by Mike Leyland
The Young 88s have a racing and cruising capability to suit all comers. Last Sunday’s Bruce Elliott Memorial Single Handed champs is the annual running of one of the more left field events.
Hand to Hand combat - Bruce Elliott Memorial Young 88 Single Handed Champs
Take a thirty foot, one design keel boat, remove six of the crew and the bigger sails (genoa, spinnaker) and send the sole occupant off round a tight harbour racing mark course. Skipper’s arms flail as they struggle to maintain trim and control whilst tacking and gybing their big dinghies; a great recipe for competitive fun.
Sunday dawned fine and clear and delivered a spectacular day for sailing with 10-12 knots from the North East right in line with the PredictWind forecast.
The Royal Akarana Yacht Club race management volunteers arrived vicinity of Orakei to set up the race track. A quick conference with the boats resulted in the selection of the harbour mark triangle course most likely to deliver a true beat and passing lanes – Start Resolution – North Head, Bean Rock, Resolution, North Head, Bean Rock, twice round with Finish at Resolution.
One of Jacko Van Deventer's winning tricks - Avoiding headsail batten snag at the gybe! - Bruce Elliott Memorial Young 88 Single Handed Champs
Race one start was very even with rumours of OCS later denied at the bar. Sailor Moon played the North Head side just taking the lead from Flash Gordon at the first mark. War Machine rounded in third. The reaches to and from Bean Rock buoy (effectively a wing mark) created a surprising number of passing lanes.
The second beat introduced the additional challenge of a medium sized container ship who made a very audible 'foxtrot oscar' signal as he charged through an evading fleet. The rich got richer with Jacko Van Deventer on Sailor Moon a very clear winner of race one from Richard Bicknell on Waka Huia in second and Rod Palmer on War Machine in Third.
The on water democracy continued for race two with participants electing to sail the same course again. The second start was not quite as keenly contested with some skippers potentially tiring and late and some dipping back for being On Course Side. Sailor Moon and Flash Gordon were at it again with Flash Gordon prevailing at mark 1.
Sailor Moon utilised outboard sheeting and Jacko’s cunning to pass on the reaches and led from there to the finish. Jacko was followed by a very consistent Roger Sims on Heartlight then Bicky on Waka Huia.
The unofficial debrief took place at the RAYC bar with congrats offered to Jacko on Sailor Moon for line honours and Ben Tilley on the renovated Dilemma the handicap. There was a tie on points for second and fourth. The event and club received another thumbs up from the skippers.
The formal 1-2-3 series prize giving will be at the 'Mount Gay Rum Young 88 Barbados Beach Bash' party at RAYC on Saturday June 28th.
Next up in the Mount Gay Rum Young 88 1-2-3 Series is the two handed champs on May 25th.
For full results and entries for the two and three handed http://rayc.co.nz/young88!click_here/new
To follow the Young 88s go to Facebook
Or, the class web site website
Winner - Bruce Elliott Memorial Young 88 Single Handed Champs
Taking evasive action - Bruce Elliott Memorial Young 88 Single Handed Champs
Tightly bunched for the reach to the mark - Bruce Elliott Memorial Young 88 Single Handed Champs