Blackwater Sailing Club
- Category: News Public
- Written by BSC Commodore
The historic record of blistering sunshine for the Annual Topper Open Meeting at Blackwater Sailing Club seemed to have broken this year as Saturday dawned grey and overcast, however it did not deter the 27 entrants that came to enjoy what has become a fixture on the Eastern Traveller Series. As well as some regular names making the trip, there were some new faces joining the fleet who headed off downriver soon to be greeted by a big squall and buckets of rain.
The race officer was awaiting the fleet having set a good size triangle sausage course and as the last of the fleet arrived at the starting area they seemed to have brought the sunshine with them. The fleet got away cleanly at the first attempt and picked their way up the course helped by a strong flood tide. The wind was shifting around and it was a tussle at the front. At the top mark, the leading bunch set off downwind to the gybe mark and once around, enjoyed a strong luffing battle which let the chasing pack close the gap. The lead was up for grabs by a number of sailors however it was Stephen Clayton from Royal Harwich Yacht Club who took the gun ahead of George Hunter with Penny Weiser taking third.
The slight change of wind direction and relayed course caused havoc with the start of the second race, however once under black flag orders, the fleet were far more restrained and got away cleanly. With one eye on the huge black cloud that was looming over the horizon, the committee boat and rescue boats were soon occupied as the majority of the fleet were wiped out as the wind gusted up to nearly 30knots. With safety of paramount importance, it was decided to abandon the 2nd race and enable the rescue boats to complete the task of picking up those who had suffered gear failure. With all the damaged boats safely attached to the committee boat, the wind had abated and the 2nd race was restarted. It was Stephen Clayton again who took an early lead followed closely by Penny Weiser who fought the entire way round. It was however Stephen who took line honours to add to the bullet in the first race.
With the tide well away, the Race Officer sent some tired sailors on the long beat back to the club.
Despite the best efforts of the weather, the event was a great success and we hope to see more new faces in 2012.
The final positions were:
1st Stephen Clayton – Royal Harwich Ist BSC helm - Tom Johnson
2nd Penny Weiser -
3rd George Hunter -