With a strong wind forecast for Saturday many Waszpers were hesitant about whether we would be able to get out on the water for day one of the first Waszp UK event of 2021 hosted by Datchet Water Sailing Club. Undeterred, twelve enthusiastic sailors arrived at Datchet on the Saturday morning and with the wind less than forecast it was decided that we would aim for 2 races, with the visiting sailors glad to see the reservoir so full!
Soon after the launch the wind started to pick up with both gusty and shifty conditions making it tricky to get around the course with many having some big pitchpoles (myself included). Race 1 went to Ross with myself in second – following a pre-start visit back to the slipway to repair my wand elastic. With the wind continuing to strengthen for race 2, gusting up to 25 knots, the capsizes were coming thick and fast with only 6 boats completing the two lap course. At this point the race committee made the sensible decision to call a halt to the racing for the day, with a great team effort to get all boats and sailors retuned to shore safely.
Saturday evening involved lots of Waszp chat and a well deserved pub meal - which is what the Waszp class is all about.
Sunday brough much fairer conditions which meant more sailors were in attendance, with 20 boats on the water including some sailors new to the class. The more experienced Waszp sailors were on hand on and off the water to help out with rigging and setup. The plan was for 5 races with the hope to get out on the water before the club races. Benefiting from the close to ideal foiling conditions the races were fast and furious, with 5 races completed by 12noon and some close racing across the fleet. Keen to make the most of the great conditions it was agreed to do a further 2 races, taking the total for the day to 7 and 9 for the event.
The top 3 taking the podium spots were – Matt Beck, Ross Banham and Ed Higson with Hattie Rogers coming in a close 4th and 1st girl. The full results are below.
Many thanks to Adam and the team at Datchet for hosting the event and Victoria and the Waszp committee for putting together a great 2021 calendar. The next few weeks are looking busy for the Waszp fleet, with training at WPNSA for newcomers on 15-16th May, the Daffodil Regatta at Ullswater Yacht Club on 22-23rd May and the 2021 Nationals at Rutland Sailing Club on 17-20th June.