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Four boats from Paxton Lakes Sailing Club made the short journey to Grafham Water SC on Saturday 9th June for the Beds and Cambs regatta. They arrived to find a very small turnout of only 15 boats and strong winds. We were informed during the briefing that the wind on the course was around 20 knots and gusting 27, but all boats made the brave (maybe foolish decision) to launch for the first race. It was only once we launched and sailed out to the start line that we realised quite how strong the wind was. However before the start every sailor had a huge smile on their face as they sailed around the start area waiting for the race committee to get us underway. For many of the Paxton boats (all except Gareth and Toby really) these were the strongest conditions we had ever raced in.
All was going well for the Paxton boats in the first race with Gareth Russell and Toby Barsley-Dale leading the fast fleet by a long way in their Hornet. Matt Bowden (Laser Radial) and Pat Overs (Solo) were really close as they rounded the 2nd mark after an exhilarating reach from the windward mark. Joe and Helen Sharp weren’t far behind in the Bosun. From there the first race went slightly downhill for a few of the Paxton sailors. The run proved very unstable for Matt who just about managed to reach the leeward mark and gybe unharmed but then decided to be the first Paxton sailor to try out the water with 2 death rolls within the space of about 2 minutes. This coupled with the cold forced Matt to retire from the race. Matt’s retirement was closely followed by Gareth and Toby who were towed in by a Safety Boat after the rudder fittings failed just after completing their second lap. Unfortunately this put an end to their day with the Jib getting torn on the tow in. The 1st race wasn’t all doom and gloom though for Paxton sailors as Pat put in a very solid 4th and Joe a fantastic 3rd.
The afternoon saw 2 back to back races, and to the dismay of the sailors the wind had not decreased as forecast if anything it had increased. This didn’t put off the hardy Paxton sailors so Matt, Pat and Joe (with his new helm Gareth) launched and sailed off to the start again. All Paxton boats completed the first lap with Pat and Gareth and Joe sailing off up the beat followed by Matt. The reach and run then saw Matt overtake Gareth and Pat still sailed in the distance. According to Gareth the look on Matts face down the run was one of pure fear! Pat then decided he would test the water and turtled his solo ¾ of the way down the run after what can only be described as a dodgy gybe! This led to Pat having to retire from the race but both Matt finished (4th) and Gareth and Joe (3rd). Matt then followed Pat into shore as he was unable to physically start the last race but Joe and Gareth did and recorded another 3rd place.
Overall all the sailors had a great day (if at times very scary). Overall Joe came a fantastic 3rd in the slow fleet followed my Matt 4th and Pat 5th. Grafham SC swept up all the firsts and seconds in both the fast and slow fleet. Matt was the first junior overall.
A huge thanks has to go to the Race Committee and Safety boat crews who did a fantastic job in what were awful conditions.
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Come along if you can sail to learn about racing, or improve your racing.
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13 to 16-age group:
1. Sophie Redman-Baber 1.12.88
2. Bobby Martin 1.14.93
3. Andy Martin 1.26.698 to 12 age group:
1. Lewis Redman-Baber 1.15.12
2. Amy Beswick 2.17.69
3. Dexter Bond 2.18.50
Full report and pictures here
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Well the plan is to have a enjoyable day at the club. A chance to introduce our newer members to the club, help you with where the club boats are and how the club runs. For those that haven’t been out on the water yet this year this is the perfect opportunity as there will be a rescue boat on the water to help you out if there are any problems. There will be plenty of people around between 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm to help you out in whatever way you need and to make sure we don’t get hungry there will be a BBQ from 12:30 for an hour or so.
So although it is called New Members Afternoon to get the 2012 season at Paxton Lakes Sailing Club off to a great start it is open to all members and if you have friend who might be interested in sailing at Paxton Lakes SC bring them along. Just keep your fingers crossed that the weather is bit nicer than recent days.
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- Arrival any time from 4pm on Friday the 24th of August
- Two night's accommodation in the centre's main building in shared bunk rooms
- Cooked breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday mornings
- Evening meal on Saturday night
- Packed lunch Saturday and Sunday (available in the mornings to take with us on the water if necessary)
- Two days of sailing with full rescue cover. We will be able to set our own programme of cruising and racing during the two days
- Access to the centre's mountain bikes, high ropes and other activities, subject to supervision availability
- Access to the centre's own dinghies (e.g. Wayfarers) for £50 per boat per day if you prefer not to take your own boat
- Ability to keep your boat safely overnight in the main centre compound
- A very well equipped boatyard and workshop should you be unfortunate enough to break something whilst on the water
Please send the Bradwell 2012 Booking form with deposit before the end of May to book your place.
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