Bough Beech held their annual Finn Open on 22nd April, and formed the second of the BFA’s Spring Series events (although the first planned for Warsash was cancelled due to some big winds).
The weather forecast for Bough Beech looked fantastic until a few days before the event but regardless of this, there was a very good turnout for a day to be shared with the D Zeros, Streakers and RS 600s. Sailors had travelled significant distances including John Mackie who had driven from the Northwest to compete – a great effort.
The fleet was of a very high standard, including some of the best Finn sailors in the UK, with everyone arrived looking keen and pleased to catch up after the winter. Allen Burrell came to watch (and do his best to smash up Richard’s new boat when ‘helping’ to rig it !) – we wish him a swift recovery from his shoulder surgery.
At times his viewing position (the club balcony with tea in one hand and a sausage roll in the other) looked like the best place to be as the wind played havoc. The lake looked lovely in the Spring sunshine but was like glass when we first arrived. The race officer sensibly delayed proceedings until the Finn fleet had stripped the galley of anything vaguely edible.
After an early lunch, the first race was held in a building breeze. Typically the wind was from the South but massive shifts were the order of the day. A trapezoidal course was set (most of the Finn fleet had never heard this word and assumed it was a triangle misspelt). The start line was a bit congested at times and some gentle banter could be heard. Amazingly not a single recall was heard all day, however!
Trying to accurately recall the events during each race was tricky – places were continually gained and lost.
In Race 1 things were tight throughout and several places were lost and gained by most sailors at times upwind. The two short reaches and a run placed close to the shore maybe limited opportunities downwind.
Tim Carver ( Warsash SC) went hard right on one beat and came out with a great lead. Kristian Sjoberg ( Thorpe Bay SC) managed to pass Tim and they both finished ahead of Julian Smith (Mengeham Rythe SC)
In Race 2 Martin Hughes ( Warsash) was off and gone at the top mark. He looked confident, fast and settled. The victory was only a matter of time………..several minutes later Bough Beech had truly been a cruel mistress to him as he was rudely demoted to mid-fleet.
Richard Sharp (Emsworth SC) felt a massive gust on the first downwind – only to realise it was one of Tim’s ‘blue gusts’ having clipped the top mark. The lead changed like a game of pass the parcel but Julian was in control at the end from Simon Percival (Christchurch SC) and Lawrence Crispin (Stone SC)
Race 3 was a tussle between Kristian and Julian for overall victory. It was close at the first top mark but Julian went along the shore downwind beneath the pack. He led from that point until the finish despite great pressure from Kristian.
So Julian Smith deservedly won (he was easily the most consistent sailor over the 3 races) from Kristian and Tim.
Most of the fleet had some good and some bad moments but all in all a great day to blow away some early season rustiness.
Report by Richard Sharp