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Shearwater TT Round 2 at Minnis Bay Sailing Club

by Sophie Vaughan 20 May 2019 03:22 PDT 18-19 May 2019
Shearwater TT Round 2 at Minnis Bay © Hugh ONeill

For TT number two the fleet descended on a somewhat warmer Minnis Bay but unfortunately the wind gods were not playing ball. After a short postponement 12 boats made their way onto the water in a light north easterly breeze.

Race 1 - With lots of tide pushing the boats over the start line the whole fleet got away without any premature starters. Cajensa led up the first beat and were first at the windward mark followed by So Tango and Alley Cat. These places remained until the leward mark when on the second beat So Tango got ahead. The fleet bunched up a bit and on the downwind leg to the finish Alley Cat snuck into finish second with So Tango taking first place.

Race 2 - With the tide building some boats were more optimistic than others with their starting strategy and decided to visit the race officer for lunch. With some of the fleet caught up with this raft Jessabelle took the advantage and led to the windward mark. On the first beat Cajensa was moving up the fleet, it wasnt until over taking Foreigner that it was pointed out that Cajensa had came out badly from the carnage of the start with a hole in the port bow. At first thinking this was brotherly rivalry between the crews of the two boats Cajensa soon realised this was in fact true and had to retire to the beach. On the first reach Carbon Footprint was in hot pursuit with Crowns close behind. With close racing for the remainder of the course and many position changes Crowns got away to take the win.

Race 3 - With the breeze building race three got underway and saw a tight fleet with Ruby towards the front of the pack. Another close race with multiple place changes along the downwind leg saw Crowns take the lead and hold on for the victory. With the drama from the second race, Saturday evening saw the fleet rallying round to get Cajensa patched in time for the second day of racing. Once the few minor repairs were completed the fleet met in the car park of Minnis Bay for obligatory drinks and nibbles followed by the amazing food put on by the club members.

Some awoke bleary eyed on Sunday in the hope of sunshine, unfortunately the sound of rain was hitting the tents.

Race 4 - With the tide helping the fleet stay behind the line the start was clean for all of the fleet. All the boats headed along the beach to Margate to stay out of the tide and it was So Tango that blinked first and tacked for the layline. They judged this correctly and led around the windward mark in first place with Carbon Footprint in hot pursuit. Positions remained the same for the first two reaches until the second beat when Crowns went up the left hand side of the course sailing in clean air taking the lead from So Tango and finishing the race in first place.

Race 5 - After a non-dramatic start the fleet split with half going left and half going right. Carbon Footprint were in the group that opted to go left and this tactic played in their favour and saw them have a considerable lead for the whole race.

Race 6 - With a really short turn around between the races this caught some of the fleet off guard as watches had not yet been reset! The race got underway with the majority of the fleet going left looking for the change in tide direction. Jessabelle was first to the windward mark with Crowns and So Tango not far behind. With a new windward mark in place on a shorter course the fleet was compacted which saw plenty of place changing across the whole fleet. Crowns took the lead and saw this through to the finish.

A great weekend on and off the water at Minnis Bay Sailing Club!

Huge congratulations to Nigel and Sarah Stuart on Crowns for finishing in 1st place, James Gibbons and Elizabeth Hill on So Tango finished 2nd with Mark Norman and Rob Britton on Jessabelle finishing in 3rd place.

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