Hurricanes at the Datchet Catamaran Open
The weekend of the 22nd-23rd March saw six Hurricanes race at the season's opening event. With five home boats and one solitary traveller all the way from Bala, the weekend was looking like it would favour the home club boats.
Race Officer Barry Peters set a course for 4 races on both Saturday and Sunday. With the forecast for winds of force 4 gusting to 5 and occasionally 6, it was going to be a tough weekend, especially those who had not been out on the water much over the winter months.
Race 1 was won by the travelling team of John Tuckwell and Chelsea Furber from the local boats of Nick Moore and Maxine Oliver and then Mike Holmes and John Moore, who benefited from some boats arriving late to the start line.
Races 2 and 3 were won by Holmes / Moore with Tuckwell / Furber and Moore / Oliver sharing 2nd and 3rd places. The final race of the day was won by Tuckwell/Furber with Holmes/Moore second and class Chairman Andy Bedford with Sam Nicholls taking 3rd. Moore/Oliver retired due to gear failure and the fleet retired to nurse aching limbs.
Sunday was forecast to be less windy than the previous day - how wrong this turned out to be! The fleet launched into gusty conditions and race 5 finished with Tuckwell / Furber taking the win from Moore/ Oliver and Holmes / Moore coming home in third.
The wind increased and so did the gusts, becoming more vicious and turning race 6 into a survival mission. Holmes / Moore capsized with Bedford/Nicholls taking the win from Tuckwell / Furber and then Moore/Oliver. Race 7 began gusts were recorded at 37 knots it was a real test of seamanship. Holmes/Moore went on to win the last race from Moore/Oliver with Tuckwell / Furber coming third. Bedford / Nicholls brought up the rear after capsizing.
After 7 races the event was won by John Tuckwell and Chelsea Furber from Bala Catamaran Club, just one point ahead of Mike Holmes and John Moore, with Nick Moore and Maxine Oliver coming 3rd. Datchet is always a good season opener and thanks go to Race Officer Barry Peter and rescue support Neil.
The Hurricanes now move north, with the Carsington Cat event on the 12th and 13th April followed by Bala Catamaran Open over the May Bank Holiday weekend. It is hoped that this will encourage some of the northern boats to support these events.
Thanks go to class supporters Typhoon Wetsuits, Andark and Towergate Insurance.