Eight Bytes turned up at Chew Valley to join the local boat of Cathy Bartram. I have never visited this club and was surprised to see a very large lake in beautiful surroundings. So far so good but not a breath of wind ruffled the mirror like calm. Boats were rigged, their colourful sails shining in the sunshine but still the only movement on the lake was the splashing Topper sailors while an Oppie containing two tots was dragged along the shore on a rope. The eleven o'clock start was delayed while the sailors yawned, the Derbyshire contingent had set out at 5am. Suddenly the God Astraeus decided to release his flatulence and a pleasant breeze sprung up. Boats were launched on the wide concrete slip way and nine Byte C2's made their way to the start.


Race one began with Rick Whitehouse (Combs SC) leading Louis Saunders (Combs SC) off the line and establishing a healthy lead. These two pulled away from the main group but with Andrew Sant (Combs SC) and Charlie Samsom (Bowmoor) still within striking distance. The wind was a little shifty and on the lap two beat, Louis passed Rick and rounded the mark well ahead. Rick was then blanked by a wandering Solo that had started with its fleet three minutes ahead. Louis went on to win from Rick and Andy. Charlie was fourth.

Lunch was then served, always an important moment for the Byte fleet! The wind had increased for race two even allowing a little planing at times. Louis established an effective lead from Rick who matched him for speed but on such open water he could not reduce it no matter how cunning were his tactics! Rachel Moore (Weston) sailed an excellent race to finish third behind Louis and Rick. The remainder of the fleet were in a close bunch with some great battles being fought.

Race three was sailed back to back with Louis leading Rick who was being harassed by Andy with Rachel close behind. They finished in that order....but...Andy had not passed through the gate on one lap and was disqualified! Disbelief followed by disappointment spread over his face. This meant that Charlie took third.

All competitors enjoyed the event, sailing in the sun with a pleasant wind and attractive surroundings.

The next event is at Frampton on Severn in two weeks time on October 11th. There will also be an open/training event at Bowmoor during mid October. It seems that Bowmoor now have twelve active Bytes one of which was sailed at Chew by Charlie Samson who at fifteen was racing in his first open and gained a creditable third place.

Overall Results:

1st Louis Saunders (Combs SC) (1), 1, 1, 2pts
2nd Rick Whitehouse (Combs SC) (2), 2, 2, 4pts
3rd Charlie Samsom (Bowmoor SC) (4), 4, 3, 7pts
4th Rachel Moore (Weston SC) (6), 3, 4, 7pts
5th Andrew Sant (Combs SC) 3, 5, (dsq), 8pts
6th Claire Mach (Weston SC) (7), 6, 5, 11pts
7th Maggie Futcher (Weston SC) 5, 7, (8), 12pts
8th Cathy Bartram (Chew SC) (8), 8, 6, 14pts
9th Angela Oakley (Haversham SC) (9), 9, 8, 17pts