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Dec 292017

Boxing Day Open at Budworth in aid of the RNLI.

Actors advise, “Do not work with animals, children or technology”. Sailors may feel the same, as the internet connection which controls the Race Management System went AWOL at the traditional Budworth Boxing Day Open (probably caused by all the non-sailors sitting at home on their computers!). 
Technology doesn’t deter sailors, and the racing continued with just a delayed start for Race 2.

At 12.00 a good 12 mph breeze blew across the Mere, allowing PRO Mark Philpot to set a course with three good beats, and a long reach. Allowing for 4 laps at around 18 minutes each of this long course, sailors enjoyed blowing the cobwebs off their sloth of Christmas Day!

Racing for a full hour meant that the PYRs were in full play, and the Enterprise of Steve Blackburn (West Lancs) was in fact competing with the Fast handicap RS 200s.  In the end, the RS fought their way to the front, and Martin and Sian Joesbury (Budworth)  took the race, with Jon Chapman and Wendy Martin (Budworth) in second place.

Phil Barnes, now happily rejoined at Budworth as a full member, led the single handers in his Solo, both in elapsed and corrected time. The Junior fleet was in GPs, with Michaela Attfield, crewed by Kate Bottomley leading Rosanna and Simon Joyce home. Rosanna turned the tables in Race 2, fully justifying her request for sponsorship which is to the aid of the RNLI, and taking the Junior prize.

Inland waters are all susceptible to vagaries of wind – three days earlier winds of 50mph were forecast. On the day, it moderated to a safe, but rewarding breeze. However, a complete standstill was forecast, and it materialised in Race 2. The internet was in sympathy with the wind, and froze completely during the start sequence. Rescue teams kept the sailors updated, and a manual override was operated (ie PRO on the jetty with a foghorn).  The goodwill, and happy atmosphere of the whole meeting was to the fore, and everyone accepted the difficulties with equanimity and good humour. Foresight, or happenstance? The PRO shortened course to one lap, and after just one boat, the whole fleet crossed in totally becalmed conditions.

With results of race 1 tucked away with the angels on the internet cloud, and race 2 results in old technology pencil and paper, the winners could be easily identified. The Joesburys’ took the honours ahead of the RS of Chapman and Martin, and the rest of the Joesbury family in 3rd. Steve Blackburn and Ian Ritchie (West Lancs, Enterprise) took the slow handicap prize from Hugh Devereux/Malcolm Bird (Budworth, GP).

Phil Barnes sailed to a first in both races, and Steve Hubbard (Budworth, Solo), shared the second place with Tony Wilcock (Budworth, Laser).

Budworth fame stretches far and wide, and prizes for long distance travellers went to Andy Chapman (Weston SC, Southampton), Isaac Marsh, (Northampton), and Toby Moon/Rachel Wilcock (Royal Corinthian, Burnham-on-Crouch).

As usual, the real winner of this event is the RNLI, with over £300  going to its vital work. Along with Rosanna Joyce’s sponsorship, the RNLI will gain about £500.

Also, as usual, the date for 2018 is already set – it will be the 26th December, Boxing Day!

Mark Philpot (PRO)