Pallot Windows Frostbite Series third race of the six race event was hosted by Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club last Sunday, 4th December 2011. A slightly diminished fleet of ten boats came to the line for the late morning start.
Gale force winds had caused the second postponement of the Club’s Winter Dinghy Series on Saturday but a brief window in the weather, very accurately predicted by Jersey’s forecasters, gave sufficient respite for the race to go ahead. So, with the automatic weather broadcast on Channel 18 giving westerly winds of nineteen knots, with gusts up to twenty-nine, the fleet was in for a quick and boisterous sail in St Aubin’s Bay. The wind, however, was not all that boats had to contend with as the heavens had opened and everyone received a good drenching whilst under starter’s orders.
Just two boats raced in cruiser class one with series leader David Jones’ First 34.7, Jackana, first off the line on a white sail reach to the East Rock buoy with Rhys Perkins and partners’ Archambault 35, Abracadabra, chasing hard. Jackana led the way into the Bay with the two boats staying in very close contact throughout. Although the race committee had chosen the longest course available to them, both boats came home in just a little over an hour, Abracadabra having successfully squeezed past Jackana during the course of the race to take line honours. Finishing just under two minutes later, Jackana had done enough to win the race on corrected time by a very narrow margin of four seconds.
Classes two and three were away ten minutes after the big boats with Steve Pearl’s X79, Less Xpense, establishing a commanding lead that she held through to the finish an hour later. The penultimate leg, a spinnaker run from the Balleine buoy to the East Rock, saw Less Xpense chasing Abracadabra with the gap perceptibly narrowing. With the race ‘in the bag’ it was left to Jeff Speller’s Farr 727, 2Farr, and Dave Williams’ Conrad 760, Tom Bombadil, to fight for second spot. With the two boats neck-and-neck on the leg to the finish, 2Farr succeeded in maintaining her lead to finish just five seconds ahead of Tom Bombadil and clinch second place, her best result in the series thus far. Julian Barber’s Farr 727, Super Q, trailed Tom Bombadil by just four seconds to finish fourth on corrected time.
Class three also saw just two boats racing with, sadly, an early departure for Chris Fritot’s Hunter Sonata, Rondo, who retired after the first leg following an incident with Chris Petra’s Starlight 30, Cassiopeia, during a lively rounding of the East Rock buoy. Whilst Rondo continues to lead the series, this race saw Kevin Holden’s UFO27, Matchless, go on to take his first win.
The fourth race in the Pallot Windows Frostbite Series is scheduled for Sunday 18th December. The Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions are available in the Clubhouse and online
Cruiser class 1
1 Jackana - David Jones (1.11.58)
2 Abracadabra - Rhys Perkins & Partners (1.12.02)
Cruiser class 2
1 Less Xpense - Steve Pearl (55.03)
2 2Farr - J Speller (57.47)
3 Tom Bombadil (58.39)
4 Super Q - Julian Barber (58.42)
5 Canders - Malcolm Hartigan (1.04.24)
6 Cassiopeia (1.09.49)
1 Matchless - Kevin Holden (1.10.55)
Rondo - Chris Fritot (DNF)