707 Class Captain’s 2008 Report 28 Nov 2008
If 2007 may not have had the balmy summer weather of recent years, then the summer months of 2008 took it to the proverbial max! Most barbeques didn’t even get a dusting off, but boats still sailed and endured lots of windy weather…
Beginning the year racing in the freezing snowy conditions was not perhaps what everyone expected, however several brave crews wrapped up and raced the Easter Series, with Paul Gray’s Beaver Hunter and Phil Bennett et al’s Blowfish finishing 1st=, with Aquaholic 3rd.
The Whitsun regatta weekend was won by Beaver Hunter, keen to consolidate his status, with Black Sheep and Blowfish second and third respectively.
Again April and May bought some of the finest weather of the year, and the 707 East Coast championships. There were 11 boats for the 6 race series, the wind provided plenty of position changing, however team Barnes on Cacciatore won it with consistent top two finishes throughout, Baby Beluga took second place with three wins under his belt, and Beaver Hunter followed in third place.
The Saturday series had a fairly mixed bag of weather and action, and was won by Mick Hill’s Swordfish, followed by Pocket Battleship and Racehorse.
The Farleigh Hospice Regatta in July was well attended and we enjoyed some great weather, Baby Beluga won the event with some close finishing.
The phantom series saw Baby Beluga romp away to win with four firsts, followed by the Rainbow brothers in Marlin, and Mears & Bennett’s Doddle took third place.
Burnham Week bought fine weather to round up an indifferent summer, the bank holiday regatta commenced proceedings with a healthy line-up of boats keen to hone their skills for the up coming national championships. The racing was close fought throughout the weekend, with the wind causing position changing a plenty. John Lewis’ team on Baby Beluga won the weekend, Beaver Hunter coming second and Blowfish finishing in third place.
The weeks points was convincingly won by Roy Harris and his team on Riotous, who notched up no less than five firsts. Pcoket Batttleship followed in second with Black Sheep taking third.The Patrica Bowl was won by Beaver Hunter on the following Saturday.
The 707 was again used for the St Matthew’s cup following last year’s successful outing, and the RCYC proudly won the trophy with helmsmen Stuart and Jamie Mears, Paul Gray and Mark Wade. I have been reliably informed the crewwork was pretty instrumental – funnily enough from the crews !
Soon after much of the fleet travelled south to Weymouth for the National Championships, where it blew old boots ! Amidst much waiting to be released, the race area had to be confined inside the harbour, and the first day got underway in gusts of 35 knots, with just one race completed before the race officer called it a day. Whilst Sword, Betty and Cacciatore were busy finishing 1st,2nd & 3rd, Aquaholic were busy trying to retrieve crew + kite!
Days two and three were similarly restricted to two races each with strong winds preventing a morning set-off, at which point Betty, Cacciatore and Sword were setting themselves into their respective positions. The final Saturday was finally a great days racing, and the top three did not change. There were other strong finishes from Baby Beluga in 5th and Beaver Hunter 7th. We won’t forget packing up in a rainstorm to finish us off !
The autumn series has been the most well attended series in the calendar, with eight or nine boats out on the Sunday mornings, and whilst it endured a stuttering start due to foggy conditions and then too much wind on the first two weekends, the racing has been good since, with two races to go Marlin in the lead and several in the hunt for the series.
Angus Kennedy will be stepping down as class captain since 2005, and taking over we have an episcopate in Phil Bennett – whose enthusiasm in the fleet we look forward to driving us forward in exciting racing and social events in the future.
Looking forward to next season, let us hope the weather can show us a little more favour, and plenty more of the sailing and social we all enjoy.