By BOD Detective
This year’s Intergalactic Brightlingsea One Design Championship is only a few days away, with a forecast for plenty of sun, a fresh breeze and a minimum 23 BODs on the water, its set to be a spectacular week! There is only one question on the mind of every sailor and keen spectator as the week approaches – who will be crowned 2015 BOD Champion? Whether it be talk at the bar or conversations with one of my many informants, everyone has a different favourite for this year’s show down…
C32- Avocet (Team Land Rover BAR)
With a firm grasp on the title for the past three years, Jeremy is certainly the Ben Ainslie of the regatta. Joined by long standing crew and son Ollie, as well as a ‘snakey’ Merlin sailor Piers Lambert. Will this alteration to the front of the boat keep their winning edge? Or will three helms in a boat be a recipe for disaster?
C4- Cormorant (Team Emirates)
All are in agreement that there is no man in the fleet with a greater BOD knowledge than Malcolm Goodwin. This year he will be joined by Graham and Georgina to be a formidable team all around the course. Over the past few weeks he has been spotted doing some final bimbling to ensure the boat is completely race ready.
C27- Rebel (Team BMW Oracle)
The boat’s name says a lot about this trio, last year’s runners up will this year be looking for a windy week to support their 300kg crew weight! Ed will this year be joined in the front by an upcoming Olympic superstar Pete McCoy, unfortunately Pete has been out on injury for most of this year but Chris and Ed are hoping his slightly smaller Pectoral won’t slow them down. Guest starring on Big Wednesday will be a multi-champion sailor and former BSC bad boy Bob Fisher. With his grandson at the helm and new SLAM shorts specially for the occasion, could this be a win in one of the most eagerly competed races of the week?
C9- Bidi (Team Artemis)
Colin has taken a spectator seat for this Pyefleet week, leaving Dan to sail with brother James and Fraz. This formidable team is my one to watch for the week, with a set of very fancy HD sails adding to the slickness of this team, they just have to hope that after the arrival of baby Daisie, Dan leaves his baby brain on the shore!
C8- Egret (Team Japan)
This team, otherwise known as the ‘Mersea boys’ seem to have the BOD knack in all conditions. We will be watching for their superb boat speed on the long Pyefleet week beats!
C16- Dulcet (Groupama)
Has Phil secured himself the victory by stealing Mr Newman’s middle man? Joining himself and sailmaker Mark Self will be son Chris. After the loss of a mast during a Regatta weekend ‘incident’ will Phil’s new spars be up to the job?
It has been noted that this team have spent a number of hours ensuring Endeavour is race ready (and legal) for the years Championship. In the hands of David, Sarah and Mitch, this team will be contending for the highest placed young guns against their rebellious friends. After a near capsize last Sunday with guest crew Ed, do this lightweight team have what it takes to get to the front of the fleet?
C54- Storm Petrel
Additionally to their battle for young guns, David and team will also be hoping to show their parents the transom, adding to the pressure for Alan, Craig and Jayne to better their outstanding string of 5th places in last year’s event. With the imminent arrival of friends Lynne and Tim from Australia, will this team be able to keep their eyes on the prize instead of the beer and wine?
C53- White Spirit
Another family rivalry may be on the cards as Mark and team take the start line alongside daughter Georgina in C4. Mark has been out almost every weekend of the season meaning he’s well practiced team should surely be ready to get into the chocolates?
C30- Sarah Louise, C50- Eider & C51- Grethe
These three boats will all have one clear advantage, in my opinion, over the rest – lady helms! Celia, Sue and Fi will I’m sure be closely battling for the top female spot. Mr and Mrs Charlton will be hoping to hop back into the boat and speed to the front after an absence for most of the 2015 season. Fi’s team of Geoff and returning Essex boy Mike Stannard, will surely give her an edge, however Geoff’s reluctance to alcohol is surely against Grethe’s Prosecco tradition? In C50, Sue will be joined by daughters Hannah and Abby, not seen sailing in Brightlingsea for a number of years, we know this team has talent, but do they still have the local knowledge needed to secure a top finishing position?
Only this morning, pictures of a slightly neglected centreplate were seen by those on social media, suggesting that Mr Heppell may have left his boat maintenance to the last minute! Will this be a lack of preparation? Or will these final bimbles be winners on the race course?
C75- The Mike
For the first time, Mark, Phil and Debbie will be joining the Pyefleet line up. Their boat is certainly beautiful as is their crew (not you, Phil) and it has been noted that straight line speed for The Mike is a force to be reckoned with, but will this be enough to glide them to the finish line?
C55- Wind Sprite
Those familiar with Fin’s time keeping skills, will be hoping he remembers to get up in time to join dad James on the start line. With uncertainty as to who the third crew will be in this boat, could James be keeping a superstar under wraps? We find out Saturday!
C18- Gelasma, C6- Jumbo Too, C29- Panic
All three have a wealth of BOD sailing experience and will surely be hoping to put this to use over the week. Mr Hempstead may also be keeping some stars up his sleeve for the weekend races, hoping to give him the edge in this battle of local knowledge and BOD expertise.
With a more relaxed approach to this season than last, John and Lucy will be joined by another larger than life character, Nick Barnes (my advice would be not to sit between them and Grethe on the start line- unless you have ear plugs).
C31- Blue Peter
Graham must be hoping his recent 18ft experience in the skiff will be transferable to Blue Peter. With rumours of Graham having two lovely ladies in the front, the team are to be reckoned with and we hope to see the Alpha Male doing as he’s told!
After an exciting Thursday night earlier in the season, Team Ruff have emptied the water and are ready for the first race. New sails have been noticed, an increase in speed and a feisty approach to this season stands them in good footing to have a fantastic week!
Fleet expert Malcolm has this year loaned his beloved Jean to Wivenhoe sailor Rob Maloney, with a vast knowledge of WODs, we will see if his team’s skills will be transferable to the BOD.
On loan from Nick Readings we are delighted to welcome Nan and her Pyefleet Week skipper Robin Cole to the fleet. This teams crew list has yet to be revealed so we will all just have to wait until the first race to find out more.
Finally we have news of possible appearances by C40- March Hare and C26- Krystina to keep the fleet on their toes and keep the spectators on the edge of their seats as the week progresses to what I’m sure will be an epic Finale show down!