Bewl Visit 30-31 May 2004

Although the weather forecast for the Bank Holiday was poor and the support was low the conditions were perfect and some of our new members gained a great deal from it.

On Sunday Mike Baker and Keith Hatton came with Mike’s Signet ST369 and new members Richard Hart and Regina Tam joined Richard Cannon with his Signet ST368 for cruising; it was a normal Bewl club race day.

The 8 to 14 kt wind was perfect for taking out newcomers although Mike and Keith would have preferred a a bit more wind for a good thrash. Richard took Richard H and Regina out for a cruise around all the reservoir. Previously they had only been out a couple of times and they learnt a great deal taking turns at helming during 5 hours of sailing.

During the morning sail the intention was to go up to the end of Bewl Straight, 2.5 miles, but the wind increased rather so ST368 returned for lunch as Richard H and Regina were so inexperienced. After lunch there was a dramatic drop in temperature and several more layers and a spray suite were added. The wind had moderated so ST368 sailed to the end of Bewl Straight. Looking back the club could hardly been seen; it was having a torrential down pour of rain that completely missed where ST368 was sailing. Richard H and Regina went from knowing very little about sailing to being able to handle the boat and tack in wind we seldom get on the river.

On Monday there was similar wind and sunshine all day for the Bewl Open Spring Regatta. Rodger Wheeler brought his Bosun with Brian Clements, Liz Archer and new member Jane Gibson. The regatta racing had two race starts; one for the 10 Bewl Champion boats and one for the the Allcomers Handicap race with 25 boats, over a trapezoidal course for one hour. Jane crewed for Richard although ended up doing most of the helming in the first race. Richard helmed the beats and the first reach but then decided it would be very good experience for Jane to helm in the perfect conditions. On one run Richard even flew the spinnaker, and Jane crossed the finishing line planning.

After the first beat of the first afternoon race Jane spent the rest of the time practicing helming and tacking; although she found it easier racing when she wasn’t having to tack and just had to follow instructions without really having to think.

Rodger wheeler and Liz Archer completed all three races and also had two cruising sessions going up to the end of Bewl Straight.

We were very fortunate the poor weather forecast didn’t apply to Bewl and it shows that you shouldn’t be put off by the prospect of bad weather.

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