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Barton Marine 2019 728x90

Blithfield Barrel 2023/24 - Overall

by Alastair Reid 12 Feb 13:19 PST 19 November 2023 - 18 February 2024

When the mist cleared a gentle westerly of 8-12 knots greeted 26 boats for the final round of the 2023-24 Blithfield Barrel. This wind direction makes for the longest legs at this venue. The selected course was one that needed writing down rather than simply memorised and wove several tight reaches as well as runs and two beats into it.

The first race was a clean start at 1200 and saw the southerly shore give most advantage on the beat before the downwind legs started to allow the spinnaker boats to spread their wings. There was considerable pressure variability and watching for the wind was critical, not least if flying an asymmetric spinnaker. As the run went down the centre axis of the Reservoir, there was much weaving back and forth with efficient gybing key to maintaining tactical advantage, not least amongst the Merlin fleet. With the Osprey, VxOne, Javelin and Merlins leading, there were, nevertheless, battles all over the course with similar boat pairings, including 5 GP14s and 3 Supernovas amongst them.

Most of the fleet remained together throughout and line honours went to the Osprey of Rob Burdekin and Ali Raynard, despite a near disaster at the penultimate mark. Corrected time saw Mike Senior and Ollie Goodhead as winners in the GP14, with Steve McCarthy and Gareth Thomas in their GP second and Jonathan Swain in the Solo third.

A hot pasta lunch was, as usual, suitably restorative and the second race was smartly under way without recourse to the Black Flag, at 1400. The wind direction was broadly still westerly but with northerly hints so the same course was selected, not least as it had achieved unanimous praise during the break. The wind was now around 10 knots but despite this, the VXOne of Peter Slater and Paul Sennet gained a particularly clear start, chose the southern shore and powered away to show their heels to the Osprey and Javelin.

However, John Greenwood in the Finn and some of the slower handicap boats selected the northern side of the reservoir which ultimately proved to have the higher pressure, propelling him to be second round the windward mark. These gains proved transient as the fleet then significantly stretched out during the first lap. Frustratingly for the tail end of the fleet, the wind dropped to around 6 knots on the last leg, further increasing the separation.

Whilst Peter Slater took line honours, the winners on handicap were Mike Senior and Ollie Goodhead with John Greenwood second and Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis in their Merlin, third. All sailors remained dry and the Safety Boats had little to do but watch a very colourful sight.

Throughout the series the lead double-handers stood out for their snappy and accurate evolutions and watching the aggressive, efficient, tacking and gybing of Mike Senior and Ollie Goodhead was a joy to watch and a serious target for others to emulate. Consequently it was little surprise that the overall winners of the Blithfield Barrel 2023-24 were Mike and Ollie.

Adam Froggat was second in his Phantom and John Greenwood third. For the organisers it was rewarding to hear feedback suggesting that the competitive racing was very much enjoyed by all, regardless of levels of experience.

Put the 2024-25 Blithfield Barrel in your sailing events calendar for the end of this year!

