Wayfarer Eastern Championship – Report

1 StartThe Wayfarer Eastern Area Championship, which was also the fifth event in the Craftinsure National Circuit and Travellers Series 2017, was hosted by Medway Yacht Club over the weekend of 22/23 July. Twenty three boats, including one from Holland, competed in a six race series over the two days.

The wind on Saturday was 12-21knots from the south west, while on Sunday the wind was from the west, slightly lighter in the first two races of the day but increasing to 20 knots for the final race of the event. Windward/leeward courses were used for both days giving plenty of strategic and tactical options upwind and down especially on the ebb tide for the later races on both days.

As predicted, most of the teams at the head of the Travellers Series attended, with the fleet being reinforced by a strong local fleet. Andrew and Tom Wilson, Len Jones and Jamie Lea, and Bill and Lisa Whitney headed these but were expecting to be pushed hard by Guy Marks and Mel Titmus, Dave Roberts and Mike Bryant, Brian Lamb and Sam Pygall, and Richard Stone and Catherine Gore all of whom had performed well at the recent National Championships.

Race 1 started on time and immediately turned into the expected duel between the Wilsons and Jones/Lea, the latter getting the nod at the finish. The Whitneys finished third. Game on.

M1Race 2 gave the fleet two options. The Wilsons, Marks/Titmus and the Townsends led in from the left side of the beat while most of the fleet went right including Jones/Lea. The left side won out. The Wilsons sailed away from the fleet to win the race, followed by Marks/Titmus and the Whitneys. Jones/Lea finished only 8th. Would that be crucial in the final reckoning?

Race three was also won by the Wilsons, pushed hard this time by Jones/Lea and Marks/Titmus. By this time the wind had increased and a few boats capsized. The fleet was also slightly depleted because of two boats damaged by collisions between the races.

Overnight leaders were comfortably the Wilsons followed by Marks/Titmus, the Whitneys and Jones/Lea.

The fleet enjoyed its traditional sail back to the club via Hoo Creek, and free beer and cake in the marquee. The evening’s entertainment for competitors included a drinks reception, three course dinner and a riotous quiz compered by Mark Penny, the club’s Vice Commodore. Overnight the beer marquee became the boat repair shed to try and get damaged boats out on the water the following day.

4 hOn Sunday morning all boats were back on the water, but there was a slight delay to proceedings while the race committee allowed the wind to settle and laid a course. In probably the lightest wind of the weekend, race 4 was won by Jones/Lea followed by the Wilsons and the Whitneys. Behind them positions were changing constantly, shaking up the results a bit. This result opened up the possibility of a number of winners with two races to go.

Race 5 was won by the Wilsons. Runners up were Marks/Titmus while Jones/Lea finished third. This race effectively gave the event to the Wilsons because of their consistency over the two days with one race to go.

By the start of race 6, the wind had increased again and several competitors capsized as they pushed hard to get good results. Among the swimmers were Jones/Lea. Regular readers of Wayfarer race reports will be aware that Len Jones and his crew are very good at capsize recovery; they seem to get lots of practice. However, this particular inversion occurred at the last windward mark giving little time to recover, so this race became their discard. Meanwhile, at the front of the fleet the Wilsons sailed serenely on to pick up their fourth win of the weekend, this time followed by the Whitneys and the Townsends.

Overall winners and new Eastern Area Champions were Andrew and Tom Wilson. Len Jones and Jamie Lea were runners up and have made a bulk order for mast head wind indicators in time for the next event in the series. Bill and Lisa Whitney were very consistent over the weekend and finished third.

On behalf of the visitors, Andrew thanked everybody at the Medway Yacht Club for their hospitality, but especially the race team, for a wonderful weekend of sailing. Thanks also go to the event sponsors, Chesley Storage, Craftinsure, Pirates Cave and Shepherd Neame.

The next event in the Travellers Series is the Southern Championships, hosted by Datchet Water Sailing Club on 9/10 September.

Pos Sail No Boat Helm Crew Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Pts
1st 11093 Restless Willson Andrew Willson Tom Datchet ‑2 1 1 2 1 1 6
2nd 11067 Rumours Jones Len Lea Jamie MYC 1 8 2 1 3 ‑14 15
3rd 10688 Big Dipper Whitney Bill Whitney Lisa Shoreham 3 3 4 3 ‑6 2 15
4th 11050 Complete Fiasco Marks Guy Titmus Mel Bough Beach 5 2 3 5 2 ‑11 17
5th 10936 India Hewat Jonathan TBC MYC 6 7 5 7 (RET) 4 29
6th 10673 LBV Roberts David Bryant Mike Bough Beach ‑9 5 8 6 8 7 34
7th 11012 Intermezzo Townsend Tim Townsend Jacqueline MYC 11 4 RDG ‑15 10 3 35.5
8th 11170 Whizo Lamb Brian Pygell Sam Wilsonians 4 6 (DNS) 10 12 5 37
9th 10974 No Name Stone Richard Gore Catherine MYC 7 12 6 8 ‑14 9 42
10th 11118 Happy Ever After Gaudie John Hewat John Wilsonians 8 10 7 14 4 (RET) 43
11th 10686 Hercules Hound McKenzie Brian McKenzie Liz MYC 10 11 12 ‑16 5 10 48
12th 11080 Ubique Parrish Chris Crockett Rob MYC 13 15 (RDG) 4 9 13 54
13th 11211 Senior Moment Lee Mark Lee Jane MYC ‑20 18 14 13 7 6 58
14th 10947 Quicksilver Coltart Stewart Coltart Catriona MYC 17 14 10 9 ‑18 8 58
15th 11183 Nomad Weighill Mike Martin Carl Swarkeston 14 9 9 ‑18 15 12 59
16th 10614 Loose Knots Penny Mark Penny Gail MYC 16 13 13 ‑19 13 15 70
17th 10875 Wild Thing Pimm Mike Dilley Peter MYC 15 16 15 17 ‑20 16 79
18th 1759 Devil’s Advocate Gibbs Roger Bedwell Stan MYC 12 17 11 (DNC) DNC DNC 88
19th 10618 Moonshine Alexander Tony Moon Jon MYC (DNC) DNC DNC 11 11 19 89
20th 8888 Doubloons Hartmann Derk Navta Ed ‑21 21 18 21 16 17 93
21st 8595 Winn Simon MYC (DNC) DNC DNC 12 17 18 95
22nd 10615 La Rive Quaglia Alberto Ktensas A Bomford A MYC 19 20 19 20 19 (RET) 97
23rd 7899 Hard Tack Hood Jonathan David Hugo MYC 18 19 17 (DNC) DNC DNC 102