Dragon Easter Trophy 12 Apr 2007
After the cold and windy conditions of the two previous weekends, the Burnham River and the Regatta was blessed with glorious sunshine but this made for light and fickle wind conditions and a nightmare for Race Officers and course setting.
The practice race on the Friday morning was supported by three quarters of the fleet and was started in a force 1 to 2 NNE breeze. GBR 684 Hand Of Fortune Mike Holmes started unopposed at the pin end and, with a line shy fleet, was never headed and led to the finish.
The first race of the championship was sailed on the Friday afternoon in the same light NNE breeze; the course was again set in the River Roach. GBR 684 Hand Of Fortune again escaped the fleet soon after the start and lead comfortably to the finish. A good tussle developed for 2nd & 3rd with GBR 707 Valkyrie Stuart Coltart from the Medway YC eventually getting the better of GBR 586 Scorpio
On Saturday morning a light shifty breeze built from the same direction as the previous day. The fleet started on time at 10:30; again the leading boat at the start got away to establish a healthy lead that was never challenged. This time it was GBR 722 Avalanche Mark Wade. It was a different story behind with many place changes and, with the breeze dying in the latter stages of the race, GBR 644 Tsunami Nigel Cole came through from 6th to take second place on the last leg of the course to push GBR 729 Frank Tim Tavinor down to third.
The fading breeze disappeared completely by the time of the scheduled second race and after the fleet patiently waited for two hours for a sea breeze to fill, the Race Officers were forced to abandon racing for the day.
Sunday morning and a blanket of mist laid across the river delaying the committee boat departure for an hour. The fleet was sent down river on the last of the ebb, but it was another two hours before a few zephyrs of wind from the west started to appear. It was in these conditions that the Race Officer started the fleet.
GBR 644 Tsunami established an early lead but, on reaching the windward mark, the fleet split equally between the north & south banks of the Crouch to try and avoid the strong running spring tide. The south bank boats gained the most advantage with the exception of Tsunami who maintained her lead. Again on the next run the fleet split and those on the normally less favoured south shore gained the greatest advantage for a second time. GBR 688 Quicksilver III Robert Campbell took the lead, followed by GBR 636 Seafire David Crabb with Tsuanami dropping to third. Those positions were maintained to the finish on a shortened course.
The wind had built to a steadier force 2 westerly by the time of the second race of the day. Quicksilver again lead the way and finished the day with two firsts. Avalanche was second and Scorpio third. Tsunami had a disappointing race; having held third place, slipped to 10th by the finish one place behind Hand Of Fortune in 9th. These five boats went into the final day separated by only three points.
Monday morning was another glorious sunny day but this time a good force 2 westerly breeze covered the course from the start and built to the top end of force 3 by the end of the race. The Race Officers set the longest course of the weekend with Quicksilver again taking the winning gun, followed by GBR 704 Ganador Martin Makey second and Scorpio third. Avalanche finished a disappointing 4th having only to finish one place behind Quicksilver to win overall.
1st – GBR 688 Quicksilver Robert Campbell
2nd – GBR 722 Avalanche Mark Wade
3rd – GBR 586 Tsunami Nigel Cole
The weekend was supported by a full social programme including one of our Belgium visitors providing a beer tasting evening with beer from his own brewery! Special thanks to our photographers, James Holmes, Sheena Cosens and Rod Tinsley