Meridian Boomerang Challenge Report

On Sunday 25th July as part of the club’s 50th Celebrations a special event, the Meridian Boomerang Challenge was held. The sailing conditions were very nearly perfect with a good, but shifty, westerly wind and occasional bursts of sunshine.
The course was laid with buoys positioned accurately by GPS and a record of their positions kept for possible use in future events, miraculously the two meridian buoys were within half a second of arc to the true meridian line.
This being the first time such an event was held there were few hiccups however it must be admitted that the officer in charge (me) having spent many hours refining the recording program managed to introduce a near terminal bug on the morning of the event which prevented members from signing in on the computer, the ’bug’ also made the entry and calculation of results tiresome, hence the delay in getting the results out. My apologies to members for this, the results however did come out about an hour later than anticipated and are now on the web for all to see.
Following a short briefing the event got under way at about 11:00 hrs when the RS800 of Paul and Peter Jenkins was first to take up the challenge, hotly followed twenty seconds later by Chris Fyans in his Laser; there then came a steady stream of twenty-two other boats. The experience of a non-racing start and being able to choose your start time was a novel feature of the event and likened to being the only boat in Class in a pursuit race, except that there was likely a faster boat in front of you that you stood no chance of catching.
Times were recorded for each boat as it started and then again as it finished. All boats had at least two attempts at the course which was the equivalent of a twenty minute lap for an average dinghy, with the faster boats together with some slower tenacious helms managing to do four or more.
Compilation of the results (all 75 of them) without a working computer program was to say the least a headache but thanks to Barbara in the race box a provisional set of results was available within an hour-half of the finish. (Not quite as speedy as we have become used to).
A summary of the main category winners is- Outright fastest lap – Paul and Peter Jenkins RS800 Fastest lap PY adjusted – Paul and Peter Jenkins Overall fastest speed – Paul and Peter Jenkins Fastest Speed PY adjusted – Robin Courtenay and Rachael Pereira sailing a 2000

Most members were not around when it came to handing out the ‘free’ commemorative coasters, these will be distributed on Wednesday evening (28th) to members who are there and at a later date for everyone else. The main prizes will also be presented on Wednesday evening together with a rather amusing – if expensive – Duckham’s award.

Comments after the event were in the main favourable, and the ‘fun’ aspect of the challenge met, especially from the less race-focused helms. If you have any feedback as to whether you think this should be added to the sailing calendar as an annual challenge, or can suggest any way the event can be improved, please email the sailing secretaries on and your views will be taken into account.
Ernie Hatton, Joint Sailing Secretary (Wearing sack cloth and ashes)