30Jun18 - rw start

“A shorter than normal report this weekend simply because the lack of wind meant that out of the four races programmed, only one race started and actually finished!  Frustrating but that is sailing!

Saturday’s race for the Redwings and One-Designs was scheduled to be the annual “Forts Race”.  Since its inception some years ago, the format has been a race to Portsmouth via convenient buoys or navigation marks which was finished by the  RNC&RAYC Committee Boat.  Both fleets were then re-started and raced back to Bembridge using a different route.  As this year the RNC&RAYC were unable to help, it was decided to have just one race there and back.

30Jun18 - bod start

Although briefed to be a joint start, with the F4 NE’erly breeze rapidly dying, the four Redwings were started first while the seven One-Designs changed from normal jibs to genoas.  Progress towards the first mark (Footprint) and then on to Warner was very slow.  Mike Toogood in Tara and Crispin Kenyon in Blue Jay II went inshore while Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II and Robin Ebsworth in Quintessence decided on the offshore route.  With the breeze turning variable (as forecast) it was anybodies guess who was going to reach Warner – where it was wisely decided to finish the race – first.  In the event it was Tara who managed to creep up against the strengthening tide to take first place after nearly two hours.  Red Gauntlet II looked as if she was going to come second, however what little breeze there was, temporarily vanished as she was trying to stem the tide to round the buoy to Port.  Spotting what had happened, Quintessence managed to stay up-tide and finished second, 10 minutes after Tara.  Showing great patience Joe and his mother who was crewing him eventually finished 5 minutes later.  Blue Jay II gratefully accepted a fourth place.  All four Redwings were then towed by Seabreeze to Under Tyne – by which time a nice gentle SW’erly had kicked in!

30Jun16 - tara finishing

Meanwhile even with genoas, the seven One-Designs struggled to make much progress and although at one stage the leading boat looked to be catching up the Redwings, patience wore thin after over an hour of racing with little to show for it, so all seven boats decided to call it day and were towed back to their moorings.

30Jun18 - under tow

With conditions on Sunday morning pretty similar to the previous day and with no sign of the forecast F3  breeze materialising, the One-Designers decided against racing and remained ashore.  The three Redwing crews went to their boats at Under Tyne but quickly voted to follow suit and although Blue Jay II did sail back into the harbour, Red Gauntlet II and Tara accepted a tow!

This meant that having won the only race of the weekend, Mike Toogood in Tara won the Nicholson Trophy – a silver model Redwing that belongs to and remains at RNC&RAYC.”

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