Big fleet in Oxford
|A whopping 43 boats arrived at the very central Farmoor Reservoir, Oxford to enjoy mild autumn conditions and a great breeze ranging from 12-30 knots as the changeable autumnal weather systems span through. Many new faces where evident throughout the fleet, keen to get involved prior the start of the 2010 season.
Fast laps and flat water blasting were the game of the weekend with an emphasis on keeping the boat flying through the gusts and lulls which proved particularly testing on occasions as the ‘slammers’ came buffeting down the course.
Hot out of the blocks were Peter Barton & Roz Allen Marlow, winning three races. With good starting, steady boat handling and great speed managed great consistency to finish in the top three all weekend. Chris Webber & Jim Baldwin made a big Sunday comeback after a lacklustre Saturday to win two races and take second overall. Alan Olive & Guy Fillmore’s Harken had to fight hard after opening their series with two below par races but made a come back to third overall with quality 1,2,2 finishes.
Back in the fleet after a few years out James Date & Toby Winter RWO ironed out a steady series to take fourth. UK Circuit winners and race 1 leaders Rob Watson and John Clifton took fifth. National Champions Laurie Fitzjohn-Sykes & Dan Allin revved up their new boat to sixth, ready to hit the ground running next season. Top Youths in seventh were Tim Saxton & Nicola Groves Zhik demonstrating ability for great first mark placings to show their potential.
Now for a winter break from circuit racing where the fleet will support several of the classic winter pursuit series together with class training in anticipation of another big season. The 2010 season kicks off early with the Winter Championships at Grafham 13-14 February followed by the first UK Circuit event at Chew Valley 13-14 March. 2010 is a Garda year, with every expectation to top the 70 boat mark, building on the 67 in 2008. The Nationals are to be at the fine coastal venue of Exmouth in mid September.