Mike Archer sailed a blinder of a final at Rhosneigr landing a perfect backloop to win the Amateur fleet at round one of the BWA Championships.
Even more impressive was that Mike not only competed, but also volunteered his services to help judge the event, when the organisers found themsleves man-down on the judges panel. Of course Mike didnt judge his own heats, but fair play, he judged pretty much every other heat. This meant that whilst the other sailors were out practicing, poor mike was sat on a wooden bench scoring heats for nearly 13 hours on the day of the final.
On his route to the final, Mike was juggling his judging duties with winning heats of his own… and the pressure started to show.
First off, Mike managed to get his heats mixed up and sailed half of the Masters final instead of his own Amateur heat. Much amusement and ribbing pursued from his fellow judges when he returned to the bench.
Just as the humour was running dry and Mike went back out for his semifinal, he then got his watch a little out of sync and landed the best forward of the heat… about 3 seconds before the heat actually started and therefore didnt get it counted.
Luckily, Mike sailed well enough for the rest of the heat to make it comfortably through to the final. The final got underway at 8:20pm – 13 hours after Mike started his judging duties that day. Mike was knackered to say the least! Half way through the final, Mike was doing well, but the wind dropped, so with no-one planing, the final had to be postponed.
Unfortunately Mike thought that it was completely cancelled, so absolutely exhausted, he carried his kit all the way back, de-rigged it and nearly collapsed with exhaustion on the grass. When the news was delivered to him that they were restarting the heat in 4 minutes, you can imagine, that Mike wasn’t the happiest of chappies.
Let’s just say that he had a fair old strop whilst frantically trying to re-rig his gear and get back upwind to the starting position for the final. Luckily for him adrenaline took over and he sewed the heat up with a backloop in the final couple of minutes which earned him the win.
Si Crowther is always one for a bit of ribbing (although usually it’s at his own expense), so when he was working through his photographs, he just couldnt resist putting a small edit on….can you spot what he did?!
Mike, you may be a moody ba*****d, but we reckon you earned the right to be! Congratulations!