Billy Clegg and family in Lady Laetitia was the only Redwing on Monday (21st August) afternoon; rather than just go for a sail, the Race Officers set him a windward/leeward course using Garland and Janson that he completed in just over three quarters of an hour. There were five One-Designs who voted for two races. After starting at Garland both followed the same course as the sole Redwing. In the first One-Design race the ROs suddenly noticed at Garland boats were going in all directions. Subsequently it was discovered they had mistaken the Speed limit buoy off Watch House for Garland as it had a RIB on it surround by six jet skis and they could not see it! As it was the Billy Fortescue Trophy (ladies race) the finishing order was No 9, Penny Stanley, No 1, Helen Mathieson & No12 D Orange. Their second race was finished after one round as the wind was dying, but it was a more closely fought race with the top three being Alexander Ross sailing single handed in No 8, Penny in No 7 and D in No 12.

It was pleasing that there were four Redwings and seven One-Designs taking advantage of the near perfect conditions on Tuesday afternoon – a Southerly F3 – F4 with bright sunshine. That said, it was surprisingly lumpy off Fitzwilliam where Sea Breeze had set up the start line for the agreed two races for each class. Although Billy Clegg in Lady Laetitia overcooked the start of the first Redwing race, it did not put him too far behind after the first beat to Undertyne. On the run to Moreton James Wilson in Quail switched his ‘motor’ on and built up a substantial lead. The beat to Tara proved quite interesting as the breeze kept flicking 10+ degrees. Although Quail remained well ahead, Andrew Eddy in Plover made up a bit of ground on the run to a laid inflatable and short beat to the line. Billy in Lady L was third thirty seconds ahead of Crispin Kenyon in Blue Jay II. The course for their second race was similar except the windward mark was Cochrane, the leeward mark was Fitzwilliam and the finish was at Undertyne. Quail led almost from the start but it was by no means a simple procession and Plover was never very far away ready to take advantage of any errors. Blue Jay II helmed by Richard Jessel was third and Lady L, having split tacks on the beat which did not pay, was fourth.

The seven One-Designs had the same course for their first race but went to Tara rather than Cochrane for the second. Susie Beart in No 5 led initially having just got away with a port tack ‘flyer’, however by the time they reached Undertyne, John Suffield sailing single handed in No 4 had taken over the lead. Despite the opportunities the course offered, there was little place changing and John crossed the finish line twenty seconds ahead of Susie with Sarah Marshall in No 7 a minute later. In the second race, John was well last crossing the starting line, and the initial order was No 2, helmed single handed by Martin Bonham, Sarah in No 7 and Alexander Ross in No 8. However by the time they finished at Undertyne, No 4 had overtaken them and made it a two win afternoon by nearly three quarters of a minute. Alexander was second and Sarah was third.

The forecast for Wednesday was for light and variable breezes and sunny periods. In the event there was a very pleasant 8-10 knot SSE breeze and lots of sun. Four Redwings arrived early in the start area north of Undertyne so were set off without further ado to Tara, Derrick and back to the line. Billy Clegg in Lady L probably had the best start and as the only boat remaining out on starboard, ended up rounding Tara with a slender lead on Quail helmed by James Wilson. All stayed offshore on the run to Derrick which again saw Quail ‘motor’ into the lead and Plover, helmed by Andrew Eddy overtaking Crispin Kenyon in Blue Jay II. The beat back to the line provided some magical sailing and saw Quail finish a minute ahead of Lady L with Blue Jay II third. To ring the changes, the course for the second race used Cochrane as the windward mark instead of Tara and Britten instead of Derrick and finishing at Undertyne. The call of children and Priory Bay was too strong for Billy and Lady L who ducked out of the second race, leaving the other three Redwings to battle it out. After a good start, Blue Jay II (helmed by Richard Jessel) tacked inshore first, however all rounded Cochrane close together with Quail (helmed by Arabella Wilson) marginally in the lead. At Britten Quail had extended her lead and along with Blue Jay II went inside the Fort; having taken a penalty for hitting Britten, Plover took a punt and went to the north of the fort but to no avail. At the finish at Undertyne, Quail was thirty seconds ahead of Blue Jay II with Plover just under a minute later.

After a good start by all three One-Designs No 1, helmed by Simon Allocca tacked inshore first and rounded Tara just ahead of Susie Beart in No 5. Although it took some time to get it drawing and then some time to drop, it was good to see No 1flying her trial spinnaker. The final beat back to the finish line went in Simon’s favour and No 1 crossed the line nearly a minute ahead of Susie. At the start of the second race, No 1 was shut out at the Committee boat so had a lot of catching up. All initially tacked inshore and No 5 and No 2 (being sailed single handed) by Martin Bonham rounded Tara close together. Despite getting their spinnaker to draw quite well which allowed them to close the gap on the two lead boats, Susie finished a good minute and a half ahead of Martin with Simon six seconds later.

