Bewl Visit 28 August 2006 -
August bank holiday, time to go to Bewl Water again. I love Bewl, it's
a big sailing venue and in all the years Richard and I have been going
there we rarely come away disappointed. This year was no exception. I
was going to do a write-up but Richard beat me to it. So here's his
During the planning of visits to Bewl it is
difficult to ensure that the number and types of boats match the number
and ability of helm and crew so every one has an enjoyable sail; we
often don’t know who will be going until the last minute and the
weather is a big factor. This year every thing ended up just about
perfect to give a marvellous Monday for 15 Aquarius members with 5
The weather forecast was for a 15 mph wind with a
very wet morning; fortunately the rain cleared up before packing to
leave at 7:30 am.
Nigel Knowles was expecting to bring two Lasers, his and a club one, but unfortunately was unable to come.
On Friday Richard Cannon had a phone call from Anna Iremonger to say
she would be coming, her first time to Bewl, but she couldn’t bring her
Laser; Richard managed to find the supports he had made years ago for
mounting a Laser on top of his Signet so was able to take it. Liz
Archer crewed for Richard.
Mike Baker took his Signet and Keith Hatton crewed
for him with Lyn, Madeline, and Laurie Bridges coming as supporters.
Wheeler decided the Bosun would suit the conditions and also took masts
and booms for the Laser, Pico, and Richard’s Signet; Graham Thompson
New members Simon and Hanna Lunniss, with the rest of
the family Oonie, Robbie and Dominic were coming; they decided the club
Pico would be their best option and fortunately they had a substantial
roof rack on the car that was suitable for the Pico; the Pico proved to
be an excellent choice.
The journey was extremely easy with no jams and only
75 minutes from Hampton; not typical bank Monday holiday traffic.
Pursuit races were scheduled lasting 2 hours from the 10:30 start with
the faster boats starting later; the Signets, with a PYS of 1265, were
the first boats away at 10:58 as Simon decided not to join the racing.
A Laser 4000, PYS of 908, was the last boat away at 11:24. There were
only 25 entries and 5 of those were Aquarius boats!!
used nearly all the marks and, following Mike Baker’s example on
Sunday, had many gybe marks; a lap took about 40 minutes.
was a bit earlier than expected and Richard arrived at the start about
6 minutes late; the time absolutely flies by when rigging boats for a
race. He very nearly capsized at the start line.
The forecast of
a 15 mph wind was about right, but for Bewl it was very shifty and
variable. The sailing was very exhilarating, especially when half way
through there was a hail storm with gusts of up to 30 mph. The race
ended with practically no wind and Richard even used the spinnaker.
There were 5 retirements which included Anna after a capsize; although
it was too windy for her weight, ability and lack of practice she
really enjoyed the sail.
For lunch there was a hog roast with a whole pig being carved.
The afternoon race had similar conditions without the extremes. Richard
was following Keith and then was convinced he had missed mark B, the
third one, so Richard stopped following Keith to mark N, diverted to B
and met Rodger; WRONG decision it seems he had already been to B. The
rest of the race was spent with close racing against Rodger instead of
Keith. Well done Keith winning the Ton-up trophy for the leading boat
with helm + crew ages = 100 or more.
Simon, Hannah and family
had a great time on the Pico and did very well not to capsize; they
learnt a great deal. They also explored the adventure playground made
of all natural materials.
To finish off an excellent day most
stopped of at the Grasshopper Pub, just past Westerham on the A25, for
a carvery dinner on the way home; this pub has a very large car park so
there is no problem having a number of boats.
The next day I was still absolutely shattered.