The Royal Northumberland Yacht Club at Blyth hosted a superb 707 Northern Area Championship over three days 8th, 9th and 10th July as part of their East Coast Week Regatta. Sadly only five 707s made the trip (it is a long way from Burnham) three local(ish) boats, one from Scotland and Beaver Hunter. We were warmly welcomed on the Thursday evening, after our long journey, with pie, chips & peas, cheap beer and a brilliant but very loud band!
The sailing conditions were good on Friday, although with a bit of a north sea swell which was much better than the day before when the East Coast Week racing was curtailed due to the loss of the course buoys in the conditions.
Race 1 started well enough for the fleet with the exception of Beaver Hunter, who was a touch too far up the course at the gun, so had to go around the ends, leaving her a fair way back! This turned out to be quite fortunate as the fleet was aiming for a mark that wasn't part of the course (club marks were used but still gave good windward leeward legs) and hadn't noticed BH heading for the right one which resulted in a win for the Beaver!
Race 2 got underway after a long break due to the stragglers in other classes still finishing, leaving some of the crew a bit nauseous due to the swell. This time the Beaver managed to stay the right side of the line. The rest of the fleet sailed the correct course and there was close racing between Sharkey, Beaver Hunter and Outlaw, who was the winner.
Race 3 was not such a long way behind Race 2 thankfully, as there was still a big swell. Again racing was close but Beaver Hunter got to the windward mark first with Outlaw and Sharkey in close combat, exciting down and up wind legs followed with BH ending up taking line honours. Back on shore a drink or two were needed so with a jug of Dark & Stormy (half a bottle of rum & a bit of ginger beer) at £5 a throw the Beaver Hunter Crewtook full advantage...
Saturday emerged! Rain, shifting light winds, swell & hangovers! Still the first race got off to a good start with the Beaver first at the windward mark with a decent gap over the rest of the fleet. Then the wind changed direction, turning the runs and beats into reaches!
Eventually the wind settled back to its original direction but by this time Beaver Hunter was well out in front for its third win of the series. After three hours of thunder storms and no wind, with two attempted starts, the rest of the racing was abandoned for the day. 'Pimms Nite' & curry followed!
Sunday produced a decent breeze and no swell. With three wins Beaver Hunter could still be beaten by Outlawwith two races still to go. Beaver Hunter again got to the windward mark first, very closely followed by Outlaw and Sharkey but an error of judgement when dropping the spinnaker allowed Outlaw and Sharkey to leave the Beaver behind.
For the next hour this remained the position with Outlaw looking the likely winner but the last leg saw Outlaw taking a different side of the course to the Beaver and Sharkey giving Sharkey its first win. Beaver Hunter finishing in second place was enough to secure the championship. The last race of the day saw Outlaw winning from Sharkey with Beaver Hunter third.
- 1st Beaver Hunter RCYC 7pts
- 2nd Outlaw SYC 9pts
- 3rd Sharkey T&HYC 13pts
- 4th Sin Bin SYC 20pts
- 5th SeaWord PEYC