On Saturday 11th November 12 D-Zero sailors gathered from as far away as Falmouth at a decidedly moist Burghfield SC for the final open meeting of the year. The event was scheduled to have a total of 8 short sprint races each lasting around 20 minutes.
Despite the forecast looking promising throughout the week the forecast wind was conspicuous by its absence. PRO Mark Cooper announce that he would start slightly late with the D-Zeros doing an outer loop trapezoid course.
As start time approached 3 things were clear…
1 the water at Burghfield was a very pretty shade of blue
2 the wind was not going to be anything exciting
3 there were a few patches of floating weed which were best avoided
3 races were held before the RO decided to break for lunch. With Ian Morgan taking bullets in R1 and R3, your roving reporter somehow managing to take 2nd in those races with Paul Scullion and Tom Southwell taking 3rd in each. Race 2 was a reverse grid from R1 with the leaders finding themselves down at the back as the wind decided to punish them for their smugness from race 1. Local sailor jeremy Carey had an early lead but he could not stop Richard Major from working his way past to take the bullet with Rob Lennox completing the podium.
With that the fleet retired to the clubhouse for an excellent lunch and some of them wondering if they should brave the conditions in the afternoon with the wind still not settling.
As it was all 12 sailors took to the water for race 4. This time John Aston showed the fleet the way round with Ian coming home second and Paul Scullion coming home 3rd. Ian was starting to look good for the title if he could keep this up.
Races 5 and 6 and Paul Scullion finally found the form that took him to the runners up sport at the 2017 Nationals and took a couple of bullets. With Ian second in both races he had now secured the meeting. Steve Bolland showed he had remembered how to sail by taking 3rd in R5 and local sailor Jeremy Carey take 3rd in R6.
Ian duly showed his class by posting another bullet in R7. This time Tom Southwell made his second visit to the podium to follow his club mate home with Gordon Stewart coming home 3rd.
Overall Ian Morgan was crowned Sprint Champion with Paul Scullion second and Tom Southwell in 3rd.
Despite the conditions the event was a lot of fun with the racing tight and furious (but sadly not fast). It definitely paid to spot the wind and try and be the first boat to it with the associated games of snakes and ladders. Thanks go to Mark Cooper and his team who were kept busy setting and re-setting the course throughout the day and to the galley who fed us all well at lunchtime.
Full results can be found by clicking here.
There are some photos of the event taken by Sportography.tv which can be found by clicking here.