Bart’s Bash 2016 18 Sep 2016
Bart’s Bash began with a briefing – “You’ll all meet at Greenward…and remember this one’s fun.” That was about the extent of it and, in the spirit of this worldwide charitable event, it was fun – the light NW and strong flood tide lasted the whole race. Bill Wright had organised it well and, not so good, he nominated me to write the report because “you were in a good position to see everything from your position!”
True, I had dithered over the oldest question on the Crouch, South shore or North – there would be less tide but also less wind under the Club. However, it is important to decide, I failed, and from a good viewing position behind the start line, fighting the tide and favouring the south side of the fairway, it was lovely to see boats on each bank whizzing away, spinnakers tugging, making for that first mark.
The conditions suited light boats – it was never going to be a great day for a seaworthy cruiser – but there was one and Zelda was the first friend we saw. In the distance the RS Elites were having a great time racing Bill Wright on his 707 and the Dragons. They probably did meet at Greenward but not all of us were present to witness that. It was very civilized by the time we arrived with a bright orange RCOD and in sight of other Squibs.
Then it was Jubilee twice and back to Redward. We were on the wind once or twice but the race never slowed up and it seemed like no time before we were on a fetch back to the RCYC line in time for lunch. The Elites had, unsurprisingly, sped round to finish in the first three places on the water but, such is the handicapping system, that the first two places went to Squibs – Micky Wright Spoof and Simon Griffin Brutus with Dragon Beauty and the Beast, sailed by Peter Marchant and Katie Cole, third. The first Elite was Flo, sailed by Chris Agar, and the leading RCOD John Waples in Corpo Santo.
It was good to be out sailing, taking part in a worldwide event commemorating a great Olympic yachtsman and aiming to make a difference to disabled sailing round the world. As a bonus, not only did I have a great view of the race I came ahead of Bill Wright on handicap. He says thank you to those who took part – and we would like to thank him for organising an enjoyable day on the water with a bit of racing thrown in.