Following a training session laid on by the Class Association in partnership with the Royal Burnham YC on the previous weekend, seven local boats and one visitor put their new skills into practice to take part in the RBYC Whitsun Regatta.

The six race series comprised two races per day over the three day Bank Holiday Weekend. The first decision of the day on Saturday was what to wear in the warm Crouch Riviera sunshine which was tempered with a chilly north easterly 10-knot breeze. Second decision was which side of the river to start in a strong foul tide beat down river. Those that started on the south shore took full advantage of the stronger breeze with Serious Moonlight (GBR 68, Richard Bavin, Duncan and Joey, RBYC) building a commanding lead which they held for the entire race. Finishing fast were the visitors from Emsworth SC, Legs Eleven (GBR 110, Paul & Caroline Fisk, Richard Tucker, ESC) and local boat Oink Squeal (GBR 48, David & Fran Wood, Simon Wakefield, RBYC) in second and third places.

The second race of the day saw a downwind start with the tide, on a windward-leeward course through the town. Inevitably, the fleet arrived at the first mark together with Legs Eleven managing a clean rounding to emerge from the melée into clear air showing a clean pair of heels for the rest of the race. Roger Martin, relative newcomer to the Burnham fleet, in Excalibur (GBR 22, RBYC) finished a comfortable second with Serious Moonlight in third having collected some seaweed along the way.

The Riviera sun was slightly warmer and the north easterly breeze slightly stronger on Day 2, presenting the same clothing conundrum along with the same ‘which side of the river to start’ decision for Race 3. Boudicca, also new to the fleet, (GBR 43, Jeremy Polturak & family, RBYC) showed a remarkable turn of upwind pace to storm into what looked like an unassailable lead at the windward mark, only to head off downwind unable to find the next turning mark in the River Roach. The chasing pack were so intent on getting after Boudicca that they all also headed for the wrong mark. First to realise the error of their ways were Serious Moonlight who showed the rest of the way round the river to finish first with Excalibur in second and Legs Eleven third. Boudicca managed to recover to fourth.

The Race Officer reverted to the town course for Race 4, this time with a windward start. It was Serious Moonlight’s turn to round the wrong mark, paving the way for All The Gear (GBR 107, Neil Fulcher, RBYC) to lead round the weather mark and head off downwind with another newcomer to the fleet Outlaw (GBR 21, Zandy & Tory Hobday, Lizzie Wright, RBYC) hot on their heels in second and Legs Eleven in third. Despite their name, ‘All The Gear’ showed some remarkable skill in holding the lead for the rest of the race, short tacking along the south shore without the benefit of a tiller extension and claiming the race victory. Having stopped to collect some fishing gear along the way, Legs Eleven finished second with the consistent Excalibur in third.

Yet warmer sunshine for Day 3 and slightly less north easterly breeze made the shorts and t-shirt decision easy. The slack tide start offered the fleet more room than usual for the first beat with the boats able to spread out across the river. By the time the tide started to run and the fleet headed for the shallows on the north shore, Legs Eleven had worked into the lead to round the windward mark first, challenged hard by Outlaw, Oink Squeal and All The Gear. After a slow start, Serious Moonlight managed to recover to claim second place from Outlaw in third.

More short tacking down river for the final race and Legs Eleven having to return after a premature start allowed Serious Moonlight to build a commanding lead and record an emphatic victory. Legs Eleven recovered to second with All The Gear in third.

After countback, Serious Moonlight finished first overall on 8 points with Legs Eleven in second, also on 8 points and Excalibur third on 17 points. The Burnham RS Elite fleet continues to show encouraging growth with numbers now into double figures. A regular weekday evening and weekend race programme bodes well for the future and promises a variety of competitive racing for an active and improving fleet that knows how to enjoy their racing. Next up is the Southern Area Championship followed by the UK National Championship at Hayling Island SC in July.

Overall Results:

 

Pos Sail No Boat Name Owner R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Pts
1 GBR 68 Serious Moonlight Richard Bavin 1 3 1 (7) 2 1 8
2 GBR 110 Legs Eleven Paul Fisk 2 1 (3) 2 1 2 8
3 GBR 22 Excalibur Roger Martin Larry Adams (6) 2 2 3 5 5 17
4 GBR 107 All The Gear Neil Fulcher 5 (5.5) 5 1 4 3 18
5 GBR 21 Outlaw Zandy Hobday 4 5.5 6 4 3 (9) 22.5
6 GBR 48 Oink Squeal David Wood Fran Wood 3 4 (9) 9 9 4 29
7 GBR 43 Boudicca Jeremy Polturak 7 7 4 (9) 6 6 30
8 GBR 31 Grand Slam Gareth Davies (9) 9 7 7 7 9 39