Seven Weir Wood 2000 boats travelled down to Torquay for the 2000 Nationals hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club. The turnout was strong with 47 boats competing. The weather varied from 25kts of wind on the first day with torrential rain, followed by a dead calm on the third day. Most days however gave the fleet fantastic racing in the beautiful bay.
Throughout the week the competition within the feet was fiercely fought. None more so than at the very top, with first place changing hands between the top three sailors three times. Weir Wood sailors Rob and Sarah Burridge along with Paul Cullen and Fresh Abendstern, battled hard against Darren Roach and Natalie Johnson of the Royal Navy Sailing Association.
In the end only 3 points were between the top three boats and only one point between the first and second. The final result was only decided on the very last race with Rob and Sarah winning, Paul and Fresh coming second. Katie Burridge, another Weir Wood sailor, came forth crewing for Simon Horsfield of the Army Sailing Association/Thorney Island.
Weir Wood juniors sailing their First Nationals, were also well represented. Louisa Ching crewing for her father Jonathan completed all 10 races, not one of them without a huge beaming smile on her face managed 4th place in their last race and 15th overall. Matthew Botten, supremely confident at the helm with his father Richard came in 33rd.
Ernie and Colin Hatton, whilst not finishing all races, were often in the top 20.
Within the fleet there were many races within the race been fought. Robin and Rachael Courtenay battled it out with Mat Record and his daughter Harriet, with Mat pipping Robin by one place and the two boats coming in 28th and 29th.
Other Weir Wood sailors included Gemma Burridge crewing for Kevin O’Brien of the RAF, who came 9th, whilst Joe Gallivan helming with Mike McEwing from Rutland, came first in the Silver Fleet. This fleet represents those sailors outside the top 20 in previous Nationals.
Off the racecourse, the Tony Slade trophy, an annual award given by the 2000 Association for those who have given outstanding service to the Class, was awarded to Rob & Gemma Burridge. A highly deserved award especially during difficult COVID times. Without them we may not have had a Nationals at all this year.
Finally, it’s a credit to the 2000 Class that there was such a wide range of competitors taking part of all ages from up and down the county. The Nationals confirmed the strength of the Class as a superb racing dingy as well as an excellent family boat.