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Another week of racing for the Bembridge Sailing Club keelboats

by Mike Samuelson 21 Aug 2017 00:10 PDT 14-20 August 2017
Another week of racing for the keelboats at Bembridge Sailing Club © Mike Samuelson

Monday 14 August

After the disappointment of the previous day when the lack of wind at Seaview resulted in no Redwing or One-Design races on the first day of the SVYC annual Regatta, seven redwings and four One-Designs made the trip to Seaview for the second day's races.

With a F2/3 SE'erly and Sea Breeze available, after an initial beat and run, the final leg for both classes involved a long beat to a finish back at Under Tyne. This worked well with the Redwings initial beating to Jonah and running to Outer Mark, and the One-Designs beating to No 2 and running to Bunny. After a short postponement because of a General Recall of the preceding start (Mermaids), the Redwings made a clean start. Hot favourite James Wilson in Quail crossed the line at the back of the fleet after he misunderstood where the inner distance mark was. Olav Cole in Goose lead to Outer Mark, however Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II managed to read the tide and wind-shifts slightly better on the long beat to Under Tyne and finished a minute ahead of Olav; Meri Benham in Paroquet was third.

The four One-Designs had a close race over their slightly shorter course. After a bit of confusion over which buoy Bunny was, it was Jos Coad in No 8 who picked the best route on the long beat back to Under Tyne and finished just under a minute ahead of Robin Joy in No 1. Hugh Doherty in No 10 was third a couple of minutes later. Although he crossed the finish line, Norman Marshall in No 7 subsequently admitted that he had not rounded the first buoy correctly so retired.

Tuesday 15 August

Although there were seven One-Designs, there were only two Redwings out the afternoon racing. With the breeze going round in circles, there was a half an hour postponement, however it was worth the wait as a lovely SW'erly F4 sea breeze kicked in and provided champagne sailing conditions. With Janson as the pin end of the line and the initial beat to Footprint, Olav Cole in Goose made the best start and was soon well ahead of Rod Thorpe in Redwitch. Having agreed that they only wanted one race with relatively short legs, a Special Course 1 (triangle, sausage, triangle) was set - clearly too much for Redwitch with Tom Scott crewing who got in muddle! This left Olav a country mile ahead so the race was shortened at Footprint after the triangle and the sausage.

With the first race doubling up as the Billy Fortescue (Ladies) race and August points, No 10 One-Design helmed by Robin Joy had by far the best start and looked unbeatable however with the fleet taking split tacks to Footprint, Ashley McLucas in No 6 emerged the winner by just over 20 seconds; D Orange with Jane Bland in No 12 was third and so won the Billy Fortescue Cup. Philippa Aylmer with Anna Row in fourth in No 8.

In the second race, John Suffield in No 4 had the best start on port close to the pin. After two excellent beats anyone of four boats could have won. First by the narrowest of margins was John in No 4, followed by D in No 12, Philippa in No 8 and Willie Cobb in No 6. A lovely days sailing.

Wednesday 16 August (HMS Queen Elizabeth entered Portsmouth @ 07:10)

Seven One-Designs, helmed by cadets, raced in the morning for the re-scheduled Under 18 Bavarian Tankard. Each boat obviously had an experienced owner onboard to help rig, navigate and pass on the finer points of racing a One-Design. After a short discussion before the race it was agreed that there would be two races with the trophy going to the winner on aggregate. The first race was a bit shorter than the second however with the breeze varying by up to 30º at times, course setting was a bit of a lottery. No 10 helmed by Jamie Hine with Robin Joy and Archie Hinde as his mentor won Tankard outright with two firsts. In the first race, No 12 helmed by Morgan McLucas with his father Ashley mentoring was second and Eliot Crutchfield supported by Anna Row was third. In the second race, Eliot came second and Morgan third. Although missing out on any podium places there was some very close racing in the middle of the fleet and a lot of fun was had by all.

Sadly only four Redwings and three One-Designs raced in the afternoon. In the absence of enough of the latter to make it practical to run the programmed Burrows single handed race, it was agreed that there would be two races for August Points instead. With the F3/4 Southerly breeze veering by 30º with four minutes to the start of the Redwing race (they had opted for just one race), course setting continued by be quite challenging. Although David McCue in Musicus was close at times, Olav Cole in Goose had the best start and never really looked like being overtaken and was a minute ahead at the finish. Tom Scott in Siskin was third.

