Bod & Redwing Racing 27-29 May 2017 (Late May Bank Holiday)

Another Bank Holiday weekend of very mixed conditions, which after a week of sunshine and gentle breezes seemed a bit unfair.  However, those that did get out to race certainly had some interesting racing.


rw start

24 pre start

With two races programmed for Saturday, eight Redwings started in a F4 – 5 SSW’erly from an inflatable mark half way between Footprint & Janson and headed to the windward mark at Pepe.  Colin Samuelson in Toucan rounded first just ahead of Ed Nainby-Luxmoore in Snow Goose, Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II, Alastair Speare-Cole in Avocet and Serena Gosling in Gosling not far behind.  On the run to Ruthven via Fitzwilliam there was little to choose between them, however Serena’s decision to tack back towards the Bembridge early shore paid off and with four onboard Gosling surged into the lead as the breeze increased at times to F6.  Ed in Snow Goose finished just under 20 seconds later with Joe in Red Gauntlet II only 2 seconds later.  The second race was scheduled to be a Ladies race for the Mercedes Trophy and although Serena was keen to race, there were no other takers so everyone headed back to their moorings at Under Tyne.

28May17 - 24 finishing

28May17 - rwstartr1


Six One-Designs meanwhile, with their storm sails set, used Janson as their leeward mark which meant that they finished in amongst the Redwings.  Jos Coad with Alex Kaula as crew in No 11 was always in the top group and stormed home to beat young Max Aylmer crewed by Anna Row in No 8 by about 30 seconds and William Bland in No 12 with D Orange a mere 3 seconds later.  Unperturbed by the gusting F6 conditions, all six boats lined up for a second race, however three of them had their jib sheet shackle come undone at the start.  Two managed to drop their jibs quickly and reconnect their jib sheets so were able to continue the race, however Norman Marshall with Charles Abel Smith in No 7 found the shackle could not be refitted so retired.  Hugh Doherty with Charles Evans in No 10 and D Orange with William in No 12 were well ahead of the others at Pepe and finished just over 20 seconds apart; Jos in No 11 was  third a couple of minutes later.

After a night of thunder & lightening and heavy rain, Sunday morning’s races were almost the exact opposite to the previous day with very light airs.   Nine Redwings made it to the laid line for the first of two races, however with the tide against them, progress to Fitzwilliam was slow.  Indeed it took some of them, including Colin Samuelson in Toucan quite a long time to actually get over the start line.  In the event, his late start close to the Committee boat paid off and with the zephyrs coming in from the SSE he had established a considerable lead by the time they reached the windward mark.  On the run down to Footprint the mid-fleet boats caught up a bit, but at the finish line, Toucan was just over two and a half minutes ahead of Alastair Speare-Cole in Avocet with Bel Robertson helming Red Gauntlet II in third, half a minute behind.


Five Redwings then had a second race for the Mercedes Trophy (Lady helm) that had been postponed from the previous day.  With slightly more breeze than the first race, a more ambitious course was set with Tara as the windward mark, Britten as the leeward mark and a finish at Under Tyne.  After a good start, all headed inshore to try to find the better tide with Jessica Speare-Cole in Avocet and Bel Robertson in Red Gauntlet II leading the way.  After Britten, the fleet split tacks and as they closed on the finish line it was clear that Bel had chosen the best route and crossed the line over a minute ahead of Jessica with Becky Samuelson in Toucan about half a minute later.  A keen race and well done to Bel who won the Trophy for the second year running.

After a long postponement to allow all six One-Designs to get reasonably close to the start line for their first race, there was no stopping John Deacon in No 5 who was well out in front by the time he rounded the windward mark, Tara.  As with the Redwings, the mid-fleet compressed on the run to Footprint but John was sufficiently far ahead not to have to get too concerned.  Norman Marshall in No 7 closed the gap on the final beat to the line and finished second, half a minute adrift.  Hugh Doherty in No 10 was third a further half minute later.


The second race provided much of the same, and all six boats were surprisingly close as the rounded Tara.  With the breeze in danger of disappearing, a leeward inflatable was laid half way to Britten.  Norman in No 7 and John in No 5 were never far apart but at the line, it was Norman who finished thirty seconds ahead of John; D Orange in No 12  was third three quarters of a minute later.

bod start r2

45 finishing

Monday’s forecast looked, wind wise anyway, reasonably good.  However, it was clear that there was no point boats leaving their moorings for the programmed start time of 11:30 as there was a distinct paucity of wind.  With the cut off for racing announced by the Race Officers as 12:00, it was fortuitous that a sailable SSE breeze began to ruffle the water with about ten minutes to go.  Six Redwings were then set off from a laid line to Under Tyne then to Fitzwilliam and Janson where a course change to Tara was made.  After an interesting start with at least two boats being shut out close to the Committee boat and Ed Nainby-Luxmoore in Snow Goose having to take a penalty for hitting the Committee boat, Colin Samuelson in Toucan, was again the boat to beat and by Janson had a useful lead which he built even further by going close inshore to cheat to tide on his way to Tara.  Robin Ebsworth in Quintessence was initially in second but then dropped back; after Tara they had a slow run to Nainby and an even slower final beat to the finish at Garland.  With the wind as fickle as it was, the end result was never a foregone conclusion.  In the event, Colin in Toucan held his nerve and finished two minutes ahead of Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II with Robin in Quintessence catching up from being the last to round Nainby to finish third.  Overall this meant that the Gunston Trophy for the weekend’s racing went to Colin.

Eight One-Designs followed the same course as the Redwings and with genoas set, managed to keep in touch pretty well until the run to Nainby and the beat to Garland when the breeze dropped.  Mark Grzegorczyk sailing single handed in No 9 was always in the lead after a very successful port tack start close to the pin.  Although initially at the back of the following group, second place went to James Beart in No 5 just under a minute behind Mark; John Deacon, single handed in No 6 was third a few seconds later.  This meant that No 5, helmed by James & John over the weekend won the Lorry Cory Cup with No 10, helmed by Hugh Doherty & Charles Evans the runner up by one point.

No home racing next weekend; but some of the Redwings & One-Designs are off for their annual weekend with Itchenor Sailing Club.

To see some excellent photos of Saturday’s racing taken by Harry Pink (aged 12 and three quarters) click on:  “

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