The weather the week after Burnham Week has an autumnal feel to it and weather warnings from the BBC abound, but, no matter,as Burnham Week 2010 has been all buttoned up and put to bed. All that remains is for us all to consider whether improvements can be made for BW 2011 and a verdict on 2010. That verdict is in your hands - we need competitor feedback. There is a simple questionnaire in the back of the SIs but no matter if the keen recyclers amongst you have already disposed of it as an email or letter will be equally welcome. The Questionnaire is available as a download on the Burnham Week website - burnhamweek.org.uk
Certainly the new BW website made a considerable difference; it relieved me of much liaison work between the competitors and their class captains and, for the first time, it was possible for all competitors to see the entrants' list and so they could encourage more of their number to get enter. Nor did the online entry close when the Week began as hitherto, so it was possible to add to the days entered from the comfort of home and then download the course before leaving for the river. Those of you with advanced gadgets could even access the results without getting out of bed...wonderful!
The number of competitors was about the same as last year, despite the financial restrictions we are all feeling and the return to school in the middle of the Week - that has a considerable effect on the availability of crew. I calculate that 145 starters made for the various start lines on the Bank Holiday Monday.
The weather was the usual mixture, strong winds and no winds. It blew hard on Sunday, dismasted Duncan Haley's Double Trouble and shook up the venerable ladies in the RCOD and RBOD fleets and that was just the boats. Barry Lewis' Corindelle managed to arrive at the back end of the week as the kind-hearted helm had spent the beginning patching up repairs after the afore-mentioned strong stuff!
Bobby Melville and John Heathfield shared the Week's honours between them and Robert Campbell continued to win in the Dragons. The Squibs dealt the prizes more evenly between Malcolm Hutchings, Robert Coyle and Micky Wright. There were twelve competitors in the Town Cup and Stan Fenton's Fay-J beat Oystercatcher by over two minutes on corrected time. On a personal note, I was delighted to see Gymcrack entering in class five and she got a third in her first race!
The final Saturday was enlivened by two charity events, the annual Duck Race and a Swim for Charity. The Duck Race is in aid of the Essex Air Ambulance and the little yellow ducks raised £1650 with John Pawley, Vice-Commodore Sailing of CYC, backing the winning duck to the tune of £100. Adrian Fluker swam from the marina to our pontoon, raising £1500 for the RNLI Boat Shed Fund as he did so. The Week ended with the traditional firework display masterminded by Dick Stace,providing a fitting finale to a brilliant week.