Axe One Design Regatta – 66th Anniversary

Having previously celebrated the AOD regattas on a five yearly basis, last year it was decided to the run the regatta annually. The weekend of 14th-16th June was chosen, with high expectations of good weather. The two previous (60th & 65th) had been run in late July, both incurred un-seasonally strong south-westerlies curtailing any sailing in the Bay. Well, 2019 has run true to form, low pressure dominated with a run of stiff south-westerlies! Again there was no sailing in the Bay, with racing limited to the estuary.

Due to the conditions, the opening Friday evening race saw four of the boats deciding not to sail, leaving a smaller fleet to battle it out. The race was convincingly won by Mike & Jane Calvert in No. 22 Teal. Stephen Daniel in No. 6, Swallow came second, followed by Nigel Daniel in No.1, Whimbrel came in third and Bryan Davis in No.8, Gemini forth place. The later two sailed with reefed mains, being single handed – although Swallow was single handed, she raced with full sail (it must have been the inbuilt weight advantage).

Saturday Bay racing was cancelled and again fresh conditions prevailed on the estuary for the evening race. Teal had bowed out (Merlin Rocket commitments at Poole). Gemini decided not to venture out but, No.20 Shearwater entered with her usual crew, Malcolm Gill with his two lads Oliver and Benjamin. The later two started with reefed mains, but it quickly became apparent that conditions were moderating and both boats soon shook them out. No.6 took the lead and held it to the end, No.1 came in second and No.20 came in third place.

Just two of the five programmed races were sailed, however the social activities went ahead with full attendance! The Saturday evening regatta cocktail party at Glenwater Hall was the usual success, followed by the closing prize giving dinner at the Ship Inn on the Sunday evening.  Swallow was the overall winner, also taking the Original’s Cup, plus a new trophy; the K.E.Y.S. Cup presented for the Saturday evening race. The Juniors Cup was won by Oliver & Ben Gill in Shearwater. Perhaps next year’s regatta should be held impromptu, the only way of guaranteeing the weather!


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