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Conwy Fife One Design 'A' Series Race 8 at Royal Anglesey Yacht Club

by Mike Hardie 4 Jun 23:54 PDT 4 June 2022
Conwy Fife One Design 2022 'A' Series race 8 © Ian Bradley

A long and winding road (not!)

Following the previous day's Jubilifications, Race Officer Nick and his crew were faced with a difficult decision, with a healthy NE breeze and a lumpy sea evident from Race Control headquarters, it looked like the programmed long distance race was a non-starter, but course selection was further complicated by the rumour that the substantial leftovers from yesterdays Jubilee afternoon tea were heading towards the line. This meant that a course long enough to clear the plates, but short enough to allow for the sailors to cook a barbecue and then get their glad rags on for a tribute band in the Canolfan that evening was required, it’s not an easy task being a Race Officer!

After much deliberation an X course of B6, Magdalen, B5, Ogwen was set and the race control catering section could begin to lay out the various sweet and savoury delights on the Royal Albert for the growing number of ‘helpers’ who had magically appeared, along with a line of predatory seagulls perched circling, ready to pounce as only Beaumaris seagulls can.

Meanwhile on the water, the rather depleted fleet of 10 Fifes stowed their bottles of water and energy bars and headed for the line. With wind and tidal conditions very similar to the previous day, the majority of the fleet elected for a start at the distance marks, with only 41 (Family Yates) and 39 (Gavin and Guest) heading for the Anglesey shore. 29 (Vice Trigger, G and guest) port tacked the fleet to take an early lead, with 42 (Family Booth), 32 (Ioan, Alistair & Guest) 30 (Gwen, SWMBO Stevie and Guest) and 35 (Hugo, Bob & Sasha) showing early promise. 5 (Andy & Pete), 34 (Paul, Helen & Pippa) and the previous days winner, 38 (Mike & Steve) followed the pack over the Banks in the general direction of Llanfairfechan.

On the long beat to B4, those who stayed right started to move through the fleet, with 38 & 30 seeming to cope with the chop best, whilst 29, feeling the pressure faded. The leaders cause was helped enormously when 32 was seen to do the ‘circles of shame’ following a Port / Starboard incident, which apparently was either the crew or helms fault, dependent upon who you listened to . Finding the lay line into B4 was difficult and most of the fleet, with the notable exception of 42 overstood. 38 rounded first, with 30 in close company, followed by 42, 35 and 5. Those who had followed the Anglesey shore route had once again had a nice sail, but didn’t trouble the leaders.

The long run down to Magdalen saw some ‘vigorous’ luffing as boats tried to protect their air. 30, meanwhile was on a charge and slowly reeled in and then passed 38 to take the lead and round the leeward mark first. Now for those of you unfamiliar with the class the lack of a kicking strap does produce a rather inefficient mainsail shape downwind, so having a ‘spare’ body to sit on the boom is a definite advantage, mind you it can be risky on a blowy day!!

38 managed to sail under 30 and move back into the lead, as once more the fleet headed over the Banks and tried to spot the lay line into a distant B5, Steve on 38 called it right and after a long, long Starboard tack past the distance marks 38 was maybe a couple of boat lengths out, and followed once again closely by 30, 42, 35 and 32 were meanwhile fighting it out for the final podium position.

Having managed to hold 30 at bay on the run to Ogwen, 38 then had the luxury of being able to cover all the way through the moorings to the line, finishing just 16 seconds ahead, thus taking the British Legion Trophy after over 2 hours of racing, from 30, who might have been trying to avoid the rather expensive club tradition of buying Champagne for all and sundry when you win your very first race? 42 fought through to take third, followed by 32, 35, 5, 29,34, 41 & 39.

Apologies section (I blame the Doombar!)

In yesterday's report I failed to mention the Rowers, who in what appeared to be rather ‘sporty’ conditions, also contributed to the sail / row past, sorry folks.

I also failed to record the fact that Steve Watson Jones recorded his 10th win of the season in MSOD Aderyn.

Photos are from Jubilee Day, as Ian wasn’t awake when I wrote this report! Note to self, must try harder and maybe drink less?

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