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Buzz National Championship at Mount Batten Centre, Plymouth

by Ian Staples 18 Jun 2023 11:48 PDT 10-11 June 2023
Buzz Nationals at Plymouth © @PaulGibbinsPhotography

The Buzz fleet returned to Plymouth for their National Championship, which was held in conjunction with the Port of Plymouth Sailing Association's dinghy regatta over the weekend of 11/12th June.

Saturday dawned a little overcast and with the light, easterly wind expected to veer at least 180 degrees during the day, some interesting challenges lay ahead for race officer David Rollinson.

The first race got under way with the fleet beating towards Jennycliff in shifty winds. Thomas and Jessica, sailing in their first Buzz Nationals, were first to the windward mark closely followed by Jane and Mark and Ian and Bridget. The shifting wind resulted in the race being shortened and at the end of the downwind leg Ian & Bridget just managed to get inside Jane and Mark but failed to execute the spinnaker drop successfully allowing Stuart and Penny to get through and take first place with Jane and Mark in second. James and Emma took third closely followed by Jason and Walter.

After a delay to reset the course race two saw Stuart and Penny and Jane and Mark battle it out for first place with Stuart and Penny holding on for the victory.

Race three saw a start line debacle between George and Alyssa and Ian and Bridget that ended up with the latter having an unplanned swim. On the first downwind leg Stuart and Penny's spinnaker halyard block failed resulting in them having to sail the rest of the race with no spinnaker. Jane and Mark took full advantage and secured first place with Thomas and Jessica scoring an impressive second with Nathan and Josh in third.

Further course adjustments allowed Stuart and Penny to make the necessary repairs to their spinnaker halyard before race four, but it was Nathan and Josh who took control of the race and secured the victory with Ian and Bridget in second and Stuart and Penny in third.

A delightfully convivial evening was enjoyed by all - though an early start on Sunday was in prospect as the race officer intended to move the sailing outside the breakwater to avoid a significant number of planned shipping movements in the sound.

Unfortunately, Sunday dawned windless and the AP flag was raised. With the racing unlikely to take place for a number of hours Colin and Alison, who had scored an excellent fourth in race three, took the entirely reasonable decision to head home early leaving eleven Buzzes to complete the event.

When the wind eventually started to blow, the course was set inside the breakwater as there was no time to sail outside. Several postponements ensued as various naval vessels appeared and then disappeared into the mist which continued to roll in and out for some time.

Race five started in dense mist leaving the location of the windward mark a bit of a mystery. The race saw the contest for the championship move decisively in Stuart and Penny's direction as they hit the lead early on and held it to the finish. Ian and Bridget took second, Jane and Mark third and Nathan and Josh fourth. An improving Julian and Alison finished a well-earned fifth. The fight for McGregor supremacy was being won by Thomas and Jessica in sixth though George and Alyssa, Sarah and Isaac and Malcolm and Alice were not giving up without a fight.

Race six was briefly postponed again while the navy anchored one of their warships just west of the windward mark - presumably to get a better look at the racing. Once again it was won by Stuart and Penny with Jane and Mark in second. The contest for third overall was finally won by Ian and Bridget after a very close race with Nathan and Josh.

An excellent weekend's racing was concluded with some generous prizes donated by the sponsors. Thanks were extended to the race officer, rescue crews the PPSA and Mountbatten for their contribution in making it a successful and enjoyable event.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
11065Stuart BaileyPenny EyreMedway Yacht Club11‑53117
21027Jane NobleMark WilsonLangstone Sailing Club221‑43210
3919Ian StaplesBridget StaplesBarnt Green Sailing Club63‑822316
4426Nathan StanierJoshua JonesSeafarers/Stokes Bay5‑8314417
51008Thomas McGregorJessica WentThornbury Sailing Club742‑86524
6966Julian MilesAlison MilesMountbatten856‑105630
7503Sarah McGregorIsaac AllanThornbury Sailing Club96798‑1139
8525Malcolm McGregorAlice AllanThornbury Sailing Club‑12710710741
9566Jason HoltomWalter DouieSaltash Sailing Club4‑12125OCS942
10939Colin SnookAlison RevittLangstone Sailing Club10946(DNC)DNC42
11860James DouieEmma CatlowHunts Sailing Club3‑11111191044
12846George McGregorAlyssa OverbeckThornbury Sailing Club11109‑127845

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