April 25th & 26th saw the 3000’s first Travellers Series meeting of 2009 at Ullswater YC in the Lake District. Saturday dawned sunny & bright with seven hardy entries, Sedbergh School seeming to have brought various sized crews to suit almost any wind strength… The event was shared with the 29ers and 49ers, but it was plain to see which was the most committed class with only the 3000 of Stewart Patience and Nick Prince entertaining the spectators by going out for a long early practice thrash!
Courses were windward-leeward with a twin leeward mark gate, 5 races with 4 to count.
Race 1 took place in an Easterly F2 with Stewart and Nick’s practice well and truly paying off as they took the lead from the start. Locals Joe Pester and Lyndi Jones sailing the Vandercraft Demo Boat sneaked through as did class secretary Rob Leigh with locally-sourced crew Andy Webster. At the finish it was 1st Joe & Lyndi, 2nd Rob & Andy, 3rd locals Neil Robinson & Louise Haffenden.
Race 2 started in very light South Easterly wind and just about everyone had a go at leading! Rob & Andy rounded the windward mark first and the wind built to F3. Joe & Lyndi sneaked through again but when Sedbergh lads Patrick Shellcock & Harry Batty challenged for second they were caught on port by a merciless class secretary and the resultant capsize demoted them to fourth… They recovered though and yee ha’d to the finish in a great three sail trapezing thrash! 1st Joe & Lyndi, 2nd Rob & Andy, 3rd Chris & Kathy Williams in their Lilac Lovely.
Dinner and pudding followed in the club house and a quiz during which Sedbergh School were very missed as we failed to make an impact on the prizes…
Perfect conditions greeted the fleet on Sunday morning with sun and a steady F3+ blowing straight up the length of the lake.
Race 3 took place in brisk enough conditions to break a 49er’s mast and fast starters Stewart and Nick took to the front again off the line. Rob & Andy were left wishing they were scuba divers when sadly their rudder popped off and sank in about 40 metres of water… Fully powered conditions were enjoyed upwind and down with it finishing 1st Joe & Lyndi, 2nd locals Julz Noble & Katie Pie-Stewartson in a borrowed Laser, 3rd Sedbergh’s Patrick with Myles Ripley now crewing.
Race 4 had lighter wind and a good start by most of the fleet. Joe & Lyndi rounded the windward mark first with Julz & Katie in second chased hard by Patrick & Myles who eventually got by on the last lap. 1st Joe & Lyndi, 2nd Patrick & Myles, 3rd Julz & Katie.
Race 5 took place in slightly more breeze amid some boat swapping – Julz & Katie taking over the Vandercraft Demo Boat and Joe & Lyndi on Laser 3360. Julz & Katie then pulled off a port end flyer at the start and disappeared off into the distance! More proof if we needed any of how you can jump straight into this fabulous class and have fun in the races. Final positions were 1st Julz & Katie, 2nd Joe & Lyndi, 3rd Chris & Kathy.
Overall positions for the weekend were 1st Joe & Lyndi very happy to win on home turf/water, 2nd a very excited Julz & Katie, 3rd on equal points Sedbergh’s Patrick, Harry and Myles. The Sedbergh team were Silver Fleet winners, with Chris & Kathy second, taking home prizes of nice big dry bags (Silver Fleet = members 3 years or less).
That concluded a fantastic weekend with great weather and surely something for everyone with such a variety of wind strengths! Thanks go out to the class association, the club and all those who bravely travelled here so early in the season… Ullswater enjoyed having the 3000’s and would like to see them again :-)
Report by Joe Pester