Burnham Optimist Open Meeting

»«Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th July 2010

We had forty-seven registered for the Saturday of our Oppie Open Meeting. The series was seven races and the fleets split between Race and Regatta. Saturday was one of those balmy Burnham days with the land breeze from the west being countered by the ever increasing sea breeze. John Hardy, our Race Officer for the weekend, managed to get two races sailed before lunch.

In the Race Fleet James Hutton-Penman won the first race; Tom Johnson the second, although this race was something of a lottery as behind second placed Karyna Manuel, there was a pile up at the final leeward mark. In Regatta Fleet the first race was won clearly by Luke Cahalane and the second by Matthew Braybrook with Luke right behind him.

Unfortunately no more racing was possible after lunch as the wind had become too variable so capsizing and swimming was the order of the afternoon. The children seem to enjoy this as much as the sailing!

Sunday dawned with a good South Westerly which built to 20 knots by the afternoon. Regatta Fleet completed three races with Matthew in a class of his own, he won all three. James Grant sailed consistently well with two thirds and a second.

Race Fleet sailed five races and it was nip and tuck all the way. The first and third races were won by Tom; in the third race on the final gate Tom quickly spotted that the down tide buoy was the one to go around and went from third to first, beating a somewhat bemused James. James won the other three races. Other places were hotly contested with Chay Taylor, Karyna and Hamish Eckstein all sailing very well.

In the final analysis Regatta Fleet was won convincingly by Matthew Braybrook, James Grant was second and Luke Cahalane third. Race Fleet was won by James with Tom second and Chay third, on equal points with fourth placed Karyna.

Well done to all the competitors for a great weekend of sailing and a big thank you again to John Hardy our Race Officer, Richard Taylor, our Safety Officer, Lynne Bikhazi for organising all the prizes and Joy Taylor for producing all the competitor/adult lunches.

One final well done goes to all our junior Oppie sailors who sailed over the weekend, a great performance given you have only been on the river for a short period. A real well done to Sophie Johnson and Griff Davies who finished the first race on Sunday in lots of wind and to Ben Hutton-Penman for sailing so well before the races started.

Nick Hutton-Penman