Eight teams gathered at Hayling Island Sailing Club over the weekend of the 18/19th June to fight for the first chance to qualify for the 2022 British Keelboat League finals.
Light winds greeted the teams as they arrived in Hayling bay and despite the best efforts of the race team lead by PRO Graham Williamson, the tide was just a fraction too wrong and the first team in race one missed the time limit by seconds. After a brief pause while the wind spun around, Hayling began to deliver on it’s promise of great sailing. The breeze built through the day and while light wind tactics were the key at the start of the day, it was heavy air boat handling that become critical as the day drew on with gusts over 20 knots. After 12 races, the teams headed back to shore to enjoy the local hospitality.
Team Otter were leading overnight but only by a point ahead of West Hoe SC with Banbury SC not far behind.
For the second day of racing, it was breeze on from the start. With everyone playing close attention to the live results on the KSail website, everyone was beginning to push the line harder and it was a rare race that did not see the X flag appear. On several occasions, boats didn’t return to start correctly and with the points getting closer, this would prove costly for some. While the breeze moderated slightly throughout the day, the Northerly wind direction kept the competitors and mark layers busy as the shifts were pretty hard to read. West Hoe Sailing Club, a true family affair with Tom Low Helming with, wife Inga, brother Ed and cousin Ben on board sailed consistently well throughout the day to take the win ahead of Banbury SC in second and Chichester YC in third.
After the prizegiving, Tom Low said “Yet again, the BKL delivered a seamless ‘rock up and race’ event. The racing in Hayling Bay offered a wide range of wind strengths and some tide, which challenged all teams to push hard within the competitive fleet. The racing was hard fought, full of incidents (aka ‘learning opportunities’), the weather was kind and every competitor returned to shore tired but very happy. My only complaint, Jack needs to stop protesting West Hoe.”
Thanks go as always to our series partners A Plan Commercial Marine Insurance and MDL Marinas and of course, our fantastic hosts at Hayling Island Sailing Club who made us so very welcome.
Next up in the British Keelboat League is the Women’s Championship at the Royal Southern Yacht Club on the 16/17th July as part of the Women’s Open Keelboat Championships.
Full details at here!