Report for the GMYC website by Roger Stollery
This Championship followed on from the 10 rater National Championship, which was on the Thursday and Friday. 17 single heat races were sailed and the championship was won by James Edwards sailing a TRANCE. The Marbleheads sailed 15 races in 2 heats and we used nearly all our rigs.
We were lucky with the weather with just a little bit of rain on Saturday in marked contrast to Friday’s downpours. Guildford was represented by 4 members, Peter and I, Rob Vice and David Coode and we all had problems at times in the strong wind. David and I spent most of our time in B heat and had some interesting races and often finished close together. The wind was blowing more or less straight down the lake from the west and was on average 16 miles an hour and maybe over 20 in the gusts; it was a day for the smallest C rigs. The photographs were taken in the seeding Race 1, when most were in C2 and show the big waves, which built up at the lower end of the lake where we were sailing. These had a big influence on performance in both directions. Whilst the UPs weren’t bothered off the wind, which we thoroughly enjoyed, but we did have some problems stalling on occasion when tacking, which didn’t help the results. Peter was disappointed that he led one of the races by quite a margin, only to pick up weed and spoil the result. The big waves didn’t help judgement when you were crossing other boats and I made inadvertent collisions when ducking starboard tack transoms, one of which caused a hole in the bottom of the boat which I didn’t notice until the end of the race, by which time it was half full of water! All but one of the races was won by either Brad Gibson, 4 or Graham Bantock, 3 with the other race won by Darin Ballington. Brad was the most consistent counting only firsts and seconds and even discarding a second!
The light to moderate breeze was varying from the south or south south-west mainly A rig and occasionally B. However it was the direction that was a nightmare for the ROs Peter Baldwin and Derek Priestley, as when the wind was blowing across the lake it was difficult to set a start. We had to sail from the promenade to buoys that were over 100 metres away, making vision at the windward marks difficult. Reaching America’s Cup style starts and running starts with tried, but were not successful and these races were abandoned. There were constant delays as the courses were reset, but the ROs did a good job under difficult circumstances and 7 races were completed. Martin Roberts was back on form, was very consistent and had the best score for the day, whilst Peter was pleased with having most wins. Even I got out of B and had a couple of races in A heat to boost my rather pathetic scoreline. Rob ended the day well with a win after some pretty poor results in the morning.
This was a pretty good test for next year’s World Marblehead Championship and lots of things were learnt to help future race teams. 3 umpires were used buddied with observers and generally this worked well, although there were very few disputed incidents.