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1stGP1414168Mike SeniorOllie GoodheadSSSC(DNC)(DNC)1121117
2ndPHANTOM1449Adam Froggatt Chasewater SC6‑932‑745424
3rdFINN5John Greenwood Blithfield2(RET)‑63666225
4thMERLIN‑ROCKET3814A DavisChris WhiteSSSC11(DNC)(DNC)598630
5thMERLIN‑ROCKET3801Matt BiggsBen HollisBartley SC43(DNC)(DNC)3117331
6thLARK2536Samuel BaileyHolly EvansSSSC(DNC)(DNC)104434732
7thGP1413326Steve McCarthyGareth ThomasBlithfield1161212‑16‑1421053
8thPHANTOM1428Sam Coxon Chasewater SC13(DNC)7512(OCS)151163
9thSUPERNOVA1066Julian Bassett Blithfield108913‑25‑1891564
10thGP1413868Oliver DumbeltonHarriet DumbeltonNantwich BCSC‑15(DNC)1410158141374
11thMERLIN‑ROCKET3749Colin AndersonSean AndersonBartley SC85(DNC)(DNC)1423131275
12thHADRON H2166Steve Hendon Blithfield57(DNC)(DNC)2315122183
13thMERLIN‑ROCKET3716Steve LeneyGill LeneyBlithfield7(DNC)RET(DNC)913 AV AV88
14thGP1414051James AshworthHayley WycherleySSSC2210(DNC)(DNC)1816111996
15thFLYING FIFTEEN3563Jim WattersonAndy WattersonBlithfield(DNC)(DNC)1515 AV AV1924109
16thOSPREY1363Rob BurdekinAl RaynardBlithfield19(DNC)RET(DNC)2020205113
17thJavelin579C SagarA EdmondsBlithfield23(DNC)RET(DNC)2221189122
18thSUPERNOVA1332Nick Woodhead Blithfield22(DNC)1614‑29262123122
19thFINN0Andy Couch Blithfield3247(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC128
20thOSPREY1333Doug RankinPaul RankinBlithfield24RET1718‑32‑282525129
21stSOLO6055Jonathan Swain Carsington(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC102316143
22ndSUPERNOVA1328Rob Swinnock Blithfield(DNC)(DNC)RET1630252222144
23rdGP1413813Peter ThomsDawn FrostNantwich BCSC(DNC)(DNC)RETDNC19121620152
24thMERLIN‑ROCKET3724Ed BradburnJ CoateSSSC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC1310178160
25thENTERPRISE22901Paul YoungLauren MorganMidland SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC24191018183
26thRS 400732Tom ChadfieldAndy ChadfieldBlithfield20RET(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC2417193
27thPHANTOM1370Duncan Adams Burton SC101113(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC202
28thVXOne267Peter SlaterPaul SennetBlithfield(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC31272614210
29thHORNET2189Justin JonesChris AndersonChasewater SC16RET11(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC215
30thLASER/ ILCA 7213809Paul Powell Blithfield(DNC)(DNC)RETDNC28DNC AV AV227
31stLASER RADIAL/ ILCA 6217835Henry Walker Blithfield1813RET(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC228
32ndMERLIN‑ROCKET3759Tom GillardRach GrayStaunton Harold(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC17DNCDNC232
33rdSUPERNOVA1341Mark Hartley Blithfield(DNC)(DNC)26DNCDNCDNCDNC232
34thMERLIN‑ROCKET3730Paul HollisPaula Mason 18(DNC)(DNC)DNC2722DNCDNC235
35thSOLO6021Peter Gray  (DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC85DNCDNC237
36th5058881Charlie ChandlerOwen MillsTewkesbury SC(DNC)(DNC)58DNCDNCDNCDNC237
37thLASER/ ILCA 7PKPaul Keeling Blithfield(DNC)(DNC)811DNCDNCDNCDNC243
38thRS 300346Eden Hyland Blithfield1412(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC250
40thOSPREY1381Richard HartleyMark HartleyBlithfieldRET4(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC255
41stPHANTOM1492Jim Hopton Shustoke SC12RET(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC256
42ndSUPERNOVA1340Tom Chadfield Blithfield(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC1717DNCDNC258
43rdK1181Chris Swallow Burton SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC1124DNCDNC259
44thGP1413120Rosie GrittithIsaac ShirleyBlithfield(DNC)(DNC)RET17DNCDNCDNCDNC270
45thMERLIN‑ROCKET3619Guy BrowneGreg MartinTrent Valley SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC2326273
46thSCORPION1969Chris MartinJosh OatesBartley SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC21RETDNCDNC277
47thMERLIN‑ROCKET3667Paul KeelingMichelle KeelingBlithfield(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC26RETDNCDNC282
48thHartley 120Lara GriffithOllie GreenBlithfield(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC3329DNCDNC286
49thRS FEVA XL2579Rosie GriffithIsaac shirleyBlithfield(DNC)RET(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC300
49thTOPPERTOPLara GriffithOllie GreenBlithfield(DNC)RET(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC300
51stTopaz Xenon5088Rosie GriffithIsaac ShirleyBlithfieldRET(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC307
51stRS FEVA XL2579Lara GriffithOllie GreenBlithfieldRET(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC307
53rdWAYFARER10168Lara GriffithOllie GreenBlithfield(DNC)(DNC)RETDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC309
53rdHADRON H2105Peter Slater Blithfield(DNC)(DNC)RETDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC309

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