which is ironic because previous Championship starts have been at 11:00 and for this meeting the start was bought forward to coincide with the normal club start time.
The first and second races were W/L and held in very light and shifty conditions, one might say ‘typical of light wind at Weir Wood’, but at least the fleet kept moving.
Showing his mastery of the conditions, the first race was won by Jonathan Ching, crewed by his nine-year-old daughter Amy, sailing a 2000, a boat not renowned for performing in light airs, second was John Ramshaw and Mark Harrington in their RS 200 and third was Philip Johnston sailing his Solo.
In the second race the wind was even more shifty and being in the right place at the right time was the name of the game. Even so, one has to admit that talent mastered the conditions for the recognised top helms in the club came through with the race won by Philip Johnston (Solo), second was Rob Burridge (2000), crewed by daughter Katie, third was John and Mark (RS 200)
The two afternoon races were run as ‘Round the Buoys’ and were held in similar conditions to the morning races, the result for race three was first John and Mark (RS 200) second Jonathan and Amy (2000) and very creditable third was Mike Uher (Phantom). Race four saw a new winner with Colin Hatton winning sailing his RS 100 and sporting a brand new spinnaker, second was Jonathan and Amy (2000) and third was Rob and Katie (2000).
The full results list is published on the club web site but the overall winner counting a first and two seconds was new Club Champion Jonathan ably crewed by Amy, a budding sailor in the making.
Other prize winners were the Endeavour prize which went to Gemma Burridge who completed all races in her Lightning with very creditable results of 4th, 4th and 11th finishing 6th overall, and the Duckham’s prize awarded to Fiona Harrington (RS 200) who spent the first two races taking selfies and finishing 21st and 20th , then in the afternoon she got serious and finished 5th and 7th. (Dad had better have a word with her!)
At the prize giving all competitors were treated to a delicious cream tea very kindly provided by Christine Stean who also donated a shield to be competed for annually during the ‘Bill Stean Winter Series’. This year’s winner of the shield was Rob Cage, a winter member, who sails one of the missing Lasers and unfortunately was not able to attend.