HERON SOUTHERN CHAMPIONSHIPS AT PRIORY SAILING CLUB, BEDFORD.
SATURDAY 3RD SEPTEMBER
When the day arrived uncertainty persisted about who would come, who would win and when the forecast heavy rain and strong winds would arrive.
In the event thirteen herons were ready to start racing in warm sunshine clear blue skies and a pleasant breeze. Eight boats were from the home club.
Regular visitors complain about the changeable Priory lake breezes. Locals hope they will help them outwit the visitors, and this was certainly the case around buoy 8.
However certain predictions were proved correct, when Dave Butler (10340) won the first race, with Tony Ogborne (10300) second and Gordon de Souza (8300) third.
The wind was increasing all the afternoon with Matt Picket winning race 2 and Dave Butler race 3, and , therefore the Championship in the by then gusting force 4 to 5 wind. Dave Butler sailed all day with a 79% genoa, but Matt Picket persisted with full size genoa and still came second in the third race. Everyone sailing had nearly capsized James Russ (10089), capsized twice and still came fourth.
Outstanding among the newcomers to the event were James Russ who finished in 3rd position overall, and from the home club, juniors Joby and Lucie Evans (10000), and Chris and Elaine
Thomas (7585) who completed two of the three races with the additional crew of their two young children.
Paul Webb sailed Heron No 17 into 10th place, and Jon and Verna Hunt sailed their favourite Heron No 7 into 6th place.
Priory Sailing Club provided excellent facilities as usual including lunch, tea and race management. The Single Handed handicap used was 1343, and the crewed 1363, with calculations supervised by Mike Picket.
Jon Hunt as chairman of the Heron Dinghy Class association presented the trophies and prizes.The heavy rain had arrived by departure time but everyone went away having had a challenging and interesting day, but looking forward to another Heron Open Meeting at Priory Sailing Club.
HELM CREW S/No CLUB 1ST RACE 2ND RACE 3RD RACE POSITION
Dave Butler S/H 10034 Welton 1 2 3 1
Matthew Picket S/H 10033 Up River 2 1 2 2
James Russ S/H 10089 Chipstead 4 3 4 3
Tony Ogborne S/H 10300 Priory 2 5 Ret 4
Gordon de Souza S/H 8300 Priory 3 7 5 5
Jon Hunt Verna Hunt 7 Chipstead 5 4 6 6
Simon Knelleer Amy Kneller 10048 Priory 6 6 DNS 7
Chris Thomas Elaine Thomas 7585 Priory 11 RET 3 8