With a F3/F4 NW breeze and heavy rain forecast on Thursday afternoon, two Redwings and five One-Designs started from Janson (JJ). The Redwings requested two races so the first course set was Derrick (K), Fitzwilliam (F) twice passing through the line on each beat so it could be shortened if necessary with a finish back at Janson. Billy Clegg in Lady Laetitia started well closely followed by Andrew Eddy in Plover. The One-Designs were in their starting sequence when the rain hit; a torrential downpour with thunder rolling around. Nonetheless they got away towards their windward mark at Britten. The course was Britten (B), Fitzwilliam (F) twice passing through the line on each beat with a finish back at Janson (JJ).

At least they could see Britten whereas the two Redwings had some navigational challenges locating Derrick! Whilst they (and the buoy) disappeared in the rain, rumour has it they explored the race track as far as a SVYC mark, Wreck (W), before realising the comfortable rounding they were giving Derrick!

Once the thunderstorm headed out towards France, the wind dropped away to F2 and both fleets began the slow progression back to Fitzwilliam. Two One-Designs rounded the leeward mark close together only to be joined by the others as the tide and lack of wind was hampering progress to windward mark. The race officers decided that both races would be shortened to only one lap with a finish at Janson. At this point the breeze filled in to give a nice final beat back to the finish.

The One-Designs finished first with Alexander Ross in No8 winning, followed a minute later by Jos Coad in No12, Charles Abel Smith in No 7 a further 30 seconds behind – a close finish after about an hour’s sailing, even if it felt longer. Penny Stanley in No 9 and Martin Bonham in No 2 completed the finishers. Andrew Eddy led the Redwings home in Plover followed by Billy Clegg in Lady Laetitia – their race was slightly longer and unsurprisingly there were no takers for a second race with both fleets heading purposefully back to the UT moorings.

Friday morning was the top four One-Designs racing for the Jubilee Trophy. For the first of the three races, with the exception of Jos Coad who used No 1, helms used ‘their own’ boats; Srah Marshall in No 7 crossed the line on port as they headed from a laid line just north of Undertyne to Britten. D Orange tacked out early, a tactic that did not work and put No 9 rather a long way back. Alexander Ross in No 8 rounded Britten in the lead and finished comfortably ahead of Sarah and Jos. With the breeze backing to the west, the course for the second race brought Footprint and Tara into the frame. Victory this time went to D sailing No 7 with Alexander second and Jos third. The third race was over the same course and with the breeze increasing slightly and with everyone counting the points needed to win the trophy, it was definitely a ‘tactical’ start with no-one even close to the line at the start. Jos, now helming No 9, hit the pin and having taken a penalty was always in damage limitation mode. Sarah now in No 1 remained inshore on starboard and then taking advantage of a wind shift rounded Footprint a long way ahead of D in No 8 and Alexander in No 7. Although her lead was slightly reduced on the beat back to the line from Tara, it was still a comfortable win. However Alexander’s third place was good enough to finish first overall a point ahead of Sarah and D.

With only one Redwing and four One-Designs wanting to race on Friday afternoon it was decided to have a joint start and everyone following the same course. Billy Clegg in Lady Laetitia played safe and started well to leeward of the One-Designs, however it did not take him long to be out in front on the beat from the start at Janson to Garland. With the One-Designs splitting tacks it was interesting that they were not that far apart with Martin Bonham in No 2 rounding G first and starting the run to Ruthven. With the breeze now gusting 16-18 knots, Penny Stanley in No 9, despite being tail end Charlie, wisely decided to keep the spinnaker in the bag. Rounding Footprint after the beat in from Ruthven saw Susie Beart in No 5 leading with No 2 second, John Suffield in No 4 third and Penny a minute later. No 4 has closed the gap on No 2 on the run to Fitzwilliam and moved into second on the final beat to Undertyne. Using the new YTC ratings, Lady Laetitia’s corrected time was 42 minutes ten seconds against No5’s corrected lime of 50 minutes forty seconds.

