Colin Willett’s Bidi Wins Tricky Final Fling

10482287_335756076595396_7277132940583884552_nThe Final Fling certainly gave everyone something to think about.  Twelve boats came to the line on a gloriously sunny Sunday morning and made a delightful sight starting off Bateman’s Tower in a very light and fickly northerly(ish) breeze.

There was just enough wind to enable the boats to beat up to Number 15 against the tide before they turned downtide to Point Clear and then across to Inner Fishery and finally back up tide to the line. Sadly the light northerly was soon fighting with the sea breeze which was attempting to come in from the south west and the result was a big old hole in the breeze.

The majority of the boats got round number 12 just before it shut down completely, but sadly Ruff didn’t quite make it and found themselves struggling to fight back against the ebbing tide while the rest of the fleet set off down tide with pace and very little directional control. Those with a knack for spotting the slightest spot of wind gained, whilst the less experienced or observant lost.

DSCN0441The leading group eventually battled their way back up to the East Mersea shore and spent a good half hour tacking back and forth attempting to get round the corner and head for the line.

Meanwhile White Spirit and Gelasma had already given up all hope and headed for the bar for a pre-prandial livener before the Final Fling lunch.

Back out on the water Colin Willett in Bidi finally managed to find a zephyr of breeze to pull him up to Batemans and win the Final Fling with Danny Fox in Egret second and Malcolm Goodwin in Jean following him in for third. Back down tide Phil Rust in Dulcet, Jeremy Newman in Avocet and Alan Hicks in Storm Petrel were still struggling to get around Mersea Stone and decided to call it a day and join the others at the bar.

DSCN0460 This left Celia Charlton in Sarah Louise and James Anderson in Wind Sprite duelling it out around Mersea Stone and Fi Brown in Grethe miles back barely stemming the tide off Inner Fishery.

Fi and her crew had decide to give up too when suddenly the sea breeze put in an appearance and they were once again underway and closing the finish and the other two boats.  The breeze held just long enough to bring them right up to about 50 yards off the line and directly abreast of Wind Sprite and Sarah Louise, before shutting down once again leaving all three boats stemming the tide just before the line.  Eventually the northerly filled back in a tiny bit to allow Sarah Louise to finish fourth with Grethe fifth and Wind Sprite sixth.

DSCN0446Back ashore the Colne Yacht Club had managed to delay lunch to allow the sailors to get their boats ashore but before long more than 50 people were enjoying a Sunday roast and the chance to look back on a fantastic season of BOD sailing.  Class Chairman Bob Richardson took the opportunity to pay special tribute to Nick and Pam Readings and Marilyn Hempstead and their various supporting crews who have given up so much of their time to act as our race officers this year.  Without their fantastic support our CYC racing would not be possible and the entire class is extremely grateful to them.

Final Fling Results

1.  C9 Bidi – Colin Willett
2. C8 Egret – Danny Fox
3. C1 Jean – Malcolm Goodwin
4. C30 Sarah Louise – Celia Charlton
5. C54 Grethe – Fiona Brown
6.C55 Wind Sprite – James Anderson
Rtd – C20 Ruff, C53 White Spirit, C54 Storm Petrel, C32 Avocet, C14 Dulcet, C14 Gelasma

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