2012 Blaze Inland Championships

Queen Mary Sailing Club

 

That time of year rolled round again, the leaves on the tree are starting to fall and the autumn chill has hit the air. Yes, it is Blaze Inlands time. 33 Blaze Class Association members congregated at Queen Mary Sailing Club on the weekend of 20th and 21st October for a range of events including curries, chinese meals, strip clubs, flat calms and brisk planing.

This year there was a return to the balmier southern climes of Queen Mary SC to encourage more of those who live south of the M4, to pack up their boats and join in, which sadly proved to be at the expense of those more northerly members. With a broad mix of attendees including 3 of “the Welsh”, 3 “Essex Boys”, 6 midlanders, 2 from the northern fraternity, 2 from the southwest and a grand total of 13 from “south of the M4”.

With several people travelling down on the Friday night, there was the usual gathering for the usual pre-event Blaze curry admirably arranged by Mr Nick Miller. A pre-dinner pint proved more difficult to find due to a seeming lack of hostelries in Sunbury, however a fine watering hole, the Grey Horse, was located via a smart phone (many brands available) and several pints of Doom Bar, an ancient Cornish brew that has travelled north of the Tamar to inflict bad heads on emmets and other non Cornish folk, were sunk.

Post curry drinking was continued at the Horse, with the “Welsh” and Essex Boys” finally finding their way there, despite misleading directions from all concerned. The more sedate (and elderly) members of the group left early (relatively) and returned to the various Travellodge and Premier Inn beds in shoe boxes, leaving the Welsh to eventually get evicted and then find the one strip club in the locality, where to various rumours the next day, they were very welcome until their money ran out.

The Saturday morning dawned with mist and no wind. The cast assembled and after various bacon and sausage filled rolls, chased down with mugs of tea and coffee, watched the junior RYA fleet enthusiastically drift off, to start their days training, and were also entertained by the J24 match racing going on in drifting conditions elsewhere.

At 10- 30, the Race Officer gathered together the fleet and laid out his plan for the weekend, courses, reminder to avoid the dredger, etc and finished with a warning for a 1 hour postponement. At 11, The Committee boat strolled round to the race area and Blaze fleet started to launch onto the glassy lake. To avoid the queue for the ramp, some of the more enthusiastic (or energetic) launched to the west of the bar and enjoyed an active half hour rock and roll round to the race area on the eastern half.

The rest slowly drifted out to the start area, and then watched the remainder of the breeze slowly disappear leaving a lot of Blazes motionless in the middle of the lake. Several helmsmen took a more tactical view about launching , deciding that they could see the development of the wind, peoples performance and the wind shift pattern better from the shore until the postponement was over. Oh yes, they could drink tea, take paracetamol and recover from any hangovers incurred the preceding night, without any unwarranted effort.

The Committee boat sounded a 2 hour postponement at 12-30pm and headed for the shore leaving the fleet to drift, paddle and rock their way in. Accept that is, for Blaze774, the vessel of one Mr M Saveker, who having stretched out comfortably across his boat, had dozed off. Seeing this solitary Blaze all on its own, showing no signs of returning to the shore, the allocated rescue boat decided to investigate if all was well. On approaching Mr Saveker they woke up the dozy sod and then very kindly gave him a tow ashore, saving him any strenuous activity himself. The benefits of clean living come to those who wait. So maintaining his record for noteworthy events at chammpionships, if not capsizing, getting rescued in a flat calm!

Racing was formally abandoned at 2-30pm allowing everyone to pack up and congregate for an early AGM. Tea and pints were gathered and all assembled for the meeting at 4-30pm. The various items were discussed, agreed upon , disagreed and then resolved without the need of the Committee to apply thumbscrews or other similar devices. The minutes of the AGM are available elsewhere and no doubt all good bookshops. However, the resignation of Ben Fullalove and Nick Miller from the Committee was recorded and their years of service applauded.

