August Bank Holiday Keelboat Racing (26th – 29th August)

Friday 26th August

As there was no wind at 09:30 for the One-Design’s Jubilee Trophy (top 4 helms, best of 3 races), it was agreed that they would race for the trophy in the afternoon which was forecast to have a South Easterly F2/F3. In the event, a good decision as by 14:00 there was a nice breeze. Five Redwings had also rigged up for their race, and there were also three other One Designs who wanted a race. The plan therefore was to start the Redwings first and send them on a nice long race; then start the first of the three Jubilee starts followed by the three One-Designs. In the event it went exactly as planned.

With Sea Breeze anchored half way between Hello Sailor! and Britten, they all had Hello Sailor! As their first windward mark; the Redwings and three On-Designs then headed off to Derrick, a beat to Moreton and then the former did a couple of shorter loops before the final leg from Britten to the line while latter went from Moreton to Britten, then line. The five Redwings were all quite close after the first couple of legs, but then the Downers in Enigma ‘motored’ into a substantial lead ahead of the Toogoods in Tara and Nainby-Luxmoores in Snow Goose. Although he was reduced the gap slightly on the final leg, Billy Clegg in Lady Laetitia was fourth with Arabella Wilson in Quail in fifth a minute later. The three One-Designs were having a nice race until the leg to Moreton which saw Sarah Marshall in No 7 round a long way ahead of Martin Bonham in No 2 and the Perrys in No 10 who were last seen heading off into the far distance having failed to work out where Moreton was!

In the meantime, Mark Grzegorczyk crewed by John Suffield, D Orange with Anna Row, Penny Stanley with Hugh Doherty and Susie with Syd Beart had three close races for the Jubilee Trophy. The first two were from the line to Hello Sailor!, the pin inflatable, then Britten back to the line, and the third race missed out the inflatable and finished back at Hello Sailor! Susie took first blood with Mark second, Penny third and D fourth. In the second race, Mark finished ahead of D with Penny third and Susie fourth. After putting Susie over the line at the start of the third race, Mark was caught out slightly as he too was OCS, but as the leeward boat he was able to double back quite quickly. Come the finish it was again Mark, D, Penny and Susie which meant that Mark was the clear winner of the trophy.

Saturday 27th August

No wind first thing for the Redwing’s Jeannie Cochrane final (Red Gauntlet II, Quail & Enigma) so it was decided to postpone initially until 11:00 and if Chimet was showing less that 6 knots, then leave it until Sunday morning. 3.9 knts at Chimet at 11:00 made the decision easy! However by 14:30 there was a very sailable Southerly F2/F3 breeze for the BHYC Regatta races. With the line at Janson, both classes (17 Redwings & 6 One-Designs) had Hello Sailor! as their windward mark with the Redwings then on a long run to Warner, back to Hello Sailor! and a final loop to Janson and finishing at Hello Sailor! The One-Designs meanwhile went to Derrick, Garland, Janson (starboard) and finished at Hello Sailor!

Quail, helmed by James Wilson, was definitely the hot Redwing of the afternoon and after a near perfect start, lead throughout and extended the distance in front on each leg to finally finish just under two minutes ahead of Avocet helmed by Rupert MacInnes in 1 hour 20 minutes.

Redwing Start –

Although unusually for the Downers, Enigma was not in the mix and had to be satisfied with a tenth, the chasing fleet enjoyed some tight racing with Toucan (Colin Samuelson), Red Gauntlet II ( Joe Robertson), Tara (Mike Toogood), Ibis (Tom Scott) and Rosetta (James Tate) never far apart and fortunes changed with every windshift and tidal nuance! All in all an excellent 1 hour 20 minute race in near champagne conditions.

Although the One-Design course was a bit shorter, it was no less challenging. Susie Beart unusually for her sailing single handed made it all look rather easy and lead almost from the start. Charles & Lavinia Perry in No 8 fortunately found all the right buoys and held onto second finishing 35 seconds behind Susie with Martin Bonham who was also sailing single handed third just over 40 seconds later. As with the Redwings, an excellent race. There were no Flying 15s or Seaview Mermaids.

