For the full report & review of the event, please go to...MYA website.
DF95 Debut for Blithfield
Saturday 18th Feb 2023 saw the first ever MYA RC Open Event at Blithfield Sailing Club. This open water is the largest reservoir in Staffordshire and is well known for hosting full scale events, but not those for the RC community. A newly-formed RC section of only 7 members hoped for some 15 entries, but were delighted to actually have 31 entrants from Eastbourne to Fleetwood and many places in between - thanks to the preparation and publicity support by the Manor Park and Regional MYA team.
The day dawned somewhat dismally with the tail of Storm Otto still dragging 30 knot gusts and light rain from the South West - which gives the longest the biggest waves for Blithfield. None of this was a damper for the 28 skippers who turned up and declared unfettered enthusiasm for the conditions. A windward-leeward course was laid and following a boost with tea, coffee and toast, the racing was underway on time. As the day progressed, the sun broke through, and the course was modified to compensate for the westerly changes in wind direction and to make it progressively longer - as the 95s were carving through the diminishing waves ever faster.
Using the HMS scoring, 8 races per skipper were completed by 1500 with the wind varying from 26-30 knot gusts down to a background 12 knots with the wave height up and down, matching the wind. Frequent B to C (and back again) rig changes took place though the B rig seemed to predominate. John Tushingham proved to be the master of the conditions with a total score of only 6 points, and was the outright winner with Peter Baldwin and Dave Potter second and third respectively.
Other than a few groundings as some tested the inshore limits, only one boat broke the bond with its skipper and went walkabout. The slick Race Team of Darin, Tracey and Penelope Ballington, with Gordon Sears on the computer, made a complex and occasionally demanding race process seem silky smooth. In the background, the experienced hosting team from Blithfield set out the Clubhouse for rigging and attending to the hospitality. This inaugural event was deemed a great success by the visitors and the home team were grateful for the many positive comments received. We look forward to doing it again!
Alastair Reid, RC Fleet Captain, Blithfield Sailing Club.