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Inlands Final Day

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After a day of light winds on Saturday the 44-boat fleet arrived on Sunday to find a different scene altogether at Chew Valley.

Only a race officer who has first-hand experience of racing a Firefly in 25 knots would let us race in that much wind. Knowing how seaworthy these sturdy boats are, when the wind dropped to ‘only’ a force 5 the signal was given to launch. On the way to the start line the breeze built again but luckily the committee were ready to go – the worst time for surviving a big breeze is hanging around between starts! Wakefield led convincingly round mark 1 and was able to get far enough ahead to stop and re-attach a shroud prior to finishing to take the inlands title. Behind him chaos ensued as the class chairman capsized at the windward mark allowing Steve Greaves and Jamie McEwan to get away down the reach while Alex Davy, Stuart Hudson and others had to bear away to miss his rigging. Gale force gusts swept the course, nobody was able to gybe a the wing mark and the race finished with Steve Greaves second, Andy Cornah third and Rosie Davey fourth.

Calamity befell Greaves and Cornah in the second race of the day with Cornah’s sail falling off the gooseneck during a capsize and ripping at one of the seams, and Greaves’ mast breaking at the spreaders for the second Inlands in a row!

Stuart and Jane Hudson won the race Mark Tait came in second in his 1958 vintage boat. Wakefield’s third place spoiled his clean sweep  – his first and presumably the last capsize of the season was to blame. Andy Cornah righted his boat and finished the race 8th under jib alone. 

2 races was quite enough as the wind showed no signs of dying and 6 masts had already broken or bent. Those members of the fleet who showed the necessary moral fibre to complete both races retired proudly to the bar to start the tall stories sessions. Please give us your take on the weekend on the discussion forum – with no formal sailing events until January we need some material to mull over! It was a brilliant inlands, with the full range of sailing conditions from force 1 – force 8, excellent race management and a hostpitable reception at the club.

Pictures in our galllery here, full results here