Noble Marine - 2018 Bough Beech Open
Noble Marine - 2018 Bough Beech open
By Chris Watts - courtesy of Yachts and Yachting
Despite relatively small turnouts in the previous two years that this event has been held, it was decided to have another go this year, especially as this is still the only event south of London. In fact there was one more boat than last year with 6 visitors joining 4 club boats.
Although the forecast was for force 4 southerly gusting 5, with some sun later, those arriving to sail on the 250 acre reservoir, set in attractive North West Kent countryside, were greeted with a very light south easterly. However, race officer Don Buckle kept his nerve and as the boats launched for the first race, the forecast conditions materialised.
The meeting was shared with the Streaker and Finn classes and given the wind strength and length of course, the fleets were kept suitably apart from each other.
As per last year, whilst there was plenty of place changing throughout the day, the wind strength and race length also lead to a fairly similar finishing order in each of the races.
Race 1 saw Richard Lambert of the home club lead convincingly from start to finish and Martin Burgess (also of Bough Beech) was second, overtaking Steve Johnson of Cotswold Sailing Club in the second lap and holding those positions to the end.
Race 2 was held back-to-back with increasing strength in the gusts. Lambert again lead throughout and Burgess was again second, but James Gerwat of Felpham Sailing Club managed to hold on to third place, ahead of Johnson.
Race 3 was held after a break for lunch during which the wind appeared, from the shore, to have moderated. However, once we had all launched and were waiting to start, it was clear that the strength in the fairly long gusts had not lessened a bit. The race was more or less a repeat of Race 1 and Ellen Clancy, of Cotswold Sailing Club, having taken the strategic decision to use her small sail was still able to maintain a consistent fourth place and take the prize for first woman. Lambert and Burgess were therefore first and second overall respectively and Johnson not only finished third but won the prize for first veteran.