We were treated to champagne sailing at Brancaster Staithe SC for the Lester Southerland open meeting with hot sun, smooth seas, crystal clear water and gentle but steady wind over the two days. Chris & Sheila Spink and their safety crew laid on 4 traditional triangle / sausage courses and even managed to give us a taste of harbour racing with a long downwind leg to take us from harbour to sea.
It was a delight to see some new crews sailing together (James & Henry in GBR123 Luffa and Roz & Kiki in GBR9 Annamarie) as well as some stalwarts (Rex & Jim in GBR61 Vixen) and even an outing from Nigel Spray in GBR80 Tinqua. Could this be the beginnings of the rejuvenation of the sharpie fleet at BSSC? Hope so! Four Wells boats made the journey round the coast to join the Brancaster fleet for the weekend and there were several sharpie legends watching the youngsters from their spectator boats around the bay.
The first day was dominated by Andrew Cracknell & Justine Sykes in GBR16 Titania who scored a 3rd and a 1st with some good sailing and excellent boatspeed. Roz & Kiki relished the conditions and ended the first day with a 1st and a 4th and James & Henry proved that it hasn’t taken them long to get Luffa up to speed with two solid top-three places. Amazingly, Rob & Sally Wynne in GBR69 Adventurer showed you should never relax too much with a freak capsize in the second race; neither of them were able to explain what had happened!
Sunday’s racing gave us a new challenge: a F2 in race one becoming a shifty F1 for race two. Both races were won by Chris & Maddie Gibbs in GBR135 Poelsnip, with Maddie replacing Martin Read who was only able to sail on the Saturday. There was a close battle between Andrew, Roz and James for the next positions and Adam Anthony in GBR127 Skybird led the fleet for a round before being overhauled near the end. Andrew held his nerve in a tense last race and managed to hang on to win the event overall.
It was a fabulous weekend and one which all sailors and spectators will probably look back on as the best conditions of the season.
1st Andrew Cracknell & Justine Sykes
2nd Roz Spink and Kiki Pattenden
3rd James Nunn and Henry Burkitt
Full results on the sharpie website: http://www.sharpies.org.uk/2018-results/