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AFLOAT: Weymouth regatta success
4:37pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in Sport
THE Weymouth Keelboat Championships reported a successful five-day regatta which witnessed over 200 competitors battle differing weather conditions over the past week, writes Steve Dadd.
The event was held in association with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, as part of Yacht Clubs of Weymouth regattas.
The championships then got into full swing on August 17 with the Impala 28 OOD fleet holding their Nationals as part of the keelboat championships. An offshore course took competitors along the east coast of Portland and out to the Shambles bank, then across to Arish Mell before heading back to Weymouth via Ringstead and Portland Harbour.
The weather was all seasons in one day with wind and rain, replaced by fog and no breeze before burning off into bright sunshine and a good breeze to finish with.
The following day dawned brig-ht with 12 knots of breeze but the forecast was for stronger winds and rain.
All the fleets completed two races but not before enduring 50 knots of breeze across the decks and a vicious downpour. Sunday’s race was then blessed with warm sunshine and clear blue skies.
The prize-giving at Weymouth Sailing Club on the Sunday declared WSC commodore Kathy Claydon winner of the IRC class with IRC 3 national winner Bengal Magic pushing her all the way. Bill Barker on Flair 2 romped to victory in PY 1 whilst Paul Barford in PY 2 led from Wednesday, whilst Dave McCune in Inky Finger was victorious in the Squib class.
Thornlow School sponsored the youth prizes, an initiative to encourage younger sailors to get involved with keelboat sailing.
Old Pulteney Whiskey supplied drinks for the Saturday social as well as miniatures for the winners and crews on the Sunday prize-giving.
A raffle in aid of the Ellen MacArthur Trust raised more than £600, this will ensure that a local, young adult recovering from cancer will get a placement on one of the trust yachts to help rebuild their confidence and self esteem.
Regatta chairman Steve Dadd reported that the Championships had received positive feedback from the competitors and was looking forward to building on that success next year.
Two classes of yachts have already enquired whether the Yacht Clubs of Weymouth could stage their national championships as part of the keelboat regatta for next year.
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