by Graham Nixon
In the 2013 IRC Small Boat Regatta, with weather forecasts in the run-up to the event predicting 25-40 knots proving to be spot on, the Race Officers’ decision to cancel all racing for the Saturday was vindicated. Sunday dawned brighter, if a bit drizzly, with a light twelve knot south westerly breeze and the Race team went to set up the course in the region of Fastnet Insurance, with the objective of getting three races during the day. However, with three other clubs also wanting to run races in the central Solent the team was forced to move further towards East Bramble.
2013 IRC Small Boat Regatta - Magic (red hull) tries to get the inside line on Two Frank at the leeward mark, doesnâ€™t get the overlap, so sneaks inside at the mark instead
After a short postponement, the first race got underway with the two fleets, of eight and nine boats respectively, completing a triangle and sausage course giving them every point of sailing. While these boats may be small in size they are big on enthusiasm and competitiveness and their down-wind tactics to the leeward mark gave no quarter. In Class 1 Chimp, Michael Kershaw’s Berret Half Tonner led the way on the water and won on corrected time by 15 seconds from Ben Meakin’s Polly, an Impala, and White Mischief, a Hanse 28 owned by Andy Hind. The Class 2 fleet was led by Google-Eye, a Trapper 300, with Paul Dunstan’s Folkboat, Mandarin, second and another Folkboat, Connie, belonging to Ian Stow third.
The fleet quickly re-assembled for the second start, which was to be a straight windward / leeward course. One OCS boat in Class 1, quickly ducked behind the line and both fleets got away to the windward laid mark. However, the wind began to swing south and began to fade down to six knots. The RO shortened course at the first leeward mark, allowing Class 1 to finish in good order.
But Class 2 was now struggling to stem the tide as the wind dropped even further to 3-4 knots. They all made it round the leeward mark and the half mile back to the finish, except Cherie which ran out of time. Imptish the Impala of Barney Smith took third behind Polly and Chimp in Class 1 and in Class 2 Google-Eye, Mandarin and Connie again took the first three places.
With no prospect of any more wind, racing had to be abandoned and nearly all the fleet returned to the Island Sailing Club to enjoy some welcome drinks and prize giving with every team receiving recognition for their efforts. The first in each class received a GoPro Camera from Sailspy, commemorative tee shirts, a trophy and a bottle of Champagne. There were trophies and wine for the second and third places.
We look forward to the 2104 event and hopefully some better weather!
15.00 Overall Results Class 1
|1||Chimp||Berret Half Tonner||Michael Kershaw|
|3||Two Frank||Impala||Oliver Love/Sam Flint|
|1||Google-Eye||Trapper 300||Pat Stables|
|2||Mandarin||International Folkboat||Paul Dunstan|
|3||Connie||International Folkboat||Ian Stow|