The 4th round of the Northern Traveller was held at Burton Sailing Club in light winds and warm weather.
The format of three races on the Saturday and Two on the Sunday was well appreciated as it let the visitors get away early enough to travel home in a relaxed manner, always a welcome at open meetings.
As usual Burton cemented its reputation as a warm and friendly club by looking after our visitors and helping out with launching and recovery, as well as designating pole position on the hard standing we had an evening meal and drinks round the bar. Sailing talk and putting the world to rights was the topic of the evening, friendships were made and everyone had something to laugh at.
The race team were well prepared, with two of our most experienced racers setting the course and managing the event, very professional at all stages I might add.
As to the racing, well it was close in every aspect, with positions changing in every lap of every race. Wind awareness made a big difference as at times a big hole would open up right in the middle of the lake, this really affected the decisions of how best to make the runs to the leeward mark.
On one occasion the two lead boats rounded almost touching each other, one went to starboard and the other to port, the port boat then lost out to the entire fleet going from 2nd to last, undaunted it crossed the sterns of the fleet went really wide to port, picked up the wind and arrived back in 2nd hot on the heels of the lead boat again. Amazing.
Every start was tight with all boats fighting (in a very sportsman like manner I have to point out) for the pin end of the line. It produced some really really exciting first beats, special mention has to be pointed out to boat number 2737 with John and Simon, a scratch crew and Simon new (that weekend) to FF's who outperformed us all and arrived at the windward and wing mark well in the lead. Their smiles were a joy to see and lit up every competitor with a real sense of pride at their accomplishment.
Throughout the weekend boat 4013 Chris and Marion and 3975 Angus and Paul really shone and set the pace for the rest of the fleet, this challenge was infectious and the rest of the boats responded in kind, no race was a sure thing and everyone was kept honest and had to sail well to keep their position. A procession it certainly wasn't.
To round up it was a cracking fleet weekend, well hosted with really fine sportsmanship on the water, the kind of racing that makes the weekend a pleasure.