The weather that held over the weekend provided a refreshing interlude to the very changeable weather experienced throughout September. The gales that beset the Brewin Dolphin Jersey Regatta early in the month, followed by the very brisk conditions that provided superb racing for the Channel Islands Hobie Cat Championships are very fresh in the mind.
To have had a just a moderate northeasterly breeze for a passage race to St Quay-Portrieux, on Saturday, was indeed a welcome respite coupled as it was with only sight seas and bright sunshine throughout.
A fleet of seven boats turned out for the nine o’clock start in St Aubin’s Bay for the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club’s Pallot Glass passage race, a first for this the newest of the Club’s sponsors. With the wind fairly light and the tide well on the ebb, the race committee opted for a downwind start providing skippers with their first tactical decision whether to start on port or starboard gybes.
Mike Seguss and Andrew Jelley’s First 31.7, Jack Rabbit, led the way to the Grunes du Port in close company with Charles Blampied’s X-40, Minx, and Arthur Manning’s Sadler Starlight 35, Knight Star.
Jack Rabbit and Minx arrived at the Diamond Rock buoy in close company with an ensuing jockeying for position as they set southwesterly courses for the ensuing forty miles to St Quay-Px. With spinnaker hoisted, the fleeter Minx quickly took the lead, taking line honours off the Madeux Tower in the approaches to St Quay after a broad reach lasting a little over five and a quarter hours.
The breeze built during the course of the race, obliging navigators to recalculate leeway and westerly set and just how close they should stay to the rhumb line whilst avoiding being swept too far to the southeast by the flood as they approached their destination.
Whilst Minx established a significant lead, Jack Rabbit and Knight Star were in constant contention throughout, with Jack Rabbit finishing just five seconds ahead of her rival. Knight Star had done enough, however to take the race, in the IRC class, well clear on corrected time.
The club handicap class boats mostly maintained close contact with the IRC boats with David de Carteret and Phil Burton’s Beneteau Oceanis 393, Oz.Pom, taking line honours some minutes behind Knight Star. Trevor Beaton and Jane Mourant finished second but it was Mark Tucker’s Westerly Merlin, Lisia, that took the race on corrected time, some three minutes ahead of Oz.Pom.
The Club Commodore, Lynne, and husband Chris racing their new Nautina 30, Ula, for the first time, came fourth, just two minutes behind Ocean Star. Leading Results
Class 1 – IRC
1 Knight Star - A Manning – 5.21.52
2 Jack Rabbit - M Seguss & A Jelley – 5.33.34
3 Minx – C & L Blampied – 5.41.91
Class 2 – RCH club handicap
1 Lisia – M Tucker – 6.42.13
2 Oz.Pom – D de Carteret & P Burton – 6.45.56
3 Ocean Star – T Beaton & J Mourant – 6.46.07
4 Ula – C & L Cook – 6.47.52
Club website: www.rciyc.org