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Sunday, 08 December 2019

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Weston B Series Race 2015 - Race Report

Friday 24th:
Having checked the wind conditions I arrived on Weston beach mid Friday afternoon for the first time since the 2013 Euro’s (too long a gap) to find a few seagulls and dog walkers enjoying a pleasant afternoon's sunshine but not the wind as indicated earlier.
I was soon joined by my brother Ray and we inspected the beach to see how it was underfoot and where the mud line starts.
Shortly afterwards we retired to our B&B for the weekend and enjoyed a quiet drink in the local Inn and later an evening meal.

Saturday 25th – Race Day 1: 10/8 min races with 2 min dial ups
Racer Officer – Chris Moore, Race Control – Gill Moore (In back of new Blokart Trailer).
We awoke early on the Saturday morning and checked the weather from our room to our dismay as the leaves on the tree outside room were static but a quick review of the various weather sites indicated better conditions for the day's sailing.
By the time we left our B&B there was a noticeable breeze developing and we arrived on the beach to the hustle and bustle of the race course set up and supporting area including an array of BLSA, WBC and TI Shredders flags and banners being put into place for the race day and the first Blokarts being assembled, a resplendent sight.
As the morning progressed registration was called and we all weighed in and collected our transponders. All the fleet progressed on to the course for a quick last minute sail and check of equipment settings.
A quick briefing from our race officer for the weekend, Chris Moore, letting us know the course direction, the start box and transponder line positions and the wind direction –Westerly.
For today’s conditions Chris had set us a course which ran back and forth along the beach with a pair of flags as our turning point.
The set course was in an anti-clockwise direction with competitors running from the start box to the first mark at the pit area with a turn back across the transponder line halfway back along the course before a turn at the far end on the beach.
With a steady wind speed of 12mph and gusts to 16mph Chris opted to divide the racing into light/middle and heavyweight fleets.
I took the opportunity to help Chris at the start line and the first dial up was underway.
Watching from this vantage point the discussion was why the pilots were heading down the course and not up the course so as to get a longer run to the start box.
The first race (10 mins) was quickly over and the second race of the day underway which was changed to 8 mins for the rest of the day.
Chris’ intention was to put the heavyweight fleet out for 2 races but the prevailing wind had dropped slightly so the light/middle weight fleets continued for a further 2 races.
Chris took the opportunity to give encouragement to Lesley Allart a first time racer who was going quite well but was trailing behind the fleet.
A quick check of Lesley’s blokart found she was running on soft tyres all round so a quick pit stop for Lesley on the start line and everyone was good to go.
The third and fourth races where executed in quick succession with more shouted instructions from the side lines for the racers and then it was the heavyweight fleets turn.
The light/middle weight fleet took this opportunity to go for lunch provided for us by Katie and her friend.
I took to the beach with the normal anticipation and we were away for the first race of four.
Much to Chris’s amusement John Corkhill twice managed to miss the transponder line in races 3 and four in my view a kind act as it promoted me to third!!
The heavyweights then retired to the pit area for lunch and a welcome break.
As the afternoon moved on the light/middle weight fleets returned to the beach for a further two races with even an excursion into the mud line!
The day closed with two more races for the heavyweight fleet as the rain started to fall.
In all for the day we managed 12 races today with 6 for each class.
Now there was frantic breakdown of the pit area, course and Blokarts in the steady rain with everyone pitching in.
The biggest problem of the day was Chris mislaying his van keys as we packed away with a fair bit of ribbing going on.
These were found with Gill who had left the beach earlier after the last race.
With Chris reunited with his keys we all retired to our variety of abodes before meeting up later in the evening for a curry in Weston and a catch up on the day’s events.

Sunday 26th – Race Day 2:  8 min races with 2 min dial ups
Racer Officer – Chris Moore, Race Control – Gill Moore.
An early wakeup call and a quick check out of the window showed a growing breeze and so it was off to the beach where once again there was a hive of activity in preparation for the days racing.
A quick briefing from our race officer for the weekend Chris Moore letting us know the course direction, the start box and transponder line positions and the wind direction –North, North East.
Today Chris had set us a more technical course in the Americas cup style again running along the beach, this would require reaches, tacking, gybing etc. as we all tried to find an advantage.
For the first race Chris put the entire fleet out which proved to be manic in the dial up as we tried to be in the right place for the start but with any error or repositioning causing people to grind to a halt due to the beach conditions.
We then went back to Saturday’s format with two heavyweight races followed by 5 light/middle weight and to finish with 3 heavyweight races with a break for lunch midway through.
The wind again was fickle at times but was averaging 10mph with gusts to 15mph.

In all for the day we managed 12 races today with 6 for each class.

Reflection on the Weston B Series Race 2015.
This was a very well organised and enjoyable weekend's racing for the 23 competitors and we all must give a special thanks to Chris, Gill, John, Sarah and their hardworking catering team and many others in the background who give us the opportunity to compete over the weekend.
There was always advice or a helping hand from the more experienced racers and you could hear the shouts of encouragement with pull in the downhaul, sheet in sheet out as we raced.
It was also a spectacle for the passing dog walkers / beach combers many of whom would stop and watch and chat with us as we waited for our turn for our next race.
The best racing was within the middleweight races which had the highest number of competitors and I twice witnessed finishing line passes with race leaders being pipped for first place with contrasting moments of elation and despair.
The most surreal moment occurred during a light/middle weight racing on Sunday when the entire fleet ground to a halt as the wind dropped and with the race leaders frantically trying to catch the wind again and wheeling along whilst others were more relaxed and rested there waiting for the wind which quickly returned and the fleet moved to the finish.
Finally there was the presentations for the various classes in production and performance and then we were off home, some a short ride with others a longer journey to the south coast, London, the Midlands and Glasgow.
If you are ever unsure about racing its weekends like this this that proves it’s worth the effort with those attending enjoying great racing but also a great social side.

There was good banter between the WBC members and TI Shredders members who made up a good number of the racers attending with both clubs racers picking up medals.

Unfortunately I cannot attend the Perranporth B series race but I’m looking forward to those later in the year which if half as good as this weekend they will be worth going to.
See you all soon on the beach / airfield.

Richard Bayley K459 (Heavyweight Production).

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