A weekend of varied conditions at this year's championship held at Brixham Yacht Club
This years GulRS Vareo National Championship held at Brixham Yacht Club, 29-31 May 2004 saw some close racing.
A force 3/4 SW wind set the scene as 23 Vareos from as far apart as Cornwall and Yorkshire navigated their way through the harbour to the race area, in the middle of Torbay.
In the first race the fleet got away cleanly and made its way to the windward mark – catching the RS300 stragglers. Veering winds made the downwind legs quite biased, but gave exciting sailing in winds gusting Force 5. Jon Lewis (Burghfield), Robert Burridge (Weir Wood), Dave Machin(Netley), Pete Vincent (BCYC) and Carl Whitehead (Filey) battled it out in some close tacking to finish in that order while Richard Kemp-Salt (Brightlingsea) lost out at the finish by engineering a capsize in front of the committee boat.
After quite a delay while the wind veered about 30 degrees and the race course was traversed by the Brixham classic fleet the second race started with a significant starboard end bias. Jon Lewis took line honours with Robert Burridge second and Pete Vincent third.
Sunday dawned with almost no wind, and the fleet was very reluctant to get on the water. However when they arrived at the start there was a good force 3/4. Race 3 finished with Jon Lewis taking line honours, Rob Burridge second, Richard Kemp-Salt third and Pete Vincent forth.
Race 4 Rob Burridge eventually won with Jon Lewis second, a really good showing saw Paul Kelly third and Carl Whitehead maintained his consistent showing getting a 4th.
Race 5 Jon Lewis was first after he managed to overtake Richard Kemp-Salt who had problems with his spinnaker, with Rob Burridge third and Pete Vincent again showing consistent form finishing 4th.
The final day of racing, 31 May 2004. the forecast Force 9 winds certainly didn’t materialise, indeed as the crews assembled there was some doubt if there was any wind at all. However as the boats made their way to the start an increasing SE set in and by the start of race 6 this was blowing at Force 4 gusting 5.
In the end it was Pete Vincent who overtook Jon Lewis on the last run to take line honours with Rob Burridge third and Richard Kemp-Salt forth. In the second race (race 7 – the final race of the series) Jon Lewis went ashore and for the first time in the series we had individual recalls on the start. In constant rain, decent swell and strong winds Rob Burridge took the gun from Richard Kemp-Salt, who had fought back up the fleet, and Colin Aldred (Filey) in third place.