Sunday 28th August

A lumpy easterly sea greeted the three Redwings (Quail – James Wilson; Red Gauntlet II – Joe Robertson & Enigma – Mark Downer) competing for the prestigous Jeannie Cockrane final. Starting from Hello Sailor! with Moreton as the windward mark, Fitzwilliam as a wing mark and Hello Sailor! as the leeward mark, Red Gauntlet II was forced over the line by Quail so had to turn back to re-start. Joe then tacked and went in towards the Bembridge shore. Quail and Enigma stayed on starboard but it was clear that Quail was driving through the easterly swell a tad quicker which put her into a commanding lead rounding Moreton; a lead that she not only held onto for the rest of the race but extended on each round. Enigma was second and Red Gauntlet II was third.

With the breeze veering slightly, the afternoon Redwing and One-Design races for the BHYC Regatta started from a line south of Janson so as to improve the first beat to Moreton. In the event, all bar one of the fifteen Redwings tacked reasonably early and headed inshore to get a better tide.

Redwing Start –

There was a wide spread left and right of the rumb line on the slow run to Drum as the breeze started to drop off soon after they had rounded Moreton; with the clock ticking as the plan was to hold a second race for the Under 30 helm ChetwoodCup, the course was changed to bring them back to the start/finish line. This meant a tricky beat which took most boats towards the harbour entrance before tacking eastwards. Fortunately with the leaders about half way, the breeze picked up again and provided some very close finishes. Rory Morrison in Paroquet and Colin Samuelson in Toucan had a battle royal on the last leg with Rory finishing 2 seconds ahead. Quail, James Wilson, third. Mid-fleet saw Capella II (Libby Butler), Avocet (Jessica Speare-Cole) and Gosling (Rosie Gosling) all finsh with a seconf of each other with Enigma (Mark Downer) Quintessence (Robin Ebsworth) a few seconds later.

Five Redwings stayed on for the Chetwood Cup; with the breeze picking up they were set a simple, three leg course to Tara, Britten and finishing at Hello Sailor! After a cracking good start, they soon split tacks but came together again rounding Tara.

Chetwood Cup Start –

Having established a safe lead, Quail (Arabella Wilson) held onto it for the rest of the race and finished 30 seconds ahead of Snowgoose (Alex Andreae) with Alice Clegg in Lady Laetitia third and Libby Butler in Capella II a close fourth. A short but exciting race.

Meanwhile, the four One-Designs had the same course as the main Redwing race and like the Redwings followed the change of course after rounding Drum. No 4 (Alexander Ross) tacked early after the start and established an unbeatable lead by the time they rounded Moreton, finishing over a minute ahead of No 5 (Susie Beart); there was a two and a half minute gap to No 7 (Charles Abel Smith) and a further minute and a half to No 8 (Charles & Lavinia Perry).

Monday 29th August

Rock and roll again for the Race Officers in the NE’erly F4 breeze, but with only one race for each class, it was less challenging for the Race Officers! Starting from Hello Sailor!, the twelve Redwings had their first windward mark as Ruthven. After a clean start with Toucan (Colin Samuelson) inch perfect crossing the line, the first beat was made more interesting as the tide was pushing the fleet westwards.

Redwing Start:

Probably no surprise that the first three round Ruthven were Quail, Enigma and Toucan; whilst by no means a foregone conclusion that that would be the finishing order as the course weaved around Garland, Janson & Footprint before finishing at Old Church, in the event it was. Quail crossed the line twenty seconds ahead of Enigma with Toucan thirty seconds later. Behind them there was some close racing between Gosling (Rosie Gosling) and Red Gauntlet II (Joe Robertson), and Tara (Mike Toogood) beat Rosetta (James Tate) by one second. An excellent race to finish off a pretty amazing August.

The four One-Designs had Fitzwilliam as their first windward mark and then followed the same course as the Redwings. No 5 helmed by James Beart was unstoppable and extended his lead over the other three boats (No 4 John Suffield, No 7 Sarah Marshall, and No 12 D Orange) on each leg to finish five and a half minutes ahead of No 4 who pipped No 7 by quarter of a boat length. As her last race in No 12, It would have been nice to have seen D on the podium, but it was not to be and she finished fourth just under half a minute behind No 7.

One-Design Start:

No racing next weekend as the tides are early/late.

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