Previous Winners 2017 Peter Jackson 2016 Peter shepherd
An absolutely excellent day with significant support from seven clubs across the country from Frensham Pond in the South East, Abington Park & Birmingham MYC in the Midlands and skippers closer to home from Bideford & District, Cotswold and an increased support from the Cheddar Steam skippers themselves. The weather was mild with a SW breeze of about 8mph. The Cheddar pond has notoriously variable winds caused by the closeness of the surrounding greenery, whilst this can cause some issues for the course setter as the saying goes “it is the same for everyone!” There was increased interest from our own club this year, from both participants and spectators, which was very encouraging.
All marks were rounded to port. The course consisted of a beat upwind to the first mark followed by a spreader. Then a run to the downwind mark and back to the first mark. Finally a reach to a wing mark and a broad reach to the downwind mark and to the finish. The recent sunny weather had unfortunately evaporated so much water that we needed to reposition the course before the start to prevent grounding out the top of the upwind leg.
The racing evolved to be in two groups, the leaders being the more experienced and skilled skippers mostly running Justin swing rigs on a variety of hull designs, ICE, Fat Boy, and IBEX two notable exceptions being Peter Shepherd who took over the helm of a nicely built Briethorn and Doug Penman who sailed a Fat Boy slim with a “Phil Tyler” style una rig. The other group tended to be our (keen) inexperienced skippers mostly sporting B rigs. Despite the discrepancy between the two groups in term of sail size, there was some noticeable racing within each group, which made for a most enjoyable day.
Congratulations to Doug Penman from Bideford & District firstly for bringing something different to the party and for his performance in finishing in second place, and to Peter Jackson who sailed exceptionally well to come first for more than half of the races in what were very tricky conditions. After 17 races thanks were expressed to all, and in particular to Denise for manning the kitchen and Vic for doing the start line and recording the finishes.
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