Marconi SC Traveller 15-16 April 2000

Contact: Bryan Spencer 01245 443971

Location: Marconi Sailing Club

You would have been forgiven for taking one look out of the window and deciding to stay in bed on 15th April, but 15 boats braved the strong freezing northerly wind and rain to compete in the Dart 15 event at Marconi SC on the River Blackwater.

After wisely postponing in search of better weather, the Race Officer, Roger Smith, set the first race off in slightly abating wind. An exhilarating race around the cans was led by Peter Tovey hotly pursued by Tim dieu de BelleFontaine with a battle for third and fourth between Ealing Holmberg and Jenny Ball.

The youngest entrant, Mitchell Glynn, proved he was a match for all of us until an unfortunate incident with a broken toe strap capsized him and ended his race.

The second race saw Bob Carter take the lead from Peter Tovey in the first lap to win the race. Jenny Ball, Nick Dewhirst and Brian Spencer chased the leaders home to finish third, fourth and fifth respectively.

The second day dawned in complete contrast with sunshine and a light southerly breeze. Back by popular demand, race three was the "Round the Islands" - a figure of eight around Osea and Northey Islands. The fleet set off in light but consistent airs until they reached Northey Island where the wind dropped completely and the fleet tried helplessly to stem the tide and catch any little breath of wind. Many positions were won and lost during that frustrating period!

Eventually, a light wind filled in and Bob Carter (who had led the way from the start line) made a clean getaway. Kevin Kirby rounded Northey Island pursued by Jenny Ball, Gordon Goldstone, Nick Pavitt and the rest of the fleet. As the fleet rounded Osea Island, the wind shifted round to the east giving an unsettled beat down to the last mark at Breezy Point. Bob Carter won with a significant lead and Jenny Ball and Gordon Goldstone battled for second and third place.

The final race saw a good, if fluky, sea breeze spring up and Tim dieu de BelleFontaine quickly took the lead, hotly pursued by Peter Tovey, Bob Carter, Nick Dewhirst, Brian Spencer and Kevin Kirby. An exploding shackle cost Nick Dewhirst his mast and therefore his race. An unfortunate mis-rounding of a mark saw Bob Carter take the lead from Tim towards the end of the first lap and the second lap saw a real battle in the top six boats with many changes of position. Bob Carter won, followed by Bryan Spencer, Tim dieu de BelleFontaine, Ealing Holmberg and Peter Tovey.

Despite the vagaries of the weather, a good weekends sailing was had by all.

Overall Results
1st Bob Carter Grafham SC
2nd Peter Tovey Marconi SC
3rd Jenny Ball Marconi SC
4th Tim dieu de BelleFontaine Marconi SC
5th Brian Spencer Marconi SC

Award for youngest competitor: Mitchell Glynn (Marconi SC)