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Sunday, 08 December 2019

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Race report: B-series round 2: Greatstone

Race report: B-series round 2: Greatstone

B-series Round 2: Greatstone: Things did work out down at the Varne.

The last two times we'd tried to race at Greatstone we enjoyed the warm welcome from Varne Boat & Social Club, but not the lack of wind. This time Aeolus was more generous and gave us a good sea-breeze (albeit just for one day).

Once we'd got all the gear set up and the generator oiled we were soon off to a start. John Gillborn and generously gave his weekend to be Race Officer and with 'Me Julie' and Sophie helping out it was a family affair. John had a fiddle with the start-lights and we were under starters orders. To be honest I was half expecting the countdown to the dial up to go "I'm not asking 10, 9 or 8; not even 7, 6 ,5 or 4... etc" but Sophie decided that she would make a fine Race Official and took over the starts which were often accompanied by the strains of 'Gagnam Style' or similar through the tannoy. All of this added to the fun factor, which was once again a defining feature of the weekend.

We started on 5.5s and it soon became clear that the racing was going to be very close. Wins were taken by different people in most classes and it was clear that nailing a good start was essential to the NASCAR style of the racing. Later in the day we dropped to 4s which gave a few more MPH but still had wheels lifting at times. We had a total of 12 races on the Saturday as it looked like there would be no wind for the Sunday.

In Light Production Dave Miller dominated the proceedings, although I have a feeling that Caroline will keep gaining confidence and speed as the year progresses and Annabelle has started at such a young age I feel sure that by time she is in her teens she will be showing some of us oldies a clean pair of Vans (or whatever they're wearing in a few years' time!)

Heavy Production was very closely fought between myself and Dave Purchase who had clearly benefitted from practising his starts at the first Weston Fun Weekend. Once he'd taken the lead I found it impossible to catch him; he has made great progress with his race-craft. I'm going to make some excuses here by saying that I totally blew the first race; I was trying out a new way of restraining my useless legs and it wasn't working for me. -I should know by now that you don't try new setups at a race. At one point JG had moved the gybe mark and we shot over a slight rise on soft sand at 30MPH. Although it wasn't a good place to spin out I managed to do so two laps in a row and it was down to the quick reactions of the people just behind me that there wasn't a pile-up. Dave Miller even threatened to hold up cards with numbers on to score me on style and content. Mr Purchase's Autograss experience came to the fore in the last race when he dived down the inside to secure first place; ultimately he had put in an outstanding and consistent performance and clearly deserved the win. Nice to have Richard Bayley join us for his first (but definitely not last) race.

Light Performance saw battles for the lead between Chris Moore and Ron Frewin; Ron took 3 wins but Chris dominated once again. There's no substitute for spending time sailing and racing. If you didn't know, Ron is a recent convert from Standart racing (very sensible move we say) so as he fine-tunes his Blokart piloting skills we may yet see some even closer racing.

Heavy Performance saw Steve Harvey on top form and he dominated the class. Nick Glynn was, once again, showing a fresh turn of speed and kept Andy Etherington honest. Gareth James was having a mixed bag of results in his first race in Performance class while Jane Gibson had clearly built her confidence since last year and put in a good performance (more often than not beating all the Light Production pilots to the line).

For the last set of races we reduced race time to eight minutes which seemed just fine as people were starting to feel tired. After the last race people beat a hasty retreat to the clubhouse for a warm welcome, hot food and a cold beer or two.

The next day was as predicted and, in a way, many people were grateful as they rubbed their sore arms after the heavy day we had put in on the Saturday.

Huge thanks to John Gillborn, Julie and Sophie for being RO, marshall and race starter respectively; Graham and Christina for their support setting up the event and marshalling on the day; Jayne Selway for running the transponder system; Steve Harvey for the prize-giving pictures and Varne Boat and Social Club for giving us such a warm welcome again.


Light Production:

1st: Dave Miller

2nd: Caroline Hart

3rd: Annabelle Gillborn

Heavy Production:

1st: Dave Purchase

2nd: Chris Selway

3rd: Kim Chamberlain

Light Performance:

1st: Chris Moore

2nd: Ron Frewin

3rd: Alan Gibson

Heavy Performance:

1st: Steve Harvey

2nd: Andy Etherington

3rd: Nick Glynn


Chris Selway, K46.

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