The first of the One-Design races was a bit short but lengthening the finish to Garland for the second race not only increased the course length a bit but most importantly gave a much better beat. Both races had excellent starts and with split tacks neither were processions. D Orange in No 12 looked as if she was going to win the first race, however Jos Coad in No 8 got a lucky wind shift on the final leg from Derrick to the finish line. In the second race, Jos in No 8 and Robin Joy in No 10 were never far apart and after an excellent race were only separated by twenty seconds at the finish.

Thursday 17th August & Friday 18th August

No racing - too windy.

Saturday 19th August

As something new for 2017, the plan for the day's racing was for One-Design members to try their hand in a Redwing and for Redwing members to do the same in a One-Design.

After a quick briefing at the Club, eleven Redwings were rigged up and headed out to Fitzwilliam for the first race. With the WSW'erly breeze gusting 16 knots and varying by 15+º at times, it was not too surprising that most of the One-Design helms played safe and were well behind the line at the start. Mind you there were a number of calls of "starboard" as boats tacked early onto port as they tried to clear the line. The first beat to Garland was spot on and the fleet was soon spread out as they split tacks. Snow Goose, helmed by Syd Beart (who normally only crews!) was the first to round the windward mark ahead of Anna Row in Goose and Xander Shaw in Redwitch. A few places mid-fleet changed on the run down to Moreton and the beat back to Garland where the course was shortened, however the top three places remained the same despite best efforts by those behind. Russ Fowler helming Red Gauntlet II was fourth.

After a quick change of boats, all twelve One-Designs jockeyed for the best position on the start line. With the gusts increasing slightly, save for James Wilson in No 4 who was within inches of the line at the pin end, the majority played safe and kept well back. The beat to Garland again proved to be almost spot on and first to round was Olav Cole in No 8 with Joe Robertson in No 1 and Rod Thorpe in No 9 not far behind. The run to Ruthven via Fitzwilliam and the beat back to Garland worked well and provided great racing. Although Olav held onto first place, Rod in No 9 got through Joe in No 1 to take second place. James Wilson in No 4 was fourth just ahead of Robin Ebsworth in No 5. Mid fleet, Jonathan N-L in No 7, Rosie Gosling in No 6 and David Swinstead in No 12 who all finished with seconds of each other. All agreed it had been a fun morning's racing, and if the opportunity arises next year, something to be repeated.

Flickr Album - flic.kr/s/aHsm2YfGz9

Redwing (helmed by One-Designers) start:

One-Design (helmed by Redwingers) start:

Sunday 20th August

With the One-Designs programmed for 2 races for the Margetson Trophy (family pairs of two generations) it made sense for the Redwings to also have two races, particularly as the W/SW'erly F2/3 breeze looked to offer lovely racing conditions. It was therefore slightly disappointing that only six Redwings and six One-Designs came out to race.

As it was close to high tide and it had not been used for some time, Pepe was signalled as the windward mark and Moreton the leeward one. The start was not brilliant, albeit a 20º+ windshift in the last 30 seconds of the hooter did not help. Charles Nainby-Luxmoore helming Snowgoose rounded the windward mark first with Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II close behind. Meri Benham in Paroquet was third. On the run to Moreton, Joe took the lead however Charles was almost a minute in front by the time they finished back at Under Tyne.

Like the Redwings, the One-Designs had Pepe as their first windward mark; their start was certainly quite interesting with three boats on starboard and three on port! Jamie Cobb helming No 6 was first round Pepe, followed closely by Abi Doherty in No 10, with James Row in No 8 and James Palmer in No 3 in hot pursuit. With Fitzwilliam rather than Moreton as their leeward mark, they beat the Redwings back to the finish. James (Row) in No 8 was first but not by very much; Jamie (Cobb) in No 6 was second and James (Palmer) was third.

With the breeze backing to the South-South-West, the start line was moved to the north for the second race. After a reasonable start, the six Redwings had another challenging beat to Pepe because of the regular 10º+ wind shifts. Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II and Charles N-L in Snowgoose led the rest and never looked like being overtaken. On the final beat from Ruthven, there was little between them and the eventual winner (Joe) only became clear on the final tack to the line. Rosie Gosling, in Gosling was third.

The One-Designs made an interesting start with James Palmer in No 3 determined to sail down the line on wrong side of the line until a few seconds before the hooter and Norman Marshall in No 7 pushing his luck with a port tack start. With the front five boats (No 3, No 6, No 7, No 8 & No 10) trading places for most of the race, there was much talk in the bar afterwards of some Match racing between the leaders! However, having tacked early to get some clear wind, Willie Cobb in No 6 was rewarded with a massive wind shift in his favour which enough to secure first place and, after Jamie's second place in the first race, the Margetson Trophy. Hugh Doherty in No 10 was second in both the race and in the Trophy stakes; and James Row in No 8 was third.

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