Although the tides required early starts (09:30/09:40), the weather, certainly on Saturday provided some great sailing for both the Redwings and One-Designs; the former their first weekend of the new season and a continuation of the latter’s season that started at Easter but had not seen many boats out since.

After jump starting the Committee Boat on Saturday morning, and with a F2 easterly breeze, the start line was set up using Footprint for the outer limit for the eight Redwings and five One-Designs. For their first race, the former were set Tara, Old Church and back to Footprint.

Redwing Race 1 Saturday Start –

All headed inshore to get out of the tide. By the time they reached Tara, Colin Samuelson in Toucan was well ahead of Matt Alexander in Harlequin closely followed by James Wilson in Quail. On the run to Old Church, Colin kept to the left and Matt and James were more central and looked at one stage to have moved into the lead, but in the event Colin rounded first and held his lead back to the finish at Footprint, crossing the line just under 3 minutes ahead of Matt. James was third, a minute later and Andrew Eddy in Plover was fourth only 5 seconds later.

For their second race, the windward mark was Under Tyne back to Old Church and finishing back at Under Tyne. After a clean start which had Jonathan N-L in Snow Goose coming in on port at the pin, everyone repeated the earlier tactic of heading inshore.

Redwing Race 2 Saturday Start –

Toucan was again first to round the windward mark with Plover, Quail and Harlequin (helmed by Xander Shaw) not that far behind. Split angles on the run again saw Colin stay to the left on the run and round the leeward mark ahead. While repositioning the Committee Boat, she picked up a lobster pot, however fortunately managed to get free with enough time to set up the finish. Toucan just held off Plover and finished 20 seconds ahead. Harlequin was third just over a minute later with Quail fourth.

The five One-Designs also had some excellent racing. In their first race No 9 helmed by Penny Stanley successfully crossed the fleet at the start on a ‘port tack flyer’. However it was No 8 helmed by Alexander Ross who rounded the windward mark (Under Tyne) by a considerable margin. On the run down to Old Church, Alexander went well left and No 9 with her spinnaker flying looked to being going well taking the central track, but held onto it for too long which then required them reaching into the rounding mark. At the finish at Footprint, Alexander crossed the line well ahead of Penny with No 7 helmed by Charles Abel Smith two minutes later.

Although it took over 2 minutes for the last boat to cross the start line for their second race, the remaining four boats did rather better with No 5, helmed by Susie Beart taking an early lead despite No 9, helmed now by Mark Grzegorczyk and No 7, helmed by Sarah Marshall crossing the fleet on port at the pin end of the line.

One-Design Race 2 Start –

With No 9 deciding against flying their spinnaker, the way was left open for No 5 to show the rest of the fleet the best way to go (which funnily enough was the same way that the lead Redwings had followed!). Sarah was second in No 7 just over a minute behind Susie. No 8 and No 9 had a close race and finished ten seconds apart.

Sadly no sun on Sunday morning, however the same 8 Redwings and 5 One-Designs turned out to race in a rather claggy 12knot south-easterly. The start line was laid just next to the moorings at Under Tyne, with a windward -leeward course set between Tara and Nainby.

An excellent start saw cries of “Starboard” from Colin Samuelson in Toucan, needing to alter course to duck Rosie Gosling on Port in Gosling, with the others all getting away cleanly. Matt Alexander in Harlequin worked his magic to establish a good lead at Tara, followed by James Wilson in Quail and Colin. The wind faded a bit, so the second round was shortened, with Harlequin leading Quail and Toucan at the finish. Andrew Eddy in Plover caught Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore Port/Starboard on the finish line and crossed 2 feet ahead for fourth. They were followed by Richard Jessel in Blue Jay, Rosie Gosling in Gosling and Robin Ebsworth in Quintessence.

A similar, but slightly shorter course between Tara and Footprint was set for the second race. Matt re-started after being OCS, with James narrowly leading Colin at the windward mark. On the next beat Toucan worked through Quail, with Crispin Kenyon, now helming Blue Jay, and Jonathan both in Snow Goose in pursuit. Some wide gybing by Matt on the second run paid off well, and he moved up in to third, with the finishing order being Toucan, Quail, Harlequin, Snow Goose Blue Jay, Plover, Quintessence and Gosling.

The 5 One-Designs followed a shorter version of the Redwing course, with D Orange in No 9 leading Sarah Marshall in No 7 to the windward mark. They were closely followed by Hugh Doherty in No 10, Roy Burrows in No 2 and Alexander Ross in No 8. D had the only spinnaker in the fleet, and stretched her lead on the run and kept it to the finish, just over a minute ahead of Sarah. Alexander took third, then it was Hugh and Roy.

Alexander fared better at the start of the second race, and established a lead that D’s spinnaker cut into, but she couldn’t catch him, and she had to settle for second place at the finish. After a close battle Hugh pipped Sarah for third at the line, and they were followed by Roy.

Monday morning was dull and overcast with intermittent drizzle. However there was a gentle NNWesterly breeze which provided a testing beat from Under Tyne to Derrick for the 8 Redwings moored overnight at Under Tyne plus Billy Clegg in Lady Leatitia who came out from the harbour to race. Although it was a clean start there was a bump between Toucan and Snow Goose at the pin end of the line.

Start of Monday’s Redwing Race –

Having taken a penalty, Colin in Toucan was soon back in contention and with the fleet splitting tacks, was second to Billy round Derrick. On the run back to Under Tyne, the fleet compressed quite a bit and by the time they were beating back to Derrick, Quail and Plover, helmed by Ed Eddy, having initially kept to the left took over the lead. The run to Garland, the short beat to Nainby and run to the finish at Pepe saw Quail extend her lead over Plover, Lady Laetitia, Harlequin and Toucan.

After a short postponement to allow No 3 helmed by Stephan Ludwig to make it from the harbour, it was not the most impressive start for the five One-Designs with No 2 and No 3 well off the pace.

Start of Monday’s One-Design Race –

Split tacks heading to Britten put Alexander Ross sailing single-handed in No 8 well ahead of Charles Abel-Smith in No 7 and D Orange in No 9. On the run back to Under Tyne No 9 tried to fly her spinnaker but it did not want to play! Things went better on the subsequent round and the final run to the finish from Nainby, but Charles just managed to hang onto second by a whisker.

Close finish for 2nd & 3rd in the One-Design race –

With all races counting, Toucan won the Quail Trophy a point ahead of Quail with Harlequin third. And the Woodroffe Bowl was won by No 8 One-Design helmed through out by Alexander Ross.

Early afternoon racing next weekend. The Redwings for Lt Col Sloane Stanley’s Inkwell and normal ‘off season points’ for the One-Designs.”

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