© LCOA/Pete Vincent

Inland Championships Bronze Fleet report

Stu Allen - 04th July 2007

The hotly contested Bronze Fleet were out in force this weekend to fight for the glory that is Bronze Fleet Inland Champion. With a few hot shots missing due to ‘pedis contagio’ (infected foot) and a few other excuses such as ‘nullus homo hominis’ (no crew), it was down to the rest of the Bronze fleet to do battle.

Race one saw Will Branton & Helen Hunt fight it out with Adrian & Hayleigh Padro and Jane ‘check out the drinking hat’ Alexander & Dougie Doug Doug Horner for fleet honours, finishing 22nd, 23rd and 25th respectively.

Race two got cleanly underway and Seb Balch & Tom Power proved to much for the opposition finishing in a healthy 24th place just ahead of the Padro’s, both teams of which put some distance on Holly Hewat & Allison Dart (33rd) and Fiona Gray & Rob ‘it’s my 21st birthday’ Woodward (35th).

The Padro’s took the last race of the day with a top 20 place, leaving the Bronze fleet to got back ashore to see the video footage from Pete Vincent to work out how it had gone so well, or so very wrong.

Day two and race four got underway in a bit of a blow, but not to be deterred the Bronze fleet took it to the Silver and Gold fleet helms and showed that some grim determination goes a long way. The Padro’s had their best result of the weekend with a 13th leaving the rest of the bronze fleet wondering what they had to do to catch them. Tony Fraser & Andrew James also had their best result posting a fantastic 21st place. Spanni Archer & Hannah Mayhew decided that they should point their new boat in the right direction and came out with a 29th just ahead of Robert & Ruth Marlow in 33rd.

Race five saw the blustery of starts, but this did nothing but inspire Jane Alexander, with a replacement crew for the day, to take advantage of a biased line to start to leeward of the main pack in clear air to come in 15th just a few places ahead of Archer/Mayhew in 20th. Hewat/Dart finished in a very respectable 28th two places in front of Gray/Woodward.

The last race of the day was still breezy and one or two DNC’s were posted, however, it was still all to play for and Gray/Woodward decided that Bronze fleet line honours would do for a birthday present, beating Team Alexander and Team Marlow by just a few places.

Overall the Padro’s showed their class to finish 1st Bronze fleet and 20th overall, with Team Alexander 2nd with an overall position of 29th. Hewat/Dart came in next with an overall position of 35th, two places in front of Archer/Mayhew, who piped Gray/Woodward by one place.