Blithfield Barrel 2005/2006
The final weekend of the Blithfield Barrel arrived with many eager faces looking forward to a good sail. The weather improved throughout the day, starting out with a miserable drizzle, but built to a full on sitting-out with knees-right-back mega-reach affair.|
The top spots were all up for grabs, and leaders Matt Biggs and Dave Crockett started the 2nd leg in a mid fleet position. However, fortunately, Dave had correctly remembered the course and spotted that the leading pack were running downwind instead or reaching to an intermediate buoy. "It was the only useful thing I did all day" he later commented, as sailing the correct way elevated them to first position.
This meant that the rest of the pack had to quickly drop their spinnakers and alter course, meaning that the boats were all jumbled up leading to some exciting racing! Second overall duo Chris Martin and Chris Gould couldn't take the pace and retired from the race, making their series position vulnerable. However, the third overall boat of Steve and Gill Leney suffered gear failure (mainsheet) and was therefore unable to produce the required results.
At the end of the day, the top spots remained unchanged, meaning that Biggs/Crockett hold on to the Barrel for another year and that the irrepressible Merlin Rockets occupy the top 5 positions. Another good winter series!
Report: Tim Male
Photos: Don Stokes