With the meeting closed at about 6pm there was a consensus to meet for a Chinese meal later that evening. It was good to see the majority of the fleet all gathered together for a meal, though the response of the staff at having this mob of younger and older delinquents arrive is not recorded. However, the proprietor has probably booked next year’s holiday on the profits of the evening!!

Afterwards, despite a declared intention to “take Windsor”, the Welsh plus several associates, set off for an evening’s more local entertainment. After deciding that it would be unwise to revisit the previous evenings establishments, other seemingly suitable venues were selected. It is officially recorded that the Hyland lads are taking their apprenticeship to the Welsh as serious clubbers, very seriously and all we can hope is that the other parties looked worse.

With a far more favourable weather forecast promised, the fleet awoke on Sunday morning to a freshening breeze with somewhat grey skies. The Essex boys decided to pack up and go home because, they said, it was due to “rain”. Various theories as to alternative reasons were circulated but it could be libellous to quote any of them. Needless to say they missed a great days sailing and racing.

With the first race due at 10-30am and a plan to get 4 races in, the fleet took to the water early in a nice northerly force 2-3. A port hand trapezoid course was set with a reaching finish. There was a nice length start line, if a little starboard biased.

Just to set the tone for the day, Christian Smart in 568 decided that he would go for the prime slot at the committee boat end and promptly made a pigs ear of it. He arrived a little early and after a bit of bumping and boring, ended up on port, on the line, next to the committee boat as the gun went. This led to a lovely tangle of Blazes, successfully messing up Martin Saveker’s potentially perfect start, which would have been his first one of the season.

The majority of the fleet, sensibly had a trouble free start and racing commenced. The wind was reasonably stable with some worthwhile shifts on the beat. Some decided to tack on these, and suffered from tacking too early and having to cross behind a number of Blazes on starboard. Others sailed through them and benefited from faster clear wind. This resulted in new comer/returnee to the fleet, Peter Barton in the famous all yellow Blaze (763), being first to the windward mark closely followed by Nick Miller (757), Martin Saveker (774) and Christian Smart (568) with a pack of chasers close behind.

Along the first reach, Peter was sandwiched by Nick going over and Martin beneath, so that at the first wing mark, Martin had water and took the lead down the run with Nick jumping into second. Chased by a line of boats Martin was asked by Christian as to exactly what did he think he was doing in the lead. Martin told him not to worry as he would no doubt get panicky later and drop back (which he did) when Nick reached over the top of Martin down the second reach to take the lead.

Up the next beat Peter Barton moved up to second with Mike Lyons (781) making progress up the fleet after a poor first leg. On the next reach the Welsh contingent of Christian and Chris Holman (640) were seen to be very up close and friendly with each other, even to the point of locking wings, leading to a burst of animated conversation. Very entertaining for those around but not a fast method of sailing.

Nick led for the rest of the race chased by Peter, 2nd, with Mike making his way up to 3rd. Martin finished 4th with the “lovely couple” of Christian and Chris, 5th and 6th respectively.

The second race began with Mike starting at the pin end, Martin finally getting his perfect start at the committee boat end and the rest somewhere in between. With again a choice between clear fast sailing towards the lay line and shift following, there seemed not to be any clear advantage either way. Martin just beat Ben Pickering to the windward mark via the lay line, whilst Ben had gone with the shifts up the starboard side of the beat being followed by Mike and Nick.

These positions were held for the remainder of the lap and on the next beat Martin picked the wrong shifts altogether dropping several places, leaving Ben to take the lead with Mike and Nick chasing with Myles Menge (7571) close behind. Mike finally overtook Ben up the last beat to finish 1st with Ben 2nd, Nick 3rd, Myles 4th, Martin recovering to 5th and Christian 6th.

