The first annual BOD Regatta, jointly hosted by Colne Yacht Club and Brightlingsea Sailing Club over the weekend of 4 and 5 June 2016, was declared a resounding success by all.
After a week of cold, wet and windy weather our prayers were answered and the skies cleared to give us two wonderful sunny warm days with light to moderate breezes. Our race committee was led by RO Piers Lambert and ARO Nick Readings and they and their entire team did a fantastic job of providing 5 really close races in what were often very tricky and shifty conditions.
A total of fourteen teams took part in the regatta and whilst some were already battle hardened from early season racing, others were only just out of the blocks. Graham Bridle’s Blue Peter is looking fantastic after a major winter refit with Rob Maloney and it was great to see her back on the water, especially with Claire Bridle joining the team on Sunday and helping them to their best result of the regatta with a third in the final race. Also fresh from a winter spruce up was Bob Richardson’s Panic whose timed run from winter storage to start line saw them still screwing on fittings on their way to the start line (including one cleat which accidentally got put on backwards causing a few exiting moments). For their stupendous effort in making it out for the weekend Team Panic won one of the weekend’s special prizes of a set of Mylor Chandlery & Rigging sail ties.
Other special prize winners taking home Mylor Chandlery & Rigging sail tie sets during the weekend included Celia Charlton for making a perfect port end start; Geoff Gritton who tried out a new starting and mark rounding technique in Never Say Never which perhaps needs a little work unless hooking anchor lines was part of the plan, and Maddy Anderson who got rookie helm of the event for a very impressive performance in her first major BOD regatta.
From the opening race it was clear that BOD racing will be tighter than ever this season with constant place changing and only seconds separating the boats at the finish. Dan Willett, sailing C9 Bidi with Fraz and Ben Willett, claimed first blood with Jeremy Newman in C32 Avocet crewed by Ollie Newman and Ed Gibbons second, Maddy Anderson in C55 Windsprite crewed by Fin Anderson and Tom Ballantyne third, Geoff Gritton crewed in C56 Never Say Never by Derick Gentry and Chris Walker fourth and John Payne sailing c11 Grayling with Josh Hunt & Stuart Smith fifth.
From race two Jeremy Newman took control of the regatta and although he had to fight hard for it he ultimately went on to win the remaining four races and claim overall victory. Behind him the battle for the other two podium places was a humdinger, eventually won by Dan Willett who finished five points behind Jeremy and four ahead of Maddy Anderson in third. The battle for the leather medal was even tighter with John Payne only claiming fourth place on count back from Geoff Gritton. No less than three boats tied on points for 6th place with Celia Charlton just getting the edge on count back from Alan Hicks and then Graham Bridle. In fact even 12th and 13th places were tied on points with Mark and Debbie Wilby and Phil Holding’s The Mike claiming the upper hand on count back from Panic.
Back ashore the apres sailing was equally fabulous with Marianne White and her team at BSC laying on a superb beach BBQ on Saturday night allowing everyone to wind down after an amazing day on the water with great food, cold drinks and convivial company as the sun set over Bateman’s Tower. At the daily prize giving not only were the special sail tie awards given out but opening day leader Jeremy Newman was presented with an A Glaze polishing kit to make Avocet even more beautiful than she already is!
After racing on Sunday it was back to the deck at CYC for more socialising set against the delightful harbour backdrop and the final prize giving where the new BOD Regatta overall winners trophy The BOD Board (made for us by the exceptionally talented carpenter David Carrington) was presented to Team Avocet along with a £15 voucher from Mylor Chandlery & Rigging. Second placed Dan Willett and third placed Maddy Anderson also received Mylor Chandlery & Rigging vouchers which can be spent in their online chandlery.
Thanks once again to everyone who came out to race and in particular to everyone who helped to run the regatta. Thanks also to Kate Button and Chris Jordan for the photos! We’ve already asked the clubs to find a date for the event in early June 2017 so watch out for news of this later in the year.