This weekend saw the return of our annual team racing event, the Wessex Winter Warmer!
We had a record entry of over 30 teams seeking just 18 spots in the highly competitive event.
Saturday morning provided us with 15 gusting 20 knots of wind and heavy drizzle from a South/South Westerly direction. Despite the miserable weather, teams were arriving bright and early ready for a full day of racing and after a quick briefing the first teams were soon out on the water. Racing was underway just before 10 o’clock with Royal Thames Blue taking a convincing win over SMVC. Due to a few breakages early on, initial progress was slightly slow, however we were soon up and running at full speed, completing 90 races by the end of the Saturday.
We rounded a great day on the water off with the usual curry at Manzils. Almost immediately the walls, ceilings and everyone in there were plastered with curry and soggy naan’s. With more curry on ourselves than in our bellies it was time to stagger into Clowns and Jesters to bring in the early hours of Sunday with some cheesy tunes.
Still looking very weary eyed first thing on Sunday, we managed to get the first race off just after 9.30. The wind was far less settled than on Saturday which made the RO’s job particularly difficult. Nevertheless, before long we had completed 108 races in the round robin stage, allowing us to make the move to leagues. Despite all the teams having completed 12 races, it was still very close as we made the split.
After some very closely fought league races, Birdham Bandits, OCSS and Wessex Exempt were our top 3 gold fleet teams. Royal Thames Red had a storming day on Sunday, boosting themselves to the top of Silver and taking the final spot in our semi-finals. In the semi-finals OCSS beat RTYC Red 2-0, while a more closely fought battle saw Birdham Bandits take a 2-1 win over Wessex Exempt. Both the petit final and final provided some fantastic racing with all teams on 1 win, a decider was required. Wessex Exempt secured 3rd overall, while Birdham Bandits converted to a winning combination on the final beat, making them the overall winners of the Wessex Winter Warmer 2018!
We would like to thank all the teams for coming this weekend and making it such a great event, we hope to see you all again next year.
We would also like to thank all those who helped make the event a success, in particular Keith and Jo Sammons, Ed Morris and all the umpires.
1st – Birdham Bandits
2nd – Oxford and Cambridge Sailing Society
3rd – Wessex Exempt