This is the first of a monthly newsletter that I hope to gather together about Dabchick sailing around the Country. I shall be helped this year by John Lochhead as secretary and by Colleen Fitzsimons who is my liaison for the Western Cape. I suspect that we shall also receive a lot of assistance from Roger Bartholomew at Hermanus Yacht Club as the Nationals draw closer. One of the things we tend to do in sailing is to hide our sport under a bushel so I would ask all of you have access to a club or school notice board to post our Dabchick news & results.
I think the Wriggleswade Nationals will be remembered as an excellent event. We had consistent moderate winds with dry weather for the whole week. The two very windy days we had in the first Sunday and then Wednesday were unfortunately of little use to us. The Sunday could have been a cracking start with three heavy weather races, which undoubtedly would have pleased Finn Fitzsimons, but this did not transpire due to the multiple breakdown of the entire Dabbie bridge fleet! The one race we had was on the Laser course and I could see why Robbie Wilcox had been so insistent that the two classes sailed different courses. The soup of capsized lasers at the leeward mark was a navigational menace! I sailed one of the lasers back for a competitor who thought that a nice comfortable seat on the speedboat was a much better idea than clinging to a cold centerboard and I can tell you that although it was exhilarating it was a difficult and switchy wind the kids had to sail in.
From Monday we settled down to some consistent sailing. From the beginning it was obvious that the front part of the fleet was made up of some talented sailors and the first 15 would always be on us at the bridge boat finishing at almost the same time. A couple of light days allowed Bronwyn Klaas with her uncanny knack of sniffing out winds to pop in a couple of first with a long lead. An unfortunate OCS pushed her out of contention. The howling wind of Wednesday was left to team racing which was postponed leaving us to finish the regatta one day early, which meant that we could also have the team racing which was won by Western Province. In the last race of the regatta it had come down to a nail biting finish between William Norton of TSC and Bridgett Clayton of BSC. William lead by two points going into the last race but inexplicably went farming, giving the 2003 Dabchick National (World?) championship to Bridgett Clayton.
I have appended the results to this newsletter. They have been very nicely laid out & contain all the classes plus a list of all the awards for the different races. They also have the oppie selection list. As this is my first National newsletter I am probably a bit shy on addresses. If you hear of anyone who should be on this mailing, please send me their address.