What a great day it was for the Bytes at Bowmoor Sailing Club last weekend when a total of 20 boats took to the water on Saturday, including Cll's Cl's and a couple of Classic rigs. There were also plenty of new Hartley built boats which was good to see. The event was shared with 35 Supernova's but good race management ensured that 55 boats raced without incident. There had been a Byte training day on the Friday and it was obvious on race day that many of the youngsters sailing had taken considerable benefit from this!



The Byte fleet was just as it should have been. The boat was designed for lighter sailors of any age or gender and this was the case at Bowmoor Sailing Club who appreciate the merit of the class. It was great to see ladies and young people sailing sharp modern boats that suited their weight rather than struggling round in Laser radials which do not. Gentlemen were of course represented and the day which was won by veteran campaigner Richard Whitehouse, etiquette forbids me from disclosing his actual age but the youngest competitor was apparently eleven. In short a very successful day of competitive racing.

Race one began in a light shifty wind with Emily Watson (Bowmoor) leading the field after a good start. Sailing in clear air her lead was never challenged. Rachel Moore (Weston) revelled in the light conditions and consistently held second place t for most of the race but followed closely by Charlie Sanson (Bowmoor), Zoe Bazen (Bowmoor) and Rick Whitehouse (Combs). Towards the end of the race the wind increased to almost planing level and as Andrew Sant (Combs), Charlotte Hitchmore (Bowmoor) and Zoe Bazen (Bowmoor) contested 5th place Charlotte mistook the finish line, and thinking the three boats had crossed, turned away to sail in. Responding to a shout she realised her error and turned back collecting Andrew and Zoe on the way! The Byte 'trimaran' cannoned off into the bank and Charlotte and Andy never crossed the line.

In race 2 the lead was closely contested by Rick, Zoe and Emily. Rick made a good start and found more wind during the race giving him a good win.

With one race to go Emily was on 5 points with Rick, Zoe and Charlie Sanson (Bowmoor) on 6. The points were now very close and it was all down to race 3.

Race 3 was run back to back with race 2. The start was closely contested but Zoe led away into a commanding lead but this was lost when Rick and Emily took advantage of some tricky wind shifts near the windward mark. On the subsequent legs the battle was close and intense with Rick getting to the front and covering Emily on the final lap to lead over the line.

Charlie Sanson had starting problems in race 3 but climbed through the fleet taking back 11 places to finish in 5th. It is worth noting that young Matt Banbrook (Bowmoor) finished the event in 10th place sailing with a C1 rig. Rick described him as 'That little demon in a C1'!

So at the end of a good days racing and a brilliant start to the season it was experienced veteran Rick Whitehouse from Emily Watson and Charlie Sanson. A good day was had by all and next Saturday 16th April the roadshow moves on to Bristol Corinthian where another cracking day is expected.