North shore, south shore, east or west side of the Roach, to kedge or drift, to scream out loud or suffer in silence. This is not an opening sonnet from a Shakespeare play, it is a summation of Burnham Week for the RCOD fleet and I suspect all other competitors as well. Whoever made the right options on those calls won the week and for the RCODs, the winner was emphatic with Justin Waples in Cormorant making a clean sweep of the trophies and Sue Law in Coralie as runner-up. For the others it was a week of what ifs, not hearing the shortened course, failing to spot that the tide on the way up to Clarks was far less on the north shore, being one hundred yards away from a zephyr that took a rival boat 400 yards ahead or simply suffering from a thumping hangover.
The lack of wind was compensated for by a big dollop of enthusiasm and sunny weather that when the racing did take place, ensured lots of close quarter action. It was good to see Barry Lewis, our class captain, in the top quarter of the fleet, looking very comfortable at the helm of Nick Oliver’s Corella and Fi Bell in Corsair showed she will be a future force to be reckoned with on her maiden Burnham Week.
Seven boats took part in the week and there should have been eight. Sadly John Reid, who recently took ownership of the late Bobby Melville’s vessel has been lured back to the west country with a big property project. As a result he has put the boat back on the market for either a sale or charter. She is a very fast boat and whoever acquires her will be guaranteed a lot of fun on the water. Next year Barry Lewis will be back in his own boat after undergoing remedial work following an overzealous sandblast. Who knows? We may even have some wind as well.