Blackwater estuary, UK, June 15-16, 2013. Regatta report by Andy Gibson
Nine snipes arrived on the Blackwater estuary for the annual Stone SC Snipe regatta run together with an open for GP14s..
It was great to have Phil and Emma Hackney making their first trip down south for a while as well as Eric and Lyn Paalman representing Budworth SC..
Saturdays racing took place under a grey sky with a strong outgoing tide kicking up steep chop against a gusty cold northeaster .. Superb race organization gave us 3 races in rapid succession with Maxim Romain crewed by Steve Roberts and Alan Williams/Liz Pike fighting hard for first position ..Downwind legs were taking much longer than upwind legs as the current strengthened which seemed to favour Maxim… In the pack it was good to see the Budworth lake sailors enjoying the conditions with very close racing throughout the fleet.
Saturday night saw a packed clubhouse and excellent food with a raffle for a 5 litre bottle of vodka proving very popular..Lots of discussion took place on the forthcoming nationals at Orkney with lots of excitement from those aiming to make the journey to the far north..
Weather conditions on Sunday were slightly gentler with some sunshine and big windshifts across a large course . Again the three races were run like clockwork but the snipe racers were less consistent today..Richard and Debbie missed race 4 after a sleepless night with their little ones..Maxim managed to be over the line on the last two races with the current seeming variable today.. Alan managed a swim after a big windshift and two snipes collided with Ian Marshall resulting in some superficial hull damage and then a broken forestay and jib halyard ending Ian’s bid for third position..
After race 6 Alan and Liz were clear winners with Maxim and Steve counting an OCS to just claim second place ..