Thursday, July 03, 2008

Enterprise Eastern Area Championships

Last Weekend Snettisham Beach hosted the Enterprise Eastern Area Championships and it was my job, as fleet Captain, to organise the event. So over the previous few weeks I had been asking fellow club members for their help in Manning the committee boat, the rescue boats, the galley and the registration of entrants. Some offered willingly, others responded to my requests with pleasure and it all went very well. The only stress was the weather and that turned out OK.

So I just want to dedicate this post to the team and to thank all who contributed to the smooth running of the weekend's sailing. Bless you all!
To Bob, Luke, Tony and John who maned the Committee boat; an Excellent job! well done!
To Sue and Roy in the galley with their helpers, Ann and Jo. They kept the fleet fed and watered over the weekend.
Steve (Our Glorious Leader, the Commodore) behind the bar when not on the water.
Charlie, Bryan and Jim and their respective crews (more folk I can't remember) who maned the rescue boats.
John and Mark with the registration forms and sailing instructions and all that jazz.
And last of all, a big thank you to all the boys and girls who came from near and far to participate in the fun and games on the water. Bless you for coming, it was lovely to see you and we hope that you will come again next year.

This is the report I wrote for the Eastern Area Champs at Snett last weekend.

Held at Snettisham Beach Sailing Club on the 28th and 29th June 2008.
The winds had been blowing hard all week and the fear was that the weekend would be blown away with more high winds but come Saturday, the wind was a good strength moderate breeze F3-4 and 13 visiting boats from as far afield as the Midland Sailing Club in Birmingham made the journey to join 3 local boats for two days of championship racing. (p.s. slight correction here as the Dennys have now joined SBSC so its actually 12 visitors and 4 local boats!)
The Race Officer, Bob Fletcher, managed 4 superb races with Olympic courses over the two days. The weather turned out to be excellent with plenty of sunshine right until the final race where the wind blew up to a good F4-5 and just as all were safely ashore and the prize-giving was underway, the weather turned, with heavy winds and driving rain.
The racing started on Saturday in a nice F2-3 but soon freshened to a good F3-4; the waves gave the visiting pond sailors something to struggle with; for some crews it was their first time on the sea.
Both Saturdays races were won by Andy Ritchie and Joanne Sallis with healthy leads over the second placed Brian and Linda Cummings. The middle fleet was very close with several boats sharing equal points. The racing was so close that on almost ever hour long race only a few seconds would separate 4 or 5 boats!
Sunday dawned with a good F4 and there was a level of tension among the teams as folk packed away their tents, chatted about sailing in waves and wind shifts and waited for the tide before the last races could take place. For some it was a welcome delay to sleep off the previous night’s indulgence!
The penultimate race started in a F4, giving plenty of hard work for already tired limbs driven on by adrenalin. Andy didn’t get it all his own way and the first race went to Andy Bayliss and Vicky Woods sailing an old borrowed boat with Graham Kirkup taking second place. Again the middle fleet was very close with many places changing several times during the race, even up to the finishing line.
In the last race the wind jumped up in strength and continued to climb and soon some boats were heading for the shore. After the first lap Andy Ritchie capsized as a sudden gust caught him napping and with his feet not under the toes straps. With the knowledge that he had done enough to win the event he retired. He wasn’t the only one to capsize and Jonti Mason’s upturned hull gave everyone a good reason to tack round at the leeward mark. Only eight boats continued on the last beat to the windward mark and the fast express reaching ride from there to the wing mark where Andy Bayliss took 2nd place from Steve Chapman by gybing inside as Steve tacked round. The race was won by Graham Kirkup crewed by Dominic White with Any Bayliss Second and Steve Chapman third.
The contingent from Hykeham and done their best but there was still some beer left for Sunday’s after race celebrations. First place went to Andy Ritchie and Joanne Sallis, second place to Andy Bayliss and Vicky Woods, third place went to Graham Kirkup and Dominic White, fourth place went to Brian and Lynda Cummings. Special mention for Iain Leiper, 13 yrs old, crewing for Paul Young as it was his first time racing on the sea. Well done Iain!.
Oh and loudest scream (no prize given this time) went to Jo Coleman… Again!
All agreed it have been a most enjoyable, strenuous and rewarding two days of very competitive racing and good crack!

Some Picture here (Thanks Tony and Luke for these!)

And the results

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