The Dave Danbury Day - Report & Results
On 26th September, South Staffs Sailing Club hosted a one day team racing event in memory of past commodore and long time South Staffs SC member, Dave Danbury, and to raise funds for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.
The 8 available team places had all been snapped up quickly, with many old team racing friends re-united. Two home teams, including South Staffs Juniors, and two ladies teams were in the line up. The high pressure system brought sunshine and a light wind forecast. Fortunately, just as the Race Officer, Pete "Ugly" Vincent, was setting a traditional S-shaped team racing course, a pleasant wind filled in which was to remain for the day.
In two flights of Fireflies, kindly provided by Bath University and West Kirby Sailing Club, the racing kicked off with a round robin of 28 races, in which each team raced each other team once. The racing was amazingly close, keeping umpire Greg Eaton busy with flags and whistles, and the race team busy "fine tuning" the course to accommodate the shifts without stopping racing.
At the end of the round robin, the RS sailors in team "Bums on Tour" were leading, with only one loss, to Wembley SC. Wembley and South Staffs SC were joint 2nd, with two losses each in their 7 races. Saggy BUST (the Bristol University Sailing Team old girls team) and Burghfield SC were joint 4th with 3 losses each. The tie for 4th was won by Burghfield SC, who had beaten Saggy BUST in a close race during the round robin.
The wind had strengthened towards lunchtime, and with the two jetties keeping team change overs efficient, the race team had been able to complete the 28 race round robin with enough time to allow the semi-finals and finals to be the best of 3 races each. The 3rd race was needed in each case, showing just how close the top four teams were.
Burghfield SC managed to get the better of the previous leaders, Bums on Tour, in three close scoring semi-final races. South Staffs SC saw off Wembley SC in the other semi-finals.
South Staffs took the first race in the Finals with a safe 1, 2, 6 combination, but Burghfield SC came back and took the 2nd race with the same final positions. It was all down to a nail biting last race. The home club managed to clinch it, and therefore win the event, after a well fought battle.
The benefit of a one day Saturday event is that there's no holding back on Saturday night! South Staffs SC hosted a sell-out party with hog roast, live band and dancing. Larger than life Justin Jones raised over £1,000 in a highly entertaining auction. Huge thanks to Datchet Water Sports for their lesson in a foiling moth, Greg Eaton's training day, Graham Jones' flying experience, and to Tony Hotchkiss, West Kirby SC, Steve Tylecote, Mike Senior, and Purple Marine for their generous donations to the auction, boat hire, raffle and prizes.
The day was about two things - a great days sailing for everyone to enjoy, and raising funds for Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund. I'm proud to say, both were achieved.
Overall, 50% of people diagnosed with cancer now survive for more than 5 years. For pancreatic cancer, the 5 year survival rate is just 3%. Pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in the UK, but has some of the lowest funding. The Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund (www.pcrf.org.uk) is a fantastic charity focused on raising funds, and encouraging research into pancreatic cancer. Dave Danbury survived 11 months from diagnosis until his death in August 2006, and had previously been fit and well, hugely active sportsman, keen OK sailor, and hockey player until he became unwell.
The Dave Danbury Day raised over £3,200 for Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund. Thank you to everyone at South Staffs SC and further afield who helped make the day a success.
1. South Staffs SC
2. Burghfield SC
3. Wembley SC
4. Bums on Tour
5. Saggy BUST
6. Bath University
7. South Staffs SC Juniors
8. Lark Ladies
Trudie Fell - 07th October 2009