The lake was mirror flat as we arrived at Bartley Reservoir for the 2019 Brummy Boom (previously known as the Brummie Bender) on 16/17 Nov. But with the wind forecast to pick up to 2 knots gusting 4, the two Cambridge teams were in good spirits. I was trying to think back to the last time I had done a light wind roll tack at Grafham. We had a quick sweepstake on the timing of the first race. The prize: popping the cork off the Aldi methuselah we had acquired for the evening. We were all way off the money, the first start signal was at 12:30, it was 1:30 before the first changeover. Nevertheless each team got a couple of races in on the first day. Cambridge Men came away with 2 wins from 2 races. Cambridge Beige had lost out in a close race and was on 1 win from 2.
On Sunday the wind reflected our energy levels: it was set to start off quite light and pick up as the day went on. Beige came into their element picking up 3 wins from the 4 races on the second day. In addition they won the umpire’s vote for best race of the weekend, by maintaining a close 1,4,5 all the way round the course. The Men hadn’t fared so well, facing tough competition and managed to pick up just one win. Beige ended the round robin in a 3 way tie for 4th place.
Qualification for the last semi final place was decided by the last race of the round robin. Unfortunately the Beige team just missed out on points. However Oxford Team Racing Academy (OTRA), captained by Cambridge Sailor Adam Rathmell had been quietly going undefeated all weekend. OTRA, also including Cambridge sailor Danny O’Toole, continued their hot streak all the way to the finals, winning the 2019 Brummy Boom. Hugh Tompkins also made a last minute substitution for an injured crew for the knockouts. A full report is available on Yachts and Yachting.