For the third event of the Waples Wines northern traveller series, the road show moved on to Rutland Sailing Club over the weekend of 18 & 19 June, which is a new venue to the circuit. Having spent the previous weekend at a very picturesque but slightly damp and windless Ogston Sailing Club, the fleets hopes were high for a weekend of flip flops, sun cream and steady hiking breezes.
Unfortunately the fourteen boats who arrived on Saturday morning, including a great turnout of eight boats from the home fleet, found a breeze from the NNW that had enough chill in it to ensure that those brave folks sporting shorts and flip-flops would be getting chilly toes.
After a thorough briefing from our race officer for the weekend John Fothergill, the fleet set sail westwards, towards Oakham, to find our race course for the weekend which was tucked away at the end of the southern arm of the lake. The scene was set for a tricky days racing with breeze coming off the north shore, ensuring there were plenty of ladders but also lots of snakes.
Race 1 was led from the off by David McKee & Mal Hartland from Dovestone SC who mastered the tricky conditions well and sailed off to a convincing win. They were kept honest by John Hanson & Helen Selden from Datchet, with the top three rounded out by Richard Hope & Mike Stenson from Draycote. Race 2 started in similar conditions but with the sun making a welcome appearance warming things up nicely. At the end of lap 2, the wind decided that it had played the game nicely for long enough and became very fitful making the top half of the course very tricky indeed.
Class always shines through though and McKee & Hartland sailed serenely onwards to claim their second win of the day with Hanson & Selden bagged another second. Richard & Pat Triffitt from Rutland SC banked their best finish of the weekend to take an excellent third place. By the time the rest of the fleet had dragged it’s self over the finish line the wind had pretty much shut off so we bobbed around admiring the scenery for another 45 minutes till the race officer put us out of our misery and the wind made enough of an appearance again to get us home.
Pimms was next on the agenda which was downed with much enthusiasm by the thirsty fleet ahead of a dinner with the Soling, Formula 1 & Open Canoe fleets who were also visiting the club this weekend. Having retired to do family things for the evening your author can’t comment on the exact detail of the evening, but what I do know is that Nick Clarke , lubricated by plenty of pimms and red wine, entertained all with a spot of after dinner speaking, for which he is well known locally (and less locally!).
The plan for day 2 was to complete four races, the sun was there although the breeze was somewhat lacking as we all set sail. A gentle force 1-2 from the SW greeted us in the race area. With a pretty compact course and some very big shifts all was set for some very close racing throughout the fleet.
McKee & Hartland battled to another win in Race 3, with Jon & Julia Ward from Ogston taking second with Hanson & Selden taking third. Mckee & Hartland took their fourth straight win in Race 4 followed by Hanson & Selden who were followed home by Bruce & Andrew Bonar from Rutland SC who were having a topsy turvy series and banked their best result of the series so far in third. Race 5 started in a little bit more breeze which was flicking round to the south more and resulted in a general recall. At the restart Roger Deane & Lorna Katon from Rutland SC led the fleet round mark 1 followed by team Bonar. As the race progressed Hope & Stenson took the lead and held this to the finish to take an excellent race win. They were followed home by Mckee & Hartland in second and in third, our furthest travelled competitors, Mike Moore & Kayla Sheard from Bassenthwaite SC.
With the event well and truly won, McKee & Hartland headed for home while the remainder of the fleet enjoyed the freshening conditions on a slightly longer course for the last race. In probably the best conditions of the weekend, team Bonar picked their way round the first windward mark and then managed to sail for three laps without any dramas to take the race win. Behind them Richard Drabble & Claire Parkin from Rutland SC held onto finish an excellent second and team Ward finished their weekend taking third.
David Mckee & Mal Hartland from Dovestone sailed an excellent series and took home the Peter Maddocks Memorial Trophy. David & Mal provided a master class on how to sail quickly and intelligently what were pretty tricky conditions.
John Hanson & Helen Selden were always there or there abouts and took an excellent second overall, only once being out of the top four which was pretty impressive given the conditions. Jon & Julia Ward from Ogston took third overall just holding off Richard Hope & Mike Stenson from Draycote in fourth. Fifth overall and first home boat was Bruce & Andrew Bonar. (Full results attached to this news item).
At the end of a very enjoyable weekend, a few thank you’s are definitely in order:
Firstly to Waples Wines for sponsoring the Waples Wines Northern Traveller Series and providing the fantastic prizes – thank you, we are very grateful indeed.
Secondly to all the visitors who joined us for the weekend, some travelling a long way. With our flourishing home fleet it has been brilliant to race against you and learn from you and we hope to see you back here and on the circuit again soon.
Thirdly to John Fothergill and his race team who made the most of some very tricky conditions and got a full complement of races in- well done John!
Lastly, but by no means least, to our fleet captain Chris Wright. As well as making sure the event was running smoothly ashore and afloat and sailing himself, he has corralled and cajoled 8 of our 11 strong fleet onto the water this weekend which was no mean feat – Well done Chris and thank you from us all for your tireless enthusiasm and energy.
The Waples Wine Northern Series continues at:
Good luck to all those taking part in the nationals at Hayling Island in a fortnight’s time