Bewl 25-26 May 2003

This year it seems to have been a succession of holidays with Easter very late and the late Spring Holiday early with the May Day holiday in between; perhaps this was part of the reason for fewer members than usual making the trip to Bewl; no one went Saturday.

Sunday had very variable weather ranging from fine and warm with a gentle breeze to a force 5 squall. There was a very leisurely rig as we decided to cruise.

Mike Baker with Keith Hatton were the first on the water. It started with ideal conditions for Pat Irving to helm Richard Cannon's Signet although as they launched the 7 to 10 knt SW breeze dropped to nothing. They were joined by an old Hawker friend Bill Poulton with his Enterprise.

Fortunately the wind picked up and there was a great reach for the 2 1/2 miles up Bewl Straight. Although it was surprisingly gusty, fluky and shifty; we expect to have left those conditions behind at Aquarius. It was a very pleasant 90 minute sail.

After lunch Keith suggested that Madeline might like to go out for a sail as the conditions were so good. She was very glad she declined as after a short while a dark cloud approached giving a 15 to 20 knt squall with torrential rain and painful hail stones. Fortunately Richard saw it coming and had taken over the helm from Pat in time.

Keith and Mike had a cracking sail during the wildest conditions and came ashore with big smiles. The day ended being as fine as it started.

On Monday Graham Thompson arrived very early with his Bosun. Then Margaret Jones brought Barry for her first visit to Bewl. Later Liz Archer arrived also for her first visit followed by Phil Courtney and Anne, and Gorden, Joan and David Courtney.

The Bewl Spring Regatta was the usual handicap racing with the Bewl Champions start followed by the rest in the All Comers start; you might think that would be very hairy with a club the size of Bewl but there were only 19 entrants.

For the morning race Graham took Barry as crew and Richard took Margaret. The 11:00 start was postponed an hour because there was no wind and only 5 knts was forecast. Fortunately as we started a 10 knts wind filled in and we had a very pleasant race of 2 laps round a simple triangular course; there were many large wind shifts.

While we had lunch Graham gave his Bosun to Phil, Gorden and Liz to have a sail.

The two afternoon races were held back to back with Liz crewing for Richard and David crewing for Graham. The wind had increased a bit and by the end we even had a few gentle planes although it was warm enough to sail in shorts and tee shirt. After the end of racing Liz wanted to explore the reservoir so they had a very pleasant cruise to the end of Bewl Straight lasting an hour.

Richard was very surprised to find that he had won the first two races and it was the icing on the cake for Margaret and Liz to get glassware on their first Bewl visit.

Although we had few boats this year once again Bewl has given us some excellent sailing.