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Clipper Ventures

RC1000 Class Regatta at the Royal Western Yacht Club - Day 1

by Keith Davies 12 Sep 23:18 PDT 12-13 September 2020

The regatta weekend had finally arrived for the newly established RC1000 class in Plymouth, although not fully crewed as crew numbers were restricted to 6 persons due to Covid restrictions. The Skippers' Briefing was held by video before the boats left the dock, the wind was forecasted to rotate and drop so the first race start time was scheduled for 1100hrs.

11 boats hit the start line with what could be described as caution as the first race of the class and for many their first competitive start of the year! All boats got away clean much to the race officers surprise. Race 1 was an around the cans course using the port navigation marks, all boats made windward mark within 3 minutes of the first boat showing the RC1000 concept was proving itself.

The wind direction was observed to be clocking round to the south, so a laid mark was introduced to keep the beat square. After 55 minutes Roy Morgan's HOD35 SirDucktion which was a last-minute entry was first over the line, with class captain Jon Harris' J105 Jamala in second and Neville Devonport's X362 Sport Muskox in third. The remainder of the fleet followed in all within 12 minutes.

Race 2 started with all the skippers being a lot keener now they had got their eye in. The course was a 1 mile windward leeward and SirDucktion showed the fleet her heels again followed by Muskox and Peter Rowe's J109 JuKyu in third. All the boats crossed the line again within 10 minutes.

Race 3 was a longer course around Plymouth Sound and approaches consisting of out through the Eastern end of the breakwater on to the Tinker shoal before rounding Knap and heading back in through the Western end towards the RWYC club line. The skippers had definitely got their confidence back and the whole fleet started early, the general recall signal was sounded and all boats returned, Race officer Keith Davies raised the black flag on the restart and unfortunately Rob Fletcher's Beneteau First 34.7 I say Ding Dong fell foul of the timing sequence and had a cracking start if only 55 seconds early! The boats headed up to the windward mark which had the added challenge of a wayward lobster pot within 20M. SirDucktion rounded first and led the fleet out past the breakwater. The fleet made their way round the course and Chris Williams' HOD35 Saltheart had a problem with their spinnaker and retired, Class captain Jon Harris on Jamala had a close call with Queens ground where he tried to lasso it with his spinnaker sheet. The boats sailed over the Royal Western Yacht Club line in the Cattewater with SirDuckton first. Muskox and JuKyu had a battle to the bitter end with Muskox taking 2nd by half a boat length, the remainder of the fleet were left to negotiate the large commercial ship that was leaving the port.

Prizes provided by class sponsors the Royal Western Yacht Club, Freshwave IT&Web, Ullman Sails, Allspars, Paul Gibbons Photography, PR Systems Marine Electronics, Waypoint Bar and Bistro, Plymouth Yacht Haven, Plym Yacht Club were awarded to the winners with a slight bias to ensure they were shared around! Claire Gribbin's Elan340 Aegir were awarded the B&G goody bag for first family crew.

Competitors praised Keith Davies and his RWYC race management team for a great day on the water and everyone headed home for debrief and cocktails. All photos remain property of Paul Gibbons Photography. Full results online at www.halsail.com/Result/Public/47839

RC1000 is a concept of quality IRC sailboat racing, driven by the owners and crew with a 25 point rating band. For more information please see rc1000.org

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