By Richard Whitehouse

Saturday started cold (close to freezing), cloudless and windless. The first race, due to start at 12:30 was postponed until 2:30pm, when a rather fickle south westerly developed. Only two of the planned four races were completed on day one of the event.  Unusually for a Byte event, race one started with a general recall. On the restart Matt Banbrook took a flying lead by a considerable margin initially but got stuck in a hole on the run. The current national champion, Emma Pearson, closed on him, followed by Rick Whitehouse who had pulled up through the fleet from (his usual) poor start.  A three-way battle for the lead ensued, with Rick eventually successful, Emma second and Matt third. Unfortunately for Matt, a pre-existing injury prevented his participation in the rest of the event. 

By Richard Whitehouse

The hot, dry summer had its effect on Combs reservoir, a canal header in the Peak district. The water level was the lowest for many years but still deemed “sailable”.
Three visiting sailors, (one in an original “classic” Byte) and five local club members took the long trek down the shore to the central puddle. The wind blew from the South, curling over and around the hills and trees and swirling across the “lake” at between 1 and 12mph (on almost every leg of the course).

Seven Bytes ignored the weather warning and turned up for the event. (8 if you count John Futcher who came just for a blast on Sunday but did not qualify). Four races were held on Saturday and two on Sunday. Only Stu, Rachel and John braved the big winds on Sunday! They all sailed magnificently. I know as I was out in the Patrol Boat!

NoR for the Felpham Open Meeting can be found here.


Byte National Championships at Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy
by Emma Pearson

Day 0

With a healthy 35 entries and a history of stiff competition, the Byte Nationals is always a readily under-rated dinghy racing event. For the past 8 years the over all trophy has been alternating between Rick Whitehouse and Louis Saunders but with Louis taking a sabbatical and a mixed weather forecast Rick appeared to be the only one to watch.