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Bewl Visit 27-29 May 2000 - Richard Cannon

The forecast for the bank holiday weather was appalling, unfortunately it was very accurate.
Very keen new members Sue and David Ginn werenít dissuaded, even though they had been warned them that it might be too windy to take them out, and they were already there when Richard arrived with our youth members Robert Britton and Michael Stevens. The only other member to come Saturday was Laurie Bridges.
We were surprised to find quite a lot of dinghies on the water; Hornets were having an Open Meeting. They sailed the morning race, with many capsizes and cancelled the afternoon race due to the force 6 (25mph) very gusty Westerly wind. The boards were having a great time.
Fortunately the wind moderated for a period around 4:00 p.m. and Richard was able to take David out for a short sail keeping in sheltered areas.
It was extremely wet and cold, even hailstorms, and there was torrential rain and high winds all Saturday night; the noise preventing sleeping. When it started getting light Richard was surprised that his tent seemed much smaller but he was dry. A few hours later when the rain stopped for a brief period, he found the fibre glass poles had come out and the tent had collapsed inwards. Robert and Michael changed into their wetsuits at 5:00 a.m. because their tent was leaking so badly. There was over 2 inches of rain at Bewl over the 24 hours from Saturday to Sunday. The reservoir water level was higher than we had ever seen it.
In spite of the weather Graham Thompson arrived early Sunday morning with his Bosun also David Ginn turned up again. The wind was still up to force 6 for racing. Graham reefed his Bosun and Robert crewed for him, Richard started with Michael crewing but decided it was too windy to sail the course, and thrashed around in the more sheltered areas before taking David out again.
Keith and Madeline Hatton arrived quite late with their Signet and decided to try the conditions in Grayhamís reefed Bosun, with David crewing, before taking David as crew (in their Signet) in the afternoon race, and then went for a cruise after the race; this resulted in Davidís first capsize. David manage to get a lot of sailing with his visit; it wonít seem the same on the river for him.
Bewl results
Click for David Ginn sailing 20kb

As there were so few boats, six from Bewl (out of 1200 in the boat park) and three from Aquarius, they were all put in one handicap race in the afternoon. The conditions were extremely variable with the wind coming from all directions and varying from a dead calm to force 5-6 most of the time. At the first mark a slam header capsized Richard to windward resulting in inverting; Michael did an excellent job of righting the boat.
True to forecast Monday was much better weather with a force 4 (15 mph) Westerly wind. Richard was surprised to find Robert dozing by the clubhouse at 7:30 a.m., it was dryer than in their tent. He and Michael had done the 13 mile walk round the reservoir Sunday evening and got back at 1:30 in the morning; I admire them undertaking it.
We were joined by Rodger Wheeler with the Club Graduate, and a couple of our Hawker friends Roy Melsom and Bill Poulton . There was a general swapping around of crew to give everyone a sail. There were two starts; one for Club Champions and one for Allcomers; we were 5 of the 31 boats in the latter start. There were three excellent races making the visit worthwhile and enjoyable. Laurie was robbed of a very good place in the first race when a Laser capsized and dropped itís mast on top of his forestay so they tangled up. Richard managed to win the 2nd race and came 3rd overall.
Just to remind us that the weather hadnít really changed there was a torrential hailstorm for 30 minutes while we were packing up Robertís tent just before leaving. A bonus of the bad weather was that there was very little traffic on the journey home.