Blackwater SC Club Week 2015 – Over 120 boats competed in our annual club week in 11 different classes. Other than the first Sunday where the wind hovered around five knots, sailing conditions were ideal with F3/4 winds mid-week and a warm sunny F5 southerly on the final Friday.
The mixed Laser fleet was the largest fleet with 30 competitors and comprised adults racing in full rigs mixing with cadet members in radials and 4.7’s. Former member Tony King brought his Laser down from Bassenthwaite for the week and obviously enjoyed his return to Essex to win this class.
The Fireball’s were much diminished this year as unfortunately the week clashed with the Fireball Nationals/Worlds which had tempted six of the regular club fleet away. Three of the leading boats in the fleet were scored OCS on Tuesday which added a bit of interest however Charlie Stewart and Malcolm Green made sure of a win for the week with four straight wins in the remaining races. Charlie also won the Cock of the River race on the final day where all class winners had the dubious pleasure of racing each other in Toppers.
The Wayfarer class had a bit of a resurgence this year with 10 competitors. Mike Pearce returned to the class this year renewing competition with former Commodore Paul Trueman in the early part of the week. Gear failure meant Paul had to retire before the start on Wednesday which meant Mike and Steve Ash were unbeatable with one race to go.
The club’s classic Sprite dinghies dating from the 1930’s had some very close racing. Leading helms Bevis Wright and Commodore Chris Nichols have been vying for the overall honours in this class for many years. This year saw a particular close finish and Chris crewed by Kathryn secured overall victory after countback with a win on the last day after finishing on level points with Bevis.
10 Toppers raced with an overall win by one point for Aimee Taylor from Will Taylor. Julie Nelson and Lloyd Taylor were the winners in the 10 strong Mirror fleet. Joey Taylor put in an impressive performance in the small Optimist fleet counting four straight wins after discarding a third place.
In the dinghy handicap classes, Julian and Mark Wild in a 49er were the winners in the seven strong fast handicap fleet. The medium handicap class was the second largest fleet with 25 competitors. The three podium positions for the week were taken by Blazes with Andy McIvor being unbeatable with a race to spare.
The cruiser classes were again racing under the RYA NHC system. Breezy owned by Joe Leary and helmed by John Dyer won the Lewis Hicks Cup for the Fast Cruisers. The larger 15 boat fleet of club cruisers was won by Nick and Pippa Alston in Rascal.
Gay Ayton was awarded the Ladies Bowl for her sixth place in sailing a Kestrel in the highly competitive medium handicap fleet and James Crook was awarded the Wright Cup for best performance by a Cadet for his second overall in the Laser fleet in his Laser Radial.
There were the usual social events after racing, particularly popular were the Quiz night on Wednesday and the Commodores Curry evening on Thursday.