24Oct2001 BEWL WATER VISIT 5-27 AUGUST 2001 - Richard Cannon

Results Sunday Monday

The weather forecast for the bank holiday was for it to be very hot and fine: unfortunately they were only partly right and some very wrong.

The trip down to Bewl was very wet but fortunately it dried up just before getting there. The rest of the day was fine with a 10 knot wind: excellent for relaxed cruising by Robert Britton, Ian & Michael Stevens, Richard Cannon and Barry Jones. The evening was spent at the George & Dragon having a very slow service meal. Sleeping was difficult because it was so hot.

Sunday was normal Bewl racing and all Aquarius boats and the Signet/Fleetwind Open Meeting were started with the slow handicap fleet. The day started rather overcast, light winds and hot; shorts and tee shirt seemed the ideal garb. But little did we know what we were in for, some of the most extreme opposite conditions I have experienced in a race. At first the wind was very light with Richard making a terrible start stuck in no wind and drifting onto the outer distance mark, while Laurie Bridges shot away leading the ST/FW/AQSC fleet.

Before long ominous looking clouds built up and a 20-25 knot squall came through. Then there was another spell of complete calm. We were then surrounded by thunder and lightning and it went as black as night and there was an even stronger squall with painful hailstones; it was very difficult to see the marks and extremely unpleasant in our summer clothes. All the ST/FW/AQSQ fleet retired due to capsizing or fear of lightning except for Richard Cannon/Robert Briton in ST368 and Rodger Wheeler/Ian Powell in the AQSC Graduate. Very few of the Bewl boats finished.

There was a very depleted fleet for the afternoon race, with only 15 Bewl boats and 5 of ours racing, the wind was light throughout the race and there was some drizzle. After the race Rodger Wheeler went for a single handed cruise (no one wanted to crew) and then regretted it as he was well out in the middle when the wind dropped to nothing and there was another heavy downpour.

The evening was spent having a meal at the Brown Trout; much faster service than the previous evening although a steak had to be rejected.

Monday was a fine warm day with a steady NE 5-10 knot wind for the Bewl Autumn Regatta of short course racing. All boats started together for a handicap race, 1 to 2 laps of a triangular course, lasting 20 to 30 minutes. There were 3 races in the morning with each race starting as soon as all boats had finished and two after lunch. Nine of the 30 boats were associated with AQSC/ST/FW. Robert helmed Richard's Signet and did very well to come third in race 3 and overall was the leading SigneT at 8th place.

Both AQSC and SCOA support was rather low but we were made extremely welcome. BVSC had a rescue duty no show on Sunday and we were delighted that Paul Nicholson was able to help them out in a safety boat. There must have been a low turn out for other bank holiday activities because the journey home was the best I have had; only 75 minutes to Aquarius SC.

Our thanks go to BVSC for an excellent visit and especially for accommodating us on Sunday as it wasn't a Bewl Open meeting day.