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Allen 2018 US A2069 728x90

23rd Waller Harris Triangle Race at Royal Channel Islands YC

by Bill Harris 12 Jul 2018 10:57 PDT 30 June - 2 July 2018
23rd Waller Harris two-handed Triangle Race reaches Binic © Bill Harris

The Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club's 23rd Waller-Harris 2-handed Triangle Race, held from June 30th to July 2nd, saw eighteen boats on the line in St Aubin's Bay for the 9 a.m. start of the first leg, a thirty-five mile race to St Cast-le-Guildo. Conditions at the time promised a quick passage with the weather set fair coupled with force five northeasterly winds gusting to six.

This made for a spectacular running start and a tricky exit from the Bay as boats headed away from the line at the Vrachière buoy with the wind dead astern and the tide running at nearly full ebb. Once out of the Bay, boats ran down to the Passage Rock buoy, off St Brelade's Bay, before hardening up for a broad reach to the Northwest Minquiers buoy and onwards to the finish line at the Les Bourdinots buoy off St Cast. The comfort of the lee of the Island was soon lost as boats raced on, with quartering seas making things less than comfortable. Whilst most boats opted to white sail the leg, a number of the faster boats eventually took the plunge and successfully held their kites to the finish, by which time the wind had eased.

The following day, having regaled themselves in the Jardin Délice restaurant the night before, the fleet assembled at the Bourdinots buoy for the second leg to Binic, a nice marina conveniently set in the heart of a very pretty town. Contrarily, the wind had gone so the fleet had the very pleasant experience of motoring in blazing sunshine on calm seas along the scenic Brittany coast, passing under Fort La Latte and Cap Fréhel on their way to the Les Landas buoy.

Whilst conditions proved to be far from ideal at the buoy, the light northwesterly airs and ebb tide at the buoy enabled the race committee to get the fleet away on a ten mile leg shortly after 2pm. It was a beat to the Petit Léjon buoy before boats bore away for the finish line off the Caffa buoy, east of Binic. Spinnakers blossomed on rounding the buoy with the leading boats holding to the finish whilst others chose to drop as the wind freshened from the west. With the Le Miramar restaurant calling, crews were under orders to be as swift as the first lock opening would permit. Spectators were treated to the spectacle of eighteen Jersey boats crowding towards the marina entrance, waiting to enter. The operation was very efficiently controlled by the marina authorities and the sailors were soon at table.

On leaving Binic for the start of the final leg, the intended forty-five mile race back to Jersey, the race committee concluded that waiting for the wind was not an option so the fleet set off for the distant Northwest Minquiers buoy. Conditions, on arrival, were little better. The race committee attempted a start when a light northeasterly breeze came up but issued a general recall when it dropped to almost zero immediately after the start. The second attempt, a short while later, was successful although the breeze at the committee boat end of the line proved to be stronger than at the buoy. Conditions were very fickle immediately after the start but the wind eventually strengthened to give boats a really good beat up to the Hinguette buoy and a reach on the final leg to the finish line off St Helier Harbour.

Habitual winners, Rhys Perkins and Bob De la Haye's Archambault A35, Abracadabra, excelled over the three days, specialising in brilliant starts and consistent sailing to take all three Class 1 races whilst Chris Fritot and Deborah Hutchings, sailing their Dehler 39, Mystique of St Helier, were hot on their heels throughout races two and three. Richard Gale and Phil Brown's Prima 38, Jenna B, clocked up a second place in race one.

The star of the show on day one was, however, the trimaran Dragonfly 28 Anderica, with Andrew Ravenscroft and Harris Collie taking line honours well ahead of Jeff and Laura Speller's Dragonfly 32, Aquafly.

Julian Barber and Helen Barker, also well-known on the Triangle podium, had a clean sweep with their Farr 727, Super Q, in Class 2. Their tactics were generally faultless especially in race two when they were at the Petit Léjon just minutes after Abracadabra, finishing eleven minutes ahead on corrected time. Tom Vallois and Julian Adamson's' Hunter Sonata, Moonlight Sonata, sailed very well to take two seconds and a third whilst Quicksilver, with Ellie Haywood and Mark Tucker, had a second and a third. Nick Bailhache and John Crill on their Moody 31, Fillipene, was third in race one.

Mark Earley and Stephen King, Sailing the Najad 400, Aurigny Solace, also won all three of their races whilst brothers Brendan and Jonathan Kellett's Bavaria 39, Murphy's Barque was second in all three.

The event came to a end on Wednesday evening when Mrs Denise Waller presented the place prizes. Past Commodore Rodney Waller congratulated and thanked everyone on behalf of the sponsors for organising and participating in what all had judged to be a truly excellent event.

Before closing, Past Commodore Bill Harris announced that, in addition to ongoing series events, the Club was eagerly looking forward to the Rossborough Round the Island Race scheduled for Sunday 19th August, and the combined clubs' UBS 20th Jersey Regatta scheduled for 14th to 16th September. The Notices of Race for these events have been published on and, respectively.


Committee Boat – Grace – Bob Milner & Bill Harris (RO)

Day 1 - Jersey to St Cast-le-Guildo
Class 1 (IRC)
1(Tri) Anderica - Andrew Ravenscroft & Harris Collie (5.00.18)
2 (Tri) Aquafly - Jeff & Laura Speller (5.05.52)

1 Abracadabra - Rhys Perkins & Bob De la Haye (5.13.11)
2 Jenna B - Richard Gale & Phil Brown (5.19.28)
3 Mystique - Chris Fritot & Deborah Hutchings (5.21.45)

Class 2 (IRC)
1 Super Q - Julian Barber & Helen Barker (5.17.18)
2 Moonlight Sonata - Tom Vallois & Julian Adamson (5.22.54)
3 Fillipene - Nick Bailhache & John Crill (5.28.21)

Class 3 (NHC)
1 Aurigny Solace - Mark Earley & Stephen King (5.31.50)
2 Murphy's Barque - Brendan Kellett & Jonathan Kellett (5.48.42)

Day 2 - 1st July - St Cast-le-Guildo to Binic
Class 1
1 Abracadabra (2.15.38)
2 Mystique (2.19.19)
3 Jenna B (2.23.02)

Class 2
1 Super Q (2.04.25)
2 Quicksilver - Ellie Haywood & Mark Tucker (2.23.12)
3 Moonlight Sonata (2.15.42)

Class 3
Aurigny Solace (2.53.01)
Murphy's Barque (3.00.55)

Day 3 - 2nd July - Binic to Jersey
Class 1
Abracadabra (3.59.36)
Mystique (4.00.15)
Arctic Tern - Philip Burton & David De Carteret (4.18.22)

Class 2
Super Q (3.59.03)
Moonlight Sonata (4.03.35)
Quicksilver (4.04.15)

Class 3
1 Aurigny Solace (4.15.32)
2 Murphy's Barque (4.53.10)

Class 1
1 Abracadabra (3)
2 Mystique (7)
3 Jenna B (9)

Class 2
Super Q (3)
Moonlight Sonata (7)
Quicksilver 10

Class 3
Aurigny Solace (3)
Murphy's Barque (6)

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