2016 707 Eastern Area Championships 2 May 2016
RCYC hosted the 2016 707 Eastern Area Championships over the May Bank Holiday weekend. This annual event was supported by 4 local boats & a crew from the Royal Forth YC Edinburgh, who just happened to be the crew who had convincingly won the 707 National Championships last September at Burnham. As this was only a two day event, they borrowed a local boat & used Easyjet instead of the A1! Thanks go to Matt Liss for supplying Mojito.
After the storms & unseasonable cold weather of the previous week, Saturday turned out to be a reasonable day, with the exception of the wind, which was light to non existent. After a short delay the race officer, Edwin Buckley, got he first race under way, however not a clean start as Beaver Hunter & Baby Beluga were half way down the first beat instead of behind the line when the flags dropped, Beaver Hunter returned fairly quickly but Baby Beluga only returned when he saw the X flag still flying, unfortunately for these two, the others were well on their way, with line honours going to Andy Marshal in Mojito, closely followed by Little Red Rooster & Racehorse.
Race 2 got off to a clean start with close racing & place changing throughout, some due to lack of wind on part of the course, resulting in a win for Paul Gray in Beaver Hunter.
Then came a change in the wind, it disappeared! So after a reasonable delay & a new direction, Edwin had to reset the course.
Race 3 again was closely fought, ending with a win for John Lewis in Baby Beluga.
Then the wind disappeared completely. Edwin then abandoned for the day.
Three races, three wins – all to play for on Sunday! Maybe!
Sunday saw the sun come up but not the wind! All the crews were thinking about what they would do until the bar opened!! Edwin however had other knowledge! The fleet were told to get themselves on the water & against the odds a breeze started to rise, down the river we go! Hey, after a short delay we were under way with race 4, not to bore you at this stage race 4,5 & 6 were closely fought with Andy Marshal in Mojito winning all three. Race 7 was a win for John Lewis in Baby Beluga.
As the wind had picked up to all the crews getting their legs over the sides, there was time for race 8 the 5th race of the day. However after the start, the wind direction changed a lot of degrees, so after completing 2 legs of the course & Beaver Hunter ‘reaching’ into the lead, the race officer abandoned it! Again a short delay, to move the marks & thanks to our class secretary, Julia Batchelor, who volunteered to ‘shame the men’, jumped from Rooster in to a RIB to speed up this process.
Race 8 then got under way, on a freshening breeze, resulting a win for Paul Gray in Beaver Hunter.
Back on the Balcony with beers in hand and a taxi waiting to whisk then back to Stansted, the winning Helm Andy Marshall was presented with the Eastern Area 707 Trophy, a Half Model, which the crew decided not to take back to Edinburgh on Easyjet & asked us to look after it till their return to claim it again next year!
Our thanks go the Race Officer Edwin Buckley & his team who managed to create near perfect racing in very difficult, degrees of wind & direction & the lads (& lassie) from Scotland for making the effort (just wish they weren’t so good).