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Blithfield Barrel 2022/23 - Week 3

by Geoff Wright & Ted Kurcaba 25 Jan 03:02 PST 13 November 2022 - 12 February 2023
Blithfield Barrel week 3 © Alastair Reid

Sunday 15th January saw the running of Round 3 of the Blithfield Barrel winter series at Blithfield Reservoir.

After Round 2 in December, which was hampered by extremely cold weather, fog and light winds, resulting in a very low turnout (on the water, but more in the bar) and most competitors opting to use that day for their discards for the series, round 3 saw a vastly improved turnout of 23 boats gathered on the start line for races 5 and 6.

The wind was perfect for most competitors, staying constant from the SW at 15-20 knots without any major gusts or headers to trouble most, but dropping off towards the end of race 6.

The course was the same for the second race. 23 starters both races.   All boats finished both races, several commenting that they had an enjoyable sail. Only one capsize was recorded during the day, Doug Rankin in the second race demonstrating yet again that he is a diver as well as a sailor!

The fleet was remarkably well behaved on both the starts, black flag was ready but did not need to be used. The keenest competitors were grouped at the pin end having spotted the slight port bias on the line. 

Matt Biggs, the all time most successful Barrel winner with six titles under his belt, this time sailing with Beka Jones in Merlin Rocket 3801 (Pokey) took a commanding lead early in race 1 and extended this throughout the race, and could not be caught by Andy Couch from Blithfield in second place and last years winner Mike Senior and Ollie Goodhead in GP14 13417 finishing in third place.

Race 2 was more closely fought but Matt and Beka again escaped well ahead of the fleet.

With the faster boats doing a third lap, Mike Senior in his GP14 (13417) was the first boat finished at two laps, no doubt pleased to avoid the reducing wind and claim a well-deserved race win on handicap with Matt and Beka finishing second and Andy Couch (Phantom 1456) in third.

At the end of the day, the combined results for Round 3 were:

1st Matt Biggs and Beka Jones,Bartley SC, Merlin Rocket 3801
2nd Mike Senior and Ollie Goodhead, South Staffs SC, GP14 13417
3rd Andy Couch, Blithfield SC, Phantom 1456

Thanks to the whole organising committee, including:

  • race team of Geoff and Noelle Wright, the safety team of Keith and Brian Walker with Andy Mellor
  • Peter Slater sailing single handed in the galley, Sylvia on the results computer, Andy the Rear Commodore presenting the prizes and pulling everything together, once again
  • the sponsors of the 2022/23 Barrel, Hartley boats of Derby, probably the best chandlery in town!
  • the official club sponsors Krupps UK Ltd

Finally, just a reminder that round 4, and your last chance to get some valuable points for the series, will take place on Sunday 12th February.

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