Grafham Water Signet Open Meeting 19 June Richard Cannon
Grafham Water is a large reservoir, 3 miles long and 1 ½ miles wide, off the A1 between
Bedford and Cambridge; the Signets join the Beds and Cambs Regatta slow handicap
fleet which had 22 entries. There were only 8 entries in the fast handicap fleet.
John Panting with Rodger Wheeler in ST924 and Richard Cannon with Robert Britton
in ST368 went from Aquarius. There were only two other Signets, Pat Overs & Steve
Leeding in ST690, and Lizzy Davies & Tory Carrington in ST761 both from Paxton SC.
It was very windy; NE 20 to 25 gusting 30 knts, with large waves. Richard rigged
but decided it was too windy for him to sail; it was so windy the genoa wouldn’t
furl. A number of potential regatta boats left when they found how windy it was.
John and Rodger sailed and did very well not to capsize. Fortunately although very
strong the wind wasn’t gusty and it was not as difficult as it looked and sounded.
In the afternoon there were two races back to back of one hour each so we would
be on the water for about 3 hours. The wind had dropped by 5knts to a more manageable
15 to 20, gust 25knts so Richard decided to race. There was close racing between
the SigneTs although at times positions changed with big difference in the distance
Lizzy and Pat were faster off the wind and Richard was faster on the beats and managed
to be the first Signet in both races; the decision not to sail the first race paid
off as he was fresher for the afternoon races. Lizzy capsized in the last race. John
did very well not to capsize although in the last race he had a very near capsize
which completely filled them with water.
We never get similar conditions on the river; if it is windy it is usually very gusty
and fluky and we never go really fast.