The 3rd race followed a similar pattern but with the leading pack at the first mark mainly made up of sea sailors from Warsash who seemingly had overcome their confusion over the lack of waves. The pack, including Rob Jones (678), Ian Clark (695) and Kieron Holt (699), were followed by Mike and Christian. During the next lap Mike and Christian pass the Warsash bunch into first and second. However, on the last leg of the 2nd lap Mike sees the Blue flag flying and heads for the line. It is not the end of the race so Mike heads back up the beat chasing Christian who realising the race was not over, rounded the leeward mark and took the lead. In the increasing breeze, Mike went left and just passed Christian by the windward mark. On the final downwind legs Mike is chased hard by Christian but holds onto the lead to win with Christian 2nd, Kieron 3rd, Rob 4th, Nick 5th and Ian 6th

The final race started in a freshening breeze allowing everyone to hike hard upwind. Again the leading bunch at the windward mark was from those who tacked least up the first beat. Rob led closely followed by Peter and Mike with Nick, Martin, Myles and Kieron close behind. At the wing mark Rob gybed in front only to find the wind shift with a gust leading to an entertaining series of rocks and rolls. To his credit, Rob showed a fine pair of dancing feet giving a balletic performance to survive the gyrations but loosing several places. Peter was so amused and captivated by Robs performance, he forgot to keep a weather eye open and death rolled in on the next gust. Poetic justice or what!!

To everyone’s satisfaction the wind had filled in sufficiently to allow a good blast down the second reach with bums well and truly over the wing. Well, that is for all but the more robust of the fleet.

At the start of the 2nd lap, this left Mike in front chased by Nick with Martin next. These positions were held to the end resulting in Mike 1st, Nick 2nd, Martin 3rd, Kieron 4th, Rob 5th and Peter recovering to 6th.

Overall Mike justifiably won with 3-1sts to count, Nick 2nd with a 1st, 2nd and a 3rd and Martin 3rd with 3rd, 4th and 5th.

Other class prizes presented included:-

Best Youth                          – Ben Pickering

Master (over 45)              - Nick Miller

Grand Master (over 55)                - Mike Lyons

Endeavour                          - Laurence Marshall

As can be seen from the results table, apart from the first two places, there were plenty of different results for everyone throughout the fleet. This meant there was a lot of good quality racing as well as pleasant sailing had by all.

The fleet behaved well at the starts with only two OCS throughout the day and only 2 DNFs as well. On the whole, good racing. Of course, the absent Essex Boys did supply all but one of the DNCs, It has to be wondered why they really went early?

The prize giving followed with Inland Prizes and Traveller series prizes presented, speeches were made and the staff of QM thanked. The event had been excellently organised and run including the race officer, rescue crews , shore assistance and admin.

As most members know, the Inlands was Nick Millers last Blaze event. Nellie is understand to have gone to a good home at Burghfield, whilst Nick takes the opportunity to do “something else”. It seems that this “something else” has yet to be confirmed but Nick is currently trying activities that involve copious amounts of pain and lycra. Each to their own I suppose, anyway the book is open on when (not if) he steps into a boat again. Wife Helen has already bagged the April 2013 slot. Book your prediction on the Forum item

Nick, the class is poorer without you, thanks for the years of chasing your transom, your approachability and all your help and assistance to all members of the class, irrespective of ability, and of course, let us not forget the curries.

Good luck with the “something else” but it surely cannot be as good as a Blaze on a windy reach on a decent stretch of water.

 

Results

2012 Blaze Inland Championships

Overall

Sailed: 4, Discards: 1, To count: 3, Entries: 32, Scoring system: Appendix A

Rank

Class

SailNo

Club

Helm

R1

R2

R3

R4

Total

Nett

1st

Blaze

781

Burghfield SC

Mike Lyons

(3.0)

1.0

1.0

1.0

6.0

3.0

2nd

Blaze

757

Morecambe

Nick Miller

1.0

3.0

(5.0)

2.0

11.0

6.0

3rd

Blaze

774

Bartley SC

Martin Saveker

4.0

5.0

(33.0 OCS)

