2015 Southern Traveller Series
LLANGORSE SAILING CLUB
Flying Fifteen Open Meeting
The first event of the 2015 Southern Travellers Series was sailed over the weekend16/17 May, on the 400 acre Llangorse Lake in the beautiful surroundings of the Brecon Beacons. For Llangorse Sailing Club this was a particularly special occasion as they have just completed a re-build of their clubhouse, which is now a splendid two storey traditional wooden building with balcony overlooking the launching ramps and jetty, and out onto the lake with the mountains in the back ground.
The 22 competitors from 7 Clubs were split into two fleets – Classics (11) and Silver (8) + Open (3). On Saturday for the scheduled three races to be sailed back-to-back the weather conditions were ideal, sunny and fine with a strong enough wind for planing on the off-wind legs. Race Officer Robert Dangerfield set a challenging course with a beat up the main axis of the lake to the top by the Clubhouse followed by a series of reaches / gybes back and forth across the lake to a leeward mark at the other end.
As usual at Llangorse the notorious gusts and wind-shifts were an ever present threat to catch out the unwary! On Saturday, in the Classic fleet the racing was always very competitive but Mark Greer and Jim Reed from Middle Nene SC, sailing the boat so professionally set-up by Tim Tomlinson (2433) and for whom they used to crew, established a grip on the series with three wins. But only after a close battle with David Morgan and Lorina Walden from Llangorse SC in another well known boat (2663). In the Silver Fleet, David and Lynne Travis (3006) from Pin Mill SC used their previous experience as Llangorse SC members to good effect and scored three firsts, followed by locals Ben and Will Willet (3219).
In the Open fleet Bill Anderson and Sally Farrant (3453) from Radford Lake, who are regular visitors to this event, withstood the challenge of Richard McCulloch and Claire Taylor (3691) to lead this fleet at the end of the first day. On Sunday, which dawned sunny but with a slightly lighter wind, two races were scheduled.
The first was the annual Simon Dangerfield Memorial race for which special “half-hull” model trophies are presented. Traditionally sailed on a windward / leeward course the whole fleet of 22 boats started together and were clear away at the first attempt. The wind direction again favoured a long beat up the lake followed by a dead run back to the starting area which, because of the wind shifts called for a number of gybes to maintain the optimum course. In the Classic Fleet Colin and Edward Fletcher (2582), Llangorse SC, got the better of the previous day’s winners.
There was also a new boat at the front of the Silver Fleet sailed by local Andy Hough (3040), with the previous day’s leader well down the pack. Whilst Bill Anderson and Sally Farrant (3453) once again lead the Open Fleet. The second race used the same format as Saturday, with Open and Silvers starting together followed by Classics, and a more usual course of a long beat with reaching legs and gybes back to the leeward mark. In the Open fleet Bill Anderson and Sally Farrant (3453) continued their dominance and so did David and Lynne Travis (3006) in the Silvers. Mark Greer and Jim Reed (2433), having already established a winning position decided sit out the last race, which gave David Morgan and Lorina Walden(2663) an opportunity to lead the fleet home.
As the competitors assembled in the magnificent new clubhouse for the prize-giving there was universal praise for the organisation both on the water and on the shore by the home club and everyone was talking about the great sailing conditions and making plans to return next year.