A HOST of world champions were among a field of nearly 200 sailors who travelled from all over the country to take part in Draycote Water’s annual Draycote Dash regatta.
More than 120 boats, both single and double-handers, registered in advance to take part despite forecasts for high winds and zero temperatures.
The two-day event was held at the end of November and was the first of six in the winter Sailjuice Series which takes in some the most pre-eminent inland sailing clubs in the country.
More than 50 boats launched into 35-knot winds and posted the results to prove it on the Saturday, while Sunday’s weather was more benign and many of those who had registered came just for the double-points 120-minute pursuit race.
The event was won by current Fireball World Champion Tom Gillard and his crew Andy Couch racing a 505.
In second place were GP14 World Champions Ian Dobson and Andy Tunnicliffe, while the highest placed Draycote sailor was Chris Brown who came 11th in his Solo.
“It was a fantastic event,” said new Club Commodore Jeremy Atkins. “And with world champions in first and second, it was an incredibly high standard.”
Draycote Water Sailing Club has around 800 active sailing members, ranging in age from seven to over 70, and Atkins is hoping this latest event will bring in more.
He added: “Sailing is a great sport for youngsters, enabling them to learn new skills and make friends while getting lots of exercise and fresh air.
“It is not necessarily all about racing. There are so many different types of sailing dinghy out there, there is sure to be one to suit every age and physical ability, whether you just want to potter around on a Saturday afternoon or take part in racing in modern performance dinghies.”
For more information about how to join or to view the wide range of RYA training courses at Draycote, contact 01788 814418 or visit www.draycotewater.co.uk.