3.0

45.0

12.0

4th

Blaze

568

Pembrokeshire YC

Christian Smart

6.0

6.0

2.0

(33.0 DNF)

47.0

14.0

5th

Blaze

763

Royal Lymington

Peter Barton

2.0

(33.0 OCS)

7.0

6.0

48.0

15.0

6th

Blaze

678

Warsash

Rob Jones

10.0

(12.0)

4.0

5.0

31.0

19.0

7th

Blaze

699

Warsash

Kieron Holt

13.0

(18.0)

3.0

4.0

38.0

20.0

8th

Blaze

7571

Royal Solent YC

Myles Menge

8.0

4.0

(26.0)

8.0

46.0

20.0

9th

Blaze

640

Pembrokeshire YC

Chris Holman

5.0

7.0

(15.0)

9.0

36.0

21.0

10th

Blaze

695

Warsash

Ian Clark

(9.0)

8.0

6.0

7.0

30.0

21.0

11th

Blaze

595

Chase Water SC

Ben Pickering

11.0

2.0

(12.0)

10.0

35.0

23.0

12th

Blaze

772

Warsash

Bob Cowan

7.0

9.0

(18.0)

11.0

45.0

27.0

13th

Blaze

581

Chase Water SC

Eden Hyland

12.0

10.0

(14.0)

12.0

48.0

34.0

14th

Blaze

704

Pembrokeshire YC

Julian Owens

(15.0)

11.0

13.0

14.0

53.0

38.0

15th

Blaze

649

Burghfield SC

Steve Pollard

(16.0)

14.0

16.0

13.0

59.0

43.0

16th

Blaze

575

Warsash

Richard Hill

(22.0)

17.0

10.0

17.0

66.0

44.0

17th

Blaze

758

Burghfield SC

Peter Barlow

14.0

15.0

(17.0)

15.0

61.0

44.0

18th

Blaze

545

Paignton SC

Nick Ripley

(20.0)

19.0

8.0

18.0

65.0

45.0

19th

Blaze

637

Hornsea SC

Pip Warner

(23.0)

23.0

9.0

16.0

71.0

48.0

20th

Blaze

682

Burghfield SC

David Entwistle

(26.0)

16.0

11.0

22.0

75.0

49.0

21st

Blaze

680

Chase Water SC

Gareth Hyland

19.0

(21.0)

19.0

19.0

78.0

57.0

22nd

Blaze

751

Burghfield SC

Paul Taylor

18.0

(20.0)

20.0

20.0

78.0

58.0

23rd

Blaze

546

Chase Water SC

Josh Hyland

17.0

13.0

(33.0 DNF)

33.0 DNC

96.0

63.0

24th

Blaze

720

Warsash

Nick Thorne

21.0

(24.0)

21.0

21.0

87.0

63.0

25th

Blaze

796

Burghfield SC

Bob Yates

(27.0)

22.0

23.0

23.0

95.0

68.0

26th

Blaze

619

Pembrokeshire YC

Andy Whitcher

25.0

(26.0)

22.0

24.0

97.0

71.0

27th

Blaze

654

Porthpean

Steve Winerove

24.0

(28.0)

25.0

26.0

103.0

75.0

28th

Blaze

621

Paignton SC

Mike Holmes

(29.0)

27.0

24.0

25.0

105.0

76.0

29th

Blaze

795

Oxford SC

Laurence Marshall

(28.0)

25.0

27.0

27.0

107.0

79.0

30th

Blaze

513

Blackwater SC

Andy McIvor

(33.0 DNC)

33.0 DNC

33.0 DNC

33.0 DNC

132.0

99.0

30th

Blaze

625

Blackwater SC

Rob Appleby

(33.0 DNC)

33.0 DNC

33.0 DNC

33.0 DNC

132.0

99.0

30th

Blaze

764

Blackwater SC

Ben Fullalove

(33.0 DNC)

33.0 DNC

33.0 DNC

33.0 DNC

132.0

99.0