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Shearwater TT Round 3 at Stone Sailing Club

by Sam Vaughan 25 Jun 14:13 PDT 22-23 June 2019
Prize winners in the Stone Shearwater TT © Sam Vaughan

The friendliest Catamaran fleet meet at Stone Sailing Club for the third TT of the 2019 season. The sun was out, breeze was in. With three races scheduled what more could be needed?

Race 1

With a light south easterly breeze and a course set perfectly to the breeze, Race 1 got under way. The aim of the day was to certainly beat the tide that was on full flood up the River Blackwater. Class veteran and legend Alan Howland sailing with Jenny Allen on Alley Cat led the fleet to the shore, where many tacks were needed to dodge the tide. At the windward mark Alley Cat was in the mix with Crowns sailed by Nigel & Sarah Stuart in hot pursuit. The first reach was slow and kites were hoisted at the gybe mark. On the second beat, the turbo chargers were switched on by James Gibbons & Elizabeth Hill sailing So Tango they came through to win the race.

Race 2

The wind was building and the day was building to be one of those just great sailing days. With a really tight first beat Mark Norman & Rob Britton on Jessabelle led the fleet. The hot pursuit was led by So Tango with many others in joining in the fun at the front of the fleet. On the first down wind leg, the Shearwater with its Symmetrical spinnaker really came into its own, some boats electing to hot up and sails some angles with other sailing down the 180 highway. At the bottom mark, both approaches work and the fleet had compacted. One boat had managed to wrestle its way to the front and it was Crowns who led to take the win from So Tango.

Race 3

Crowns are getting a bit of reputation of sailing off into the horizon and winning races by a country mile. This was one of those races! In the race for second which turned out to be a race within its self, it was Alex Wilcox & Lou Winram sailing Foreigner who came out on top from So Tango.

A new day dawned, with more cloud cover than Saturday. However with the breeze building throughout the day would some twin wiring action happen?

Race 4

With single trapezing the normal in the first race of the day it got away with more shore hugging taking place. The whole fleet were in the mix. The father and son team of Shaun & Alex Allen sailing UFO, led around the windward mark. Dion and Anna Allen sailing on Ruby were in pursuit of UFO, in this inter brotherly/uncle/auntie battle. The usual suspects on Crowns came though on the first downwind to take the lead. The next windward leg more of the same faces of the weekend came to the front, So Tango and now with UFO in pursuit. Crowns held on for the lead, with So Tango and UFO close behind with a really close finish between all three boats.

Race 5

The breeze was building and hulls were definitely popping up and the pace was on. So Tango were going really fast and lead for most of the race. The shore side of the course was definitely the side to go for, with many boats playing "How close to the mud dare you go" the closer you went the more gain you would get. UFO managed to go a bit to close and ran aground into the soft mud. This however did not hold them back, and managed to finish the race in 3rd place. The battle for the bullet was on between Crowns and So Tango, with Crowns being triumphant.

Race 6

The final race of a great weekends sailing, the breeze was in, Downhauls were pulled hard and twin wiring was on. The fleet still were keen on the shore side of the course, with more breeze and flatter water everybody headed for the right. So Tango, lead at the first windward mark followed by UFO, on the downwind, UFO suffered some gear failure and had to retire. Coming through the fleet fast were the teams on Ruby & Crowns, with Jessabelle in pursuit too. On the next leg, Crowns came through and had a real tussle for second between So Tango and Ruby. On the final downwind leg, super speedy down wind boat Foreigner came through to take third with So Tango in second and Crowns taking the win.

After six action packed races with plenty of place changing and the fleet getting more and more closer Crowns came out on top. This is their third TT win in a row. A great weekend on and off the water was had by all, superb race management from Wendy and the team at Stone Sailing Club.

At the half way stage of 2019 TT series Crowns sailed by Nigel & Sarah Stuart are comfortably in the lead, but the positions from second to seventh are close with all to play for with three TTs remaining. The fleet next meet up at Felixstowe Ferry SC on the 27-28 July.

Following this event our National Championships will be held at Brightlingsea Sailing Club between 17-20 August. Sailors that are keen to be involved in the friendliest Catamaran class are more than welcome to contact us, we have boats available to borrow for this event please contact us

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