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Byte Inland Championships at Cardiff Yacht Club

by John Saunders 12 Jun 2014 14:32 PDT 7-8 June 2014
Byte Inlands at Cardiff 2014 © John Saunders

Over the weekend of June 7-8 Cardiff Yacht Club played host to the Byte Inland Championships as part of their annual club regatta. The weekend started with something of a bang when a huge tent-destroying storm hit Cardiff very early on Saturday morning. However as if to atone for the earlier destruction Saturdays wind was kind gentle and very light.

In race one the defending Champion Louis Saunders became locked in a close battle with Charlotte Gough and in doing so allowed Ryan (apologies for missing surname) through to the front. I need to elaborate on this, Ryan is a 13 year old Oppie Squaddie who has only owned his Byte for a few months! At only 7 stone something he was electric downwind. Ryan went on to win the race. Ryan's minimal weight, even for a Byte, gave him an advantage downwind but he certainly knew how to put it to good effect! Charlotte was third and Mike Radford fourth with another newcomer Andy Sant in fifth.

In race two Louis took control of the situation and led from the line never to be challenged. Charlotte was second, Ryan third, Mike fourth and Andy in fith. The remaining two races on Saturday followed the same pattern with Charlotte, Ryan and Mike Radford swapping places behind Louis.

Sunday dawned with considerably more wind making sailing more challenging for lightweight Ryan but allowing Louis to storm away. However he did experience problems when his traveller bridle snapped meaning that he could only sheet on one tack! Newcomer Andy Sant remained at the back of this group but managed to be third round the windward mark in race six. Andy and Ryan did capsize a couple of times and in the final race Charlotte's kicker broke forcing her retirement and allowing Andy through to forth place.

Louis continued his winning streak but Ryan hung on to take second from Charlotte in third.

The Byte Nationals are being held as part of Sailfest at Calshot over the weekend of August 23-24 and it is hoped that some of the new Hartley built Bytes will appear at this event. Will this add an interesting twist?

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