Avon & Somerset Constabulary Sailing Section
Dinghy Sailing Championships
DATE: Wednesday, 19th June, 2013
It was almost like dejà vu - all over again. A goodly number of competitors arrived again this year to find conditions very similar to 2012 when the the heat was almost overpowering and there was little or no wind. Only the month was different - March last year; June this year. Fortunately, the light breeze hung in enough to provide three good races demanding a lot of concentration and not a small amount of good fortune as the wind came and went, not always from the same direction. As last year, the Race Officer used the local CVLSC handicap ratings.
After almost 50 minutes delay waiting for any breeze to appear in earnest, Race One got away on a triangular course with the wind turning just enough for John Oldham in his recently acquired Phantom to make the windward mark in a single tack. A few boats also managed to make the mark without tacking but many of the boats following were obliged to make a meal of rounding the first mark as the wind became fickle. The next leg had turned into a run and, with the odd puff of wind striking indiscriminately, by the end of the next leg the fleet had bunched into two distinct groups. Oldham maintained a lead for the first lap with Ken Daniels (Phantom) and Ian Ingram (Enterprise) in pursuit, also Tony Hyland in the leading Laser. Conditions remained uncertain and Oldham lost out on the second lap allowing Daniels to overtake and be first over the finish line followed by Ingram then Oldham. On corrected time the Enterprise was a clear winner with Hyland second and Richard Sivers in a Laser, third.
Race Two after lunch was another triangular course but smaller and using the buoy nearest the dam as the windward mark. Though the wind had changed direction, conditions for this race were no better and the first beat became a total lottery. Whereas the right side of the beat had looked promising, boats taking the left side ended up with a slight advantage. Nevertheless Oldham got away to reach the first mark well ahead never to be challenged. Behind, boats were tacking and re-tacking just to make the mark. Jeff Hines in the A&S Comet Trio found himself well up this time, challenging the leading Laser and the faster RS400 of Mark Fordham which managed enough momentum to cut through some of the wind-shift changes. As it was, performances became more reliant on patience and a good sense of balance. On corrected time Oldham beat the Enterprise by over a minute with Hyland a further minute behind.
With a race win each, Oldham and Ingram had it all to play for with Hyland also needing a win to remain in contention.
Race Three followed back-to-back, though the start was delayed when the wind changed direction 90º during the count-down and the Committee Boat was repositioned to set another triangle with the windward mark to the east. With the windward buoy positioned fairly near the shore with trees on the bank, early arrivals found themselves dithering at the mark searching to find any waft of breeze to get them safely round the buoy and on to the next leg. Meanwhile Daniels, having received a cooling off in the previous race after inspecting the temperature of the water, established something of a lead ahead of Hyland and Ingram with the BTP Merlin Rocket of Martin Smith also in the mix. In such light conditions it wasn't long before the Enterprise was close on the stern of the Phantom. Around 45 minutes the Race Officer shortened course, the front end of the fleet having managed to get in 3 laps. By this time Oldham with a brilliant display of tactical sailing - or was it a lucky puff of wind - had managed to overtake the leaders to finish first on the water. But still not far enough ahead to take the race which on corrected time went to Ingram with Hyland second and Oldham third.
It had been a well deserved triumph for Ian Ingram and crew Marie Bond sailing the perfect dinghy for the conditions - an Enterprise.
Contact for the event is:
Mark Fordham -
Click here to view details of Avon & Somerset Police Regatta, 2012
Click here to view details of Avon & Somerset Police Regatta, 2011
Avon & Somerset Constabulary Sailing Section hosted the Police National Laser & Dinghy Championships, 2010 and did not run their normal Police Open Regatta in 2010.
Full details regarding that event appear on
Police Sport UK Dinghy Championships page.
2001 - 2009
Click here to view details of previous Avon & Somerset police regattas
Also on the Avon & Somerset 'Stats' page.