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Conwy Fife One Design 'A' Series Race 10 at Royal Anglesey Yacht Club

by Mike Hardie 20 Jun 05:18 PDT 18-19 June 2022
Conwy Fife One Design 2022 'A' Series race 10 © Ian Bradley

A match made in heaven?

Like many sailing clubs the R.A.Y.C. has close links with other clubs formed over many years, with us there is a particularly strong bond with Glandore Harbour Yacht Club, which goes back to a visit to the Classic Regatta in 2005. From this initial contact grew the Celtic Challenge, a team race between the two clubs sailed every year (Covid permitting) one year at Glandore in Dragons, the next year at Beaumaris in Conwy Fife One Designs. 2022 saw a welcome return to competition with R.A.Y.C. playing hosts.

Saturday mornings team racing saw the 2 teams take to the water for the first two races at an ungodly hour of the morning, following a masterful briefing from Vice Commodore Trigger, who like others had found a liking for Toffee Vodka whilst entertaining our guests the previous evening, mind you he wasn’t the only Flag Officer to take a hit for the home team, but ‘least said soonest mended’ as my Irish Mother used to say.

Having taken Gavin to one side for an explanation of the concept of team racing, I.E. don’t take out other members of the R.A.Y.C. team, we entered the fray. First race went to R.A.Y.C. and it looked like we were going to comfortably win the second, despite several of the R.A.Y.C. boats who should have known better being caught out by the fierce tide at Nwy and the carnage that ensued. Indeed one nameless boat took three attempts before rounding. Unfortunately, our leading boat was deemed to have been OCS (somewhat controversially, it has to be said) which meant he went from hero to zero in the blink of an eye, as this handed the win to Glandore making it 1-1 for the day, all to play for on Sunday.

For the ‘A’ series race our guests were spread across the fleet and in many cases given the opportunity to sample the dubious pleasure (and responsibility) of helming. With the wind from the NW, Garth, our Race Officer for the day, had no option but to set course 11, which gave us an interesting reaching start to the first mark B7. With a Menai Bridge bound tide and despite lots of water to play in, the fleet bunched up towards the Anglesey shore, allowing 15 (Tak, Dave and a 14 year old rock star from Glandore) to get the perfect start in the strongest tide and clear air, which enabled them to open up a significant lead and round first. Second round was 28 (Sarah, Jeremy and Guest) then came the pack, 29 (‘Toffee’ Trigger, G and Guest), 38 (Mike, Steve & young Peter), 5 (Andy, Anka & Rury?), 39 (Gavin ‘the navigator’, Annika & Guest), I (Martin, Catherine and Harry)

The reach to Castle saw a minor pack reshuffle, as 39 moved into second and 5 into third, whilst 29, moved back through the fleet. Rounding Castle, and with the next mark as Aber, traditionally we would sail through the ODM/Shore gate, but Garth had set a trap for the unwary by indicating ODM’S to port !! Gavin on 39 had missed this subtle change to the course and was last seen heading in the direction of Beaumaris, never to be seen again !!! 15 continued her stately progress at the front of the fleet, with the experience of Tak & Dave taming the enthusiasm of the young whippersnapper who was helming. The long Port tack to Friars saw minor changes in the pack as those who rounded later benefited for an outrageous lift. Untroubled at the front, 15 rounded first, followed by 5, 38 and 1, who then opened up a healthy lead over the peloton.

This order remained to the finish and to the delight of all, enthusiastic youth prevailed, aided by the calm heads of experience. Finishing order was 15, 5, 38, 1, 32, 29, 28, 22, 39, 42, 35 & 41.

On Sunday, the final 2 team races took place in a healthy NE breeze and with everybody reasonably sober! The first race resulted in a win for the R.A.Y.C. as the visitors ‘enjoyed’ a particularly shifty beat to Friars. So it was all down to the final race. Sadly over enthusiasm by several Glandore boats at the start meant they were OCS, and by the time they had recrossed things were not looking good for the visitors. However the fleet closed up at Nwy and the first 4 to round were an equal split between the 2 teams. As the race progressed things looked good for the home team, until Gavin decide to repeat the previous days mistake by sailing the wrong course, this despite Andy, Pete and Barry’s shouting, which did eventually make Gavin see the error of his ways and recover. For some reason, the last two R.A.Y.C boats decided to slow down and let the young ‘rock star’ move up 2 places making the result extremely close, however Trigger, after consultation with his Crew of Helen (AKA Everton) and Nicki was instructed to take said young rock star out in a Port and Starboard incident, thus instigating the circles of shame on the Irish boat and handing the race and event win to the R.A.Y.C.

So ended the racing for the weekend.

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