by Pete Ellis
Weymouth Dinghy Regatta 2014 - Four 300’s joined around 130 other competitors for the 2014 Weymouth Dinghy Regatta over the weekend of 12-13 July, hosted by the combined Yacht Clubs of Weymouth. With the entry limit reached weeks ago and a near perfect forecast; the competitors were set fair for a cracking weekend.
Weymouth action - Weymouth Dinghy Regatta 2014
So keen (not t’northern variety) on the forecast, Steve Bolland and Rich Le Mare arrived a day early for pre-nationals boat prep and practice. Rich’s boat prep has obviously improved from the usual foil repairs on nationals eve Wednesday, to an elaborate UV mast protection system – as a certain yeast extract spread ad campaign goes – you either love it or hate it – apparently Bevs has made an e-bay bid for the leftover paint !!!!
Whilst Steve and Rich nursed pre-national training hangovers (obviously all bases being covered there guys) Dan Treloar and Pete Ellis set off early from t’smoke to join them for three races back to back on day one. Much debate and email traffic the previous week on where to sail, with the larger classes (Asymmetric, Cherub, RS800 and Osprey) sailing in the bay, the others (Fast and slow h-cap, Contender and Scorpion) sailing in the harbour, but with a F3 WSW there would be little difference in conditions between the two locations.
Normal briefing but with the added warning of large barrel jellyfish, with the appearance similar to Peter Griffen - not dangerous to humans but potential to trip your rudder up if hit at speed.
Starting with a gaggle of Fireballs, Phantoms and the ridiculous PY rated Merlins, the four 300’s always had a boat to compete against for the entire race – handicap races may have their knockers, but when every second counts it certainly keeps you on your toes throughout the entire 40-50 min race duration.
Normal service on the results front, with Steve posting an impressive one, two, two, Rich and Pete competing in mid fleet, with Rich taking the day one honours and Dan showing improved boat handling keeping up with the Phantoms but losing out on PY.
As for Saturday night, we need to find an IT geek to re-boot the hard-drive memory of what went on, but something along the lines of superb fish ‘n’ chips (sorry Castle Cove paella did not appeal), party games and too much re-hydration intake for us oldies.
Sunday dawned with a fresher F4 westerly and a rather slow fleet struggling with the combined effects of the night before and a 10.30hrs start time. Luckily for messers Bolland, le Mare and Treloar, the PRO tactfully extended the course laying process to ensure all had arrived for the first start.
There is never a good time for gear failure, but perhaps a month before Prestwick is better than during the nationals.
Day two, race one, run one, whilst leading Steve uncharacteristically lost control, did he hit a jellyfish? The result was a sheared off pintel and his day was run.
Day two, race one, run two, whilst energetically (read into this what you want) trying to recover from one of the few snakes on the previous beat, Rich rolled into windward damaging significant sail track to also ensure his day was run – perhaps that purple paint is just too heavy Rich after all!!!
Final results Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE
|14844||FIREBALL||Keith McDonald||Small Heath Y.C.||975||-4||4||3||2||1||1||11||2|
|3759||MERLIN-ROCKET||Alex Adams||Castle Cove||990||2||3||4||-5||3||3||15||3|
|14101||FIREBALL||barry grant||Castle Cove||975||5||6||6||1||5||(21/DNC)||23||4|
|14889||FIREBALL||Barry White||Thornbury Sailing Club||975||8||-9||5||4||6||4||27||5|
|1435||PHANTOM||Will Gulliver||Northampton SC||1002||7||5||9||6||4||(21/DNC)||31||6|
|500||RS 300||Pete Ellis||Aldenham SC|
Stewartby Water SC
|3713||MERLIN-ROCKET||Stephen Harling||Starcross Yacht Club||990||12||-13||10.5||8||9||6||45.5||8|
|411||RS 300||Steve Bolland||Bristol Corinthian YC||990||1||2||2||(21/DNC)||21/DNC||21/DNC||47||9|
|426||RS 300||Richard Le Mare||Barnt Green||990||6||7||8||14/RET||(21/DNC)||21/DNC||56||11|
|1430||PHANTOM||Gordon Kingston Minnis||Lee on Solent||1002||11||10||13||(21/DNC)||7||21/DNC||62||13|
|417||RS 300||Dan Treloar||Aldenham Sailing Club||990||14||14||14||12||12||(21/DNC)||66||14|
Vote of thanks for the great organisation and social skills of the PRO team and vast army of shore supporters and for letting the 300’s launch from Castle Cove.
Next event – 2014 Volvo-Noble Marine Nationals at Prestwick with 35 boats already entered – a record 300 fleet for what is going to be a cracking event.