ISO Gala / Travellers - Brightlingsea SC (May 1999)

Sunshine (as always) greeted 30 ISO's for the Gul sponsored Topper Gala Event held at Brightlingsea SC. After an efficient firm briefing, (black flags from race 1), race officer Ian Cole started the first of Saturdays three "crash & burn" windward / leeward races in a shifty force 3 to 4. Mike Speller & Rob Burridge took an early lead and were followed home in second by Dave Giles and Richard Chadburn with Alistair Clarke & Pete Lindley - 'Team RWO' third. The second race started in similar conditions with Speller & Burridge taking an early lead and despite collecting two cod, some sprats and a crab at the last leeward drop, again took the honours, this time closely followed by Clarke & Lindley and the locals Jeremy Newman & Geoff Gritton. In the third race an increasing force 4 to 5 was to the liking of Newman/Gritton who won by a good distance from Giles/Chadburn with Andy Gould & Vicki (Crash Hat) Lewis in third and Dave Cockerill and Guy Ellis showing promise in fourth. The fleet sailed quickly home to enjoy the usual Brightlingsea hospitality including a large curry / chilli meal, a liquid reception during the happy hour followed by various varieties of dancing to a five piece band who played until the early hours of the morning.

Not suprisingly, the next morning was not only greeted by a light morning breeze! The Red Bull, paracetamol and coffee were all on the menu although some managed a cooked breakfast (some didn't). Race 4 cracked off on time (to the annoyance of some) in a shifty force 2. With places changing continuously, Clarke & Lindley eventually won through followed by Giles/Chadburn and Speller/Burridge with John Payne & Geoff Crease taking a credible fourth. Race 5 was extremely difficult, however Speller/Burridge showed the beer hadn't effected their judgement and took the line followed by Gould/Lewis who were showing remarkable all-round speed and a late burst by Kevin Moore & Pete Hamilton who took third. The smarties were now up for grabs and with a bias on the pin end, Giles/Chadburn took their "chocks away early" and were black flagged as were Gould/Lewis and a few notable others. Speller/Burridge went on to win giving them the overall weekend followed by Clarke/Lindley in second and a good third place for locals Phil Rust & Lance Gill. Upon returning ashore, Clarke and Lindley soon realised that in the early morning haze they had forgotten to sign on and they were therefore disqualified for all three of the Sunday's races chopping them from 2nd overall to an unfortunate 16th, leaving Giles/Chadburn to take 2nd and Newman/Gritton 3rd overall. A good weekend was had by all!

Full Results Here....