Pursuit Race – 14th December !

FF Race review Sunday 14th December 2014

Sail juice Datchet Flyer Pursuit Race

Firstly well done to Mike Clapp and Tim Williams in 3427 that competed Saturday and Sunday and finished a respectable 42nd overall.

The Sunday pursuit race saw also Mervyn Wright and newcomer Alistair Stevenson in 3536 along with Roger Abbey-Taylor and Richard McQuilliam in Deffiant 3642 compete in the pursuit race of the weekend series.

I watched the final race on Saturday afternoon from the comfort of the beach and saw a calm race in 7 knot winds with a picturesque sunset dropping over the reservoir. However I’m sure the competitors on the water wanted some more wind to fill the sails and less of a view to admire.

The weather was promised to be better for the Sunday although at 10:30 a very calm 5-6 knots was blowing over the course.

On the way out a young competitor in an OK passed comment on the calm “Where’s this weather front that’s been promised” he called. “Be Careful what you wish for” was the reply!

An eight mark course consisting of beats, broad reaches and a couple of runs was set out in a mainly south westerly wind. The start was staggered with the asymmetric class at 11:00, handicap class at 11:01 and club racers at 11:11 making up some 65+ competitors taking part.

After the first lap Mervyn and Alistair were nosed ahead of Mike and Tim and Roger & Richard keeping in touch with the lead boats. It was soon into the second lap that the weather, wind shifts and the “competitive” tactics arrived.

By 11:30 the wind was pushing over 15 knots and gusts crept over the 20 knot mark. On the second lap a combination of Mervyn and Alistair and a Moth put Roger and Richard on an unplanned tack and meant the Moth wasn’t the only boat with the keel displayed. However a quick recovery was made.

After three laps Mervyn and Alistair were a boat length ahead of Mike and Tim. The wind was now peaking at 18 knots with sustained gusts somewhere in the high 20’s.

Mervyn and Alistair had edged slightly more ahead of Mike and Tim after apparently more very competitive tactics from Mervyn and Alistair which led to some good debate and even consultation of the sailing rules later. I’m sure this one will be debated a little bit further over the Xmas lunch on Sunday.

The race was finally called about 13:00 and the competitors headed off the course. Mervyn and Alistair took the victory in the Sunday race ahead of Mike and Tim with Roger and Richard competing hard to the end.

The event was a great success and lots of praise was received for the race organisers, support team and race officer which is great for DWSC.

Results and reports for the Datchet Flyer can be viewed at


Next up Sunday for Sunday is the winter regatta and Xmas lunch following after.

Sailing Instructions http://www.dwsc.co.uk/Website2013/WinterRegattaSIs2014.pdf