The first official BOD race of the season took place on Sunday 8 May with the Eric Dent Cup which started from the CYC Batemans line at 14.15 in glorious hot sunshine and a lovely easterly breeze. Despite only four boats coming to the line there was still a fair bit of mayhem at the start as the girls in Grethe had failed to check their watch was correct and were still half way up Pyefleet when the gun when, and Storm Petrel had not received notification of a slight change to the line arrangement and was over early so forced to return. Fortunately Bidi and Never Say Never had both made good starts and set off side by side with a significant gap back to Grethe and then Storm Petrel bringing up the rear.
Down the first reach out to Cocum Bidi and Never Say Never were jostling for position which allowed Grethe and Storm Petrel to make up ground. The second mark of the course was Gazelet, but finding the mark proved something of a challenge which Bidi cottoned onto quickest, allowing them to open up a significant lead. Storm Petrel was next to spot the mark and pulled right up to Never Say Never, but Grethe had completely over stood leaving them running back into the mark from down tide putting them completely out of the running.
For the remainder of the race Bidi stretched out her lead enjoying the champagne sailing conditions whilst Never Say Never and Storm Petrel went at it hammer and tongs for second place. Behind them the Grethe girls stuck at it but with no hope of catching up decided it was time to break out the Prosseco on the final reach.
At the line Bidi sailed by Colin, Dan and Pam Willett finished with an impressive 3 minutes and 9 seconds lead. In the closing minutes Never Say Never had managed to sneak ahead of Storm Petrel and they crossed the line almost a minute ahead to claim second place on the water. Unfortunately it transpired that Geoff Gritton, Derick Gentry and Chris Walker in Never Say Never had made the classic early season mistake of forgetting to go through the gate between the first and second laps and were forced to retire leaving Storm Petrel, sailed by Alan Hicks, Richard Ham and Jayne Bond in second. Almost five minutes later and half a bottle of Prosseco down Grethe cruised in to take third place.
As always thanks to the Readings family and their team for running the racing for us on what proved to be one of the warmest and most beautiful first BOD races ever. And thanks too to David & Celia Charlton for the photos taken from the cockpit of their cruising yacht.