Olympic Regatta Weekend
All who attended were spoilt with wall to wall sunshine and a force 3 to 4 westerly wind on both days allowing full use of the water for long beats from one end of the Flash to the other. With gold, silver and bronze medals and other prizes up for grabs in each fleet the racing was full on and some say as serious as the copy cat Olympics which start in Weymouth at the end of the month will be.
With the Olympic flag flying horizontal from the flag pole the boats gathered on the water and started with the 17 strong asymetrics away first sailing a windward/leeward course while the 15 strong Laser and 32 strong handicap fleet followed on.
The asymmetric fleet was decided on count back after Dave Exley/Nigel Hall (LLSC – RS400) tied on 3 point with Alex Morrison (LLSC – RS100) but a 2,2,1 beat Morrisons 1,4,2 so gold went to Exley and Hall while Morrison settled for silver. Bill Kenyon and Mark Atherton (Budworth SC – RS400) sailed extremely well to grab the bronze with a 5,1,4.
The Laser fleet was dominated by Tom (Call me ‘Ben‘) Keegan (LLSC) with three bullets to take the gold medal. Silver and bronze were decided on count back with John Lewis (Chew Valley SC) taking silver with a 5,3,2 to Gareth McCormacks (LLSC) 4,2,3
The gold medal winner in the handicap fleet was decided in the final race and it went to Phil Bishop (Sheffield Viking SC – RS300) who scored a 1,2,1 while Dave and Ross South well (LLSC – Miracle) won silver with a 2,1,3. Bronze went to Richard Catchpole (LLSC – RS300)
Medals were also presented to junior and intermediate junior competitors who competed in the handicap fleet with gold medals presented to Hannah Bristow/Bobby Hewitt (RS Feva – 7th o/o ), silver to Archie Leckie (Optimist – 9th o/o) and bronze to Matthew Leckie (Topper – 24th o/o) In the intermediate juniors gold went to Olivia Cuthbert (Optimist – 15th o/o), silver to Sian Talbot (Optimist – 16th o/o) and bronze to Izzie Bristow (Topper – 23rd o/o)
After the prize giving the annual LLSC bottle boat race began with some 20 plus entries. This was won Mark and Olivia Cuthbert with a flying machine helmed by a Barbie doll and they were rewarded with gold medals and a box of chocolates. Competitors then had a BBQ followed by music from a live band and the bar was open until late.
A new series of races, more wind, plenty of sunshine, the same fleet starts and more medals to be won.
With Saturdays AOD Paul Allen now allowed to sail he teamed up with brother Mike and launched their RS400. They then went on to win gold in the asymmetric fleet with a 4,1,1. Dave Exley/Nigel Hall claimed the silver medal with 1,2,2 and Martin and Liam Parker LLSC – RS400) settled for broanze.
In the Laser fleet Tom Keegan carried on were he left off with another three bullets to claim his second gold medal of the event. Silver and bronze was settled in the last race with Glyn Purnell (LLSC) scoring 3,3,2 to Ty Burrows 4,2,3.
The handicap fleet was dominated by the two RS300’s and again it was decided on count back with Phil Bishop claiming gold with a 2,3,1 to Richard Catchpoles 1,2,2. Sailing extremely fast and enjoying the big gusty reaches the RS Feva XL of Graeme and Madeleine Bristow (LLSC) sailed into bronze medal position.
The medal positions for the junior fleet were the same as Saturday and in the intermediate fleet Sian won gold, Libby Cuthbert silver and Izzie Bristow bronze.
The John Barnes trophy, donated by the Barnes family and awarded to the boat with the lowest score from all six races sailed, was won by Tom Keegan.