A big well done to all the BSC Sailors who travelled to Grafham Water on the weekend of 24 and 25 September to compete at the RYA’s East Zone Championship. No less than 17 Blackwater SC sailors took part, sailing in the Optimist, Topper, Feva and Laser 4.7 fleets, with some venturing forth from the Blackwater for the first time. All did well in challenging conditions which in the main body of the Water rarely dipped below Force 5, with gusts of up to Force 6 on both days.
Particular success was had the Optimist Regatta Fleet, with three club members take the first three places, so congratulations to George Pickering (1); Hugh Andrews (2); and Jessica Taylor (3) for their achievements. Over in Main Fleet Joey Taylor (2) and Nick Evans (5) put in strong and consistent performances throughout the two days. Joey Taylor was at the forefront of a protest that led to over 20 boats being disqualified in one race for missing out the windward mark. Joey and Nick’s results should mean that both will be invited to join the RYA’s Zone Squad for training over the winter.
Elsewhere congratulations are due to Caitlin Webber for taking first place in the Topper Regatta Fleet. Aimee Taylor and Jamie Norman put in strong performances in the Main Topper fleet. Sophie Johnson and Marnie Aers did well in the Feva Fleet as did Lola Andrews competing at an open meeting for the first time in her Laser 4.7
Recent retired British windsurfing Olympic silver medallist, Nick Dempsey, attended the event in his new career as a photographer. His pictures, which include some of our local sailors, can be found here:
Finally a special mention is due to Nicky Johnson who was the designated safety officer for the Optimist, Topper and Feva main fleets. Keeping an eye on the 70 or so boats was no easy or small task. It was a credit to her and her on-the-water team, which included Don Aers, Steve Andrews and David Evans, that all sailors got back safely despite the difficult conditions.
Thanks to David Evans for the report.