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22/10/2023
End of Season Championships Bartley Sailing Club

 

2023 North Sails Southern Paddle Series at Bartley Sailing Club
2023 Rooster Super Series End of Season Championships

by Neil Firth

 

Streaker sailors from across the UK gathered at Bartley SC on 22 October for their season's grand finale. The coveted Freddy Bear Trophy for the End of Season champion wasn't the only trophy at stake, as the event would also decide the winners of several Streaker traveller series'.

Sailors were greeted by a decent south-easterly, stronger than forecast, for the first race. Local sailor Colin Staite absolutely nailed the pin end on the start but, fearing an OCS, chose to re-round; unnecessarily as it turned out. Meanwhile, the lengthy first beat gave Streaker fleet newbie Sam McKay (Swarkestone SC) a chance to show off his speed and superior shift-picking, arriving at the windward mark with a comfortable lead.

Behind Sam, there was a lot more going on in the fluctuating breeze. Neil Firth (Banbury SC) held second for a while, but was under constant threat from four or five others, all engaged in a tight battle and regularly trading places, up and downwind. Eventually it was Debbie Degge who made the most of her local knowledge to pull away from the pack into second, with Veronica Falat (Waveney and Oulton Broad SC) taking third, just ahead of Ian Gore (Up River SC) and Dave Borrett (Beaver SC).

By race two the breeze had started to fade somewhat and, although Sam was still fast, he found himself in a head-to-head with Veronica for the entire race. These two were well clear of the rest and it was Veronica who showed her usual downwind guile to sneak through on the final run and take the race win. The battle for third was also very tight, with Debbie eventually getting the better of Ian who finished fourth. Katie Masterson (St Mary's Loch SC) 'came from nowhere' on the final beat to take fifth as the breeze faded to almost nothing. A good time for lunch!

Fortunately the breeze returned after lunch to provide a competitive final race. A new course was set, still taking advantage of the full length of the reservoir. Sam was, once again, quickly into his groove and, by the windward mark, he had managed to open up a gap from the chasing pack. This was led by Veronica, Debbie and Ian who all had a sniff of second place at one time or another, but eventually finished in that order.

So the event win and Freddy Bear Trophy went to Sam McKay, sailing at his first-ever Streaker event and making him 'one to watch' at future events! Veronica Falat was second and Debbie Degge third.

This event concluded a number of Streaker traveller series'. The Rooster Super Series, featuring the six major national and regional championships, was won by Veronica Falat. She also won the North Sails Southern Paddle Series. James Dawes from Redditch SC won the Midland Series and took home the Balti Bowl trophy.

After the prize giving, we held a draw for a North Sails Streaker sail. This was awarded at random to a Class member who competed in the 2023 North Sails Southern Paddle traveller series. Congratulations to the winner, Julia Blackman from Downs SC, and thank you to North Sails!

Thank you to all the volunteers at Bartley Sailing Club for a great day's racing - a fitting conclusion to the 2023 Streaker season.



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