Blazes Gone South 26 May 2022
Five members of the Burnham Blaze Fleet headed south to Warsash for the Blaze Southern Championships at the weekend.
After some uncertainty about the size of the fleet, they were greeted by a competitive fleet of 25 boats from far and wide and, once the rain on Friday had stopped, glorious sailing conditions.
Day 1 saw a building sea breeze for the course off Hill Head, and the Corinthian fleet had a mixed start with three boats in the top 10 while unfortunately Alex Porteous had to endure the ignominy of her mast falling down after it was rigged by the boat builder from Hartley Boats ! Claims of him deliberately nobbling the competition rumbled around the dinghy park throughout the weekend! On the water, the growing breeze ensured some interesting moments at gybe marks, but Nic Tolhurst and Malc Hutchings were nothing if not consistent, right up until the point where Malc’s kicker broke meaning he missed race 3. Your erstwhile RC Sailing decided to capsize just before the start of race 3 but the resulting 6th place (by virtue of having clear air…) was a fine recovery sail (even if I do say so myself !). The blast back to the club after racing was epic, even if there was some further swimming to be done in the channel of the Hamble River…. The tea and cakes at the club were nothing if not well earned !!
Day 2 dawned sunny but windless, but the canny Race Officer decided to send the fleet out on time in the expectation (or hope…) of the wind filling in, which thankfully it duly did. Races 4 and 5 were a lesson in getting clear air and holding on to it, but at the front of the fleet 4 boats were regularly battling it out, with Eden Hyland (the mast nobbler…), Mike Lyons, Nic Tolhurst and Malc Hutchings settling into a very consistent order. Elsewhere in the fleet the Corinthian contingent enjoyed close racing, mark touching, and place swapping but as the wind began to build, Nick Milton was once again able to put his upwind advantage (of around 30kg) to good effect and bagged a 5th place.
At the end of two excellent days of racing the Corinthian sailors came away with:
– Nic Tolhurst – 3rd overall
– Malc Hutchings – 4th overall
– Nick Milton – 6th overall
– Keith Gilmore – 9th overall
– Andy Ramsey (honorary Burnham Blaze Squad) – 13th overall and top polyester boat
– Alex Porteous – 23rd overall (with only 3 race results !) and top lady
Next stop will be the Nationals at Stone Sailing Club from 10th to 12th June.