Carnage at the Sea Champs

Carnage at the Sea Champs

Not one of the best weekends I’m afraid, Weston is a great place to sail, but not in winds of 24Kts, gusting well over 30, and those were the conditions on day one of the Sea Champs this year.

Sailing with the Southern circuit of the Lasers, the Lightning fleet put to sea full of confidence, or not, what followed wasn’t a pretty sight, half the boats were capsized before the first start. During race one Caroline got separated from her boat, and was picked up by the safety boat. But with so many helms in the water already, Caroline’s boat was left adrift as the safety boats recovered people first. John Claridge parted company with LN402, which ended up on the beach, John being fished out of the water by a passing Laser helmed by Steve Cockrell.

Penny lost her rudder, but was again pulled out of the water onto a safety boat, her Lightning was now adrift in the main shipping channel. At this point, after just 20 minutes racing, the race officer quite rightly abandoned racing for the day, there were just to many people in the water for the safety boats to contended with. At one point Penny, Caroline and John were all on one safety boat together. Not one Lightning had stayed upright at this point.

Everyone was recovered to the slip and boats brought ashore, fortunately with very little real damage, although some choice bruises were in evidence.

Once everything and everybody was tidied, up we all retired to the clubhouse for food and ‘refreshments’. Penny then decided we all needed a stroll down the beach to Hillhead, we duly followed, with more ‘refreshments’ were consumed on the return journey, before we once again retired to the Clubhouse.

Over night camping proved just as interesting as an all night storm descended on us, with rain and winds even worse than the day. Most seemed to survive unscathed, albeit a little wetter for the experience in some instances, but the bacon rolls for breakfast proved every welcome. The winds had still not abated as we awaited the racing on day two.

A report on day two will follow, but some had seen enough and decided to retreat to the comfort of home, one being me, so more to follow later.