Southern Travellers – South Cerney Open…!!!

The open meeting was held on 3th/4th September as part of the Southern Travellers’ series. This series was resurrected three years ago by Mike Firth of Datchet.

The South Cerney Sailing Club is part of the Cotswold water park, a large area of old gravel pits now well established, green, gently undulating country and very beautiful. A newish clubhouse and good camping make for an enjoyable meeting.

The breeze was shifty and gusty and us sailors were glad we were not race officer.   However Bob Penfold realigned buoys after most of the races to give us a good beat and a long run for all of them. Gold, Silver/& Classic PY corrections were also applied to the results to make the racing more interesting. Close racing was had by all in the fleet.

The first race saw visitors from Llangorse’s John Craddock and Paul Kendal 2695 win  after a close battle with Datchet’s Mike Firth and Adam Mangan 3385 second and Bill Anderson and Sally Farrant 3453 third with locals Derek Harrison and Mick Church 2263 coming in forth,

The second race saw John Craddock and Paul Kendal 2695 storm to another win after the first 4 boats were locked into a close battle with Firth/Mangan 3385 second, locals Sandy and Mike Tatlow 3288 3rd and locals Richard Taylor and Paul Coates 2626 in 4th.

The last race on Saturday, Craddock/Kendal were locked in a race long battle with Bill Anderson and Sally Farrant 3453 to round off a splendid day with a 3rd win, with locals, the Tatlows 3rd and Firth/Mangan 3385 4th.

Overnight, Craddock/Kendal were in the lead, with Firth/Mangan 2nd, Andreson/Farrant 3rd and Tatlows 4th – visitors leading the way.  All to play for on Sunday!.  Racing was followed by a full 3 course Dinner of fantastic quality and choice.  Well done to the volunteer catering followed by copious amounts of real ale.   Luckily most only had to be rolled out of the club house straight into their tents under a beautiful star lit sky.

Sunday dawned with showers and the breeze up and a bit shiftier.   The first race settled to the usual pattern, with Craddock/Kendal and Firth/Firth battling for the lead, and the rest following on closely. Up front, Craddock/Kendal clinched their win from Firth/Mangan 2ed, the Tatlows 3rd and Taylor/Coates 4th.

The last race was in the strongest breeze of the weekend, with the whole fleet rounding the first mark together. Second lap show the first 4 boats with 20 seconds of each other swopping places on the beat. The finish was extremely tight with Creddock/Kendal 1st and Firth/Mangan 2nd.    3rd were the Tatlows and Taylor/Coats 4th.

At the prize giving the Club Commodore presided supported by the class captain.    Overall the visitors filled the top three places with Craddock/Kendal 2695, impressively winning all five races, overall winner and the first Classic boat taking away the splendid Classic presentation barometer for the third year.  In 2nd. place and Silver winners were Firth/Mangan 3385 who were awarded the Silvers barometer also for the third year, with Andreson/Farrant 3453 3rd, the Tatlows 3288 4th, and Taylor/Coats 2626 5th.

Race Officer Bob Penfold did a splendid job in changeable conditions, and was warmly thanked.   Thanks too to the club organizing and to the ff fleet captain Tony Oatley who also managed to find a spare spinnaker pole and a pulley for one of the contestants (mentioning no names mike).

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