This two day event saw visitors and vintage boats arrive from Chester, Stafford, Banbury, London and the South West to Shearwater Lake on the Longleat estate in Wiltshire.
A sunny two days brought very fickle winds from the south east which usually play havoc on our sheltered lake. The wind was there but nobody knew exactly where and luck played it part in the shifts.
Merlin 6 and 36, the oldest boats at sixty years were joined by five other slightly younger Merlins. Hornet 140 complete with its original sliding seat made a brief appearance on Saturday. Four GP 14s, a Graduate, British Moth, Wayfarer, two Enterprises an Albacore and a 420 being sailed by two younger competitors completed the fleet. The CVRDA handicaps, based around the 1965 yardsitcks were adjusted to compensate for age and state of originality-versus-modernization.
The local Albacore helmed by Brenden Pell with Margaret Boyce crewing sailed the first two races to a convincing win in each of Saturday’s races. The first race of the series, with a zigzag course tested the skill of spotting wind shifts.
Saturday evening ended in a very sociable meal laid on in the clubhouse.
Overnight lightening and storms had caused flooding and power damage locally but by the time boats were being rigged the sun shone again. A slightly lighter and more southerly wind was now the order of the day. Holes and very awkward shifts caused some frustration for several boats. However a pattern began to emerge and Rupert’s Moth was winning. (He did say how grateful he was that Brendan Pell couldn’t sail on the Sunday).
The Fleet was divided into Vintage, Classic and Old sections with first, second third in each section.
1 Colin Singer and crews – Enterprise.
2 Paul Athay and crews – Graduate
3 Nick Anderson and Dave Saxton – Merlin 2806
1Rupert Whelan – British Moth
2 Keith Rollinson and Jonathan Reubin/Robert Bunce – Merlin 507
3 Mervyn Allen and Laura – Merlin 799
1 John and Lyn Gardiner – Merlin 36
2 Chris and Lois Barlow – Merlin 6