Once again we had superb holiday weather, although not quite so good for sailing. It was very nice to see boats brought down for use by our junior members; Bill Milstead brought the Club Topper for Mark and others to use and Peter Sutton's dad brought Peter's Streaker. 34 members and friends had a most enjoyable holiday.
Although we didn't have the convenience of camping at the Club 10 tents were accommodated in a field of their own, at Jo Morgans camp site only a mile up the road; Jo has crewed for Laurie & Richard in the past.
The wind was very light and patchy on Saturday but we had more members and boats out cruising than at any other Bewl visit. Richard Cannon and Laurie Bridges took several members out in their Signets, as did Barry Jones on his Hawke Catamaran, Graham Thompson in his Bosun, Mike Rodgers in his GP14, and the Topper and Streaker were sailed; a total of 7 boats. The light wind enabled our new inexperienced sailors to cope well.
On Sunday we were joined by Nigel and Andrew Knowles with two Lasers, and by some Signet Association members for the Signet Open meeting that was combined with the Bewl Autumn Regatta. There were 8 Signets for their own start and 5 of our boats started in the slow handicap fleet of 13 boats and 2 in the Laser fleet of 9 boats.
There was zero wind first thing and racing, around a simple rectangular course, was delayed until the wind filled in a bit; there were a lot of confusing postponement sound and flag signals. The wind was rather light, patchy and fluky for the morning race but much improved for the two afternoon races which gave very pleasant sails. Peter did extremely well to receive a glass for coming 4th in the Slow Handicap Class.
Six short course races were schedule for Monday with a mass start of 50 boats from the committee with a triangle and a sausage course finishing with a short reach at the committee boat. Except for a lunch break each race was to start as soon as the previous one had finished.
Unfortunately there was no wind again and only one race was completed before lunch due to delays, but 3 races were completed after lunch. We found the racing very difficult with confusing changes of course, so many starters, a starting line so long that it was difficult to see the end mark and a very light patchy and fluky wind. There were again many confusing sound and flag signals for postponements, general recalls, the 1 minute round the end rule penalty in force and disqualification rule in force for being over the line.
There were 11 Optimists with very young helm competing who did extremely well to take 6 of the first 11 places and the team prize; Richard found it embarrassing to find Optimists well in front of him at the first mark in all the Monday races.