The first Vareo Winter Championship took place at Draycote Water last weekend

Weather forecasts last Friday for the weekend were generally great for those wanting to go ballooning but not very encouraging for sailing, with only 5mph winds forecast for Saturday in the Midlands. However, those willing to take a chance that the wind forecasts might not be so accurate weren’t disappointed at the first Vareo Winter Championship at Draycote Water, sponsored by Gul.

The fleet enjoyed three races Saturday afternoon in a good Force 3. Luke Fisher missed the first race at midday, but laid down the gauntlet by winning the remaining two races on Saturday, with Martin Barrett in hot pursuit. It was good to see a new face, Lawrence Hayward, in Vareo number 262 that he’d collected only the day before.

Racing on Sunday was scheduled to start at 1030, but the wind wasn’t going to make it easy for those on race duty. After half an hour of shifting the marks racing was started. Unfortunately, a big shift shortly after the start made the first race short and rather processional, the nominal one-hour race being completed in 30 minutes and the windward legs being completed on one tack! The wind was around Force 2 in the morning and faded to Force 1-2 for the final race, still rather shifty. So Sunday favoured the lightweights and suited those of a sensitive, patient disposition!

First place went to Luke Fisher, who maintained his form all weekend and won five races. Martin Barrett was never far behind and also sailed really consistently, with one first and five second places, giving him second place overall. Local sailor Guy Fillmore, normally competing in a 29er, took third place.

Overall Results

1st Luke Fisher

2nd Martin Barrett

3rd Guy Fillmore

4th Robin Sanders

5th Graham Cooper