Torrential rain, water spouts off the Ledge ( and fickle breezes that varied from South to North to West and back to South F0 to F4 made the Jeannie Cochrane Final something of a lottery. A lottery won by the Class Captain Rory Morrison in Paroquet who finished five or so minutes ahead of the Downer’s in Enigma and Robertson’s in Reed Gauntlet II. Having been shut out at the Committee Boat at the start, Rory was last to cross the line set up off Janson but half way to Undertyne got a massive lift in the torrential rain which brought him back in contention. On what was mostly a run to Ruthven it really was a matter of luck as the breeze died, the rain came and went and then came back again. A quick course change to Britten ensured a nice beat in the F4 Westerly, but without Paroquet having gear failure or a massive stroke of bad luck, Enigma and Red Gauntlet II stood no chance of catching Rory. Enigma was second and Red Gauntlet II was third.

Saturday afternoon saw fifteen Redwings and eight One-Designs racing for the BHYC Regatta Cups and prizes sponsored by Mermaid Gin. Although conditions had improved significantly from the morning and initially there was a F3-4 Westerly breeze, it backed to the South South West as the afternoon wore on. Starting at Janson, both fleets enjoyed a challenging beat to Drum. The Redwing start was certainly ‘interesting’ with Tara, helmed by Bruce Huber and Toucan, helmed by Colin Samuelson both called OCS and having to return; in the process the former had a run in with Capella II helmed by Mike Orange and took a penalty which put them at the back of the fleet.

Start of Saturday’s BHYC Regatta Redwing Race –

Split tacks made for some interesting calls for ‘water’ at Drum but things settled down on the long run to Moreton with the two boats called OCS (Toucan & Tara) now the front runners, then it was mark Downer in Enigma, James Wilson in Quail, Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II and John Raymond in Harlequin. With the breeze backing, the course was changed to G-M-E-M-E. Enigma had moved into the lead by the time that they rounded Undertyne for the first time. Toucan was second, Quail was third and Tara was fourth. However on the beat back from Moreton to the finish Bruce found a huge lift and crossed the finish line ten seconds ahead of Mark who had extended his advantage over Toucan to nearly forty seconds. Quail was fourth and James Tate in Rosetta was fifth. Lower down the finish order there were a number of very close finishers in particular Harlequin and Capella II (one second), and Snowgoose (Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore) and Gosling (Serena Gosling) who were only 5 seconds apart. Tara therefore won the bottle of Mermaid gin!

The eight One-Designs meanwhile had a similar course with Drum as the first windward mark. Except that no-one was very close to the line at the start, they faced the same challenges as the Redwings as the breeze came off Nodes Point. Martin Bonham in No 2 and Charles Perry in No 8 lead the run to Moreton with Susie Beart in No 5 some way behind in third. After the long beat to Garland, Susie had moved into the lead having kept very right with Charles and Martin wondering what they had done wrong! On the beat from Moreton to the finish as Undertyne, Susie cemented her lead and crossed the line almost a minute ahead of Charles. Jos Coad in No 12 was third half a minute later. Martin in No 2 was fourth, less than a second ahead of D Orange in No 9. Susie not only won the Selwyn Trophy but also a bottle of Mermaid gin!

Class diners and AGMs completed, the conditions on Sunday afternoon (Westerly F4) for the second day of BHYC’s Keelboat Regatta had the makings of another excellent set of races. And that was exactly what thirteen Redwings and nine One-Designs had. Starting at Fitzwilliam, Drum was again dead upwind, so twice round and then Britten, Tara to starboard and a finish at Undertyne provided challenging beats and interesting runs. After an unintentional but slight pin end bias start that resulted in a slight melee at the pin, the fleet soon split tacks. As in the previous day’s race, Toucan helmed by Colin Samuelson was first to round Drum by some considerable distance; however this time they made sure that was secure, eventually finishing a minute ahead of Billy Clegg in Lady Laetitia with Harlequin, helmed by Bruce Huber a minute later. James Wilson in Quail was fourth. All in all, an excellent race enjoyed by all. With a third and a first, Colin won the Lock Nell Campbell Trophy and a bottle of Mermaid Gin!

The nine One-Designs meanwhile had a similar course to the Redwing again, but with their windward mark as Britten. After a clean start, albeit a few had had problems crossing the line, it was No 10, helmed by Abi Doherty who, having rounded Britten ahead dominated the race, much as Colin did in the Redwings and finished a country mile ahead of the rest of the fleet; John Suffield in No 4 was second and Russ Fowler (it was too windy to risk the spinnaker) in No 1 was third. Abi therefore won the Hector Humphray Cup (and a bottle of Mermaid gin!)

The task for the Race Officers on Monday morning was to get as best a race for each class as possible and to finish whilst there was enough water to ensure that both fleets could get back to their harbour moorings (or in the case of the Redwings back up onto the Redwing Quay). In the event, they all had an excellent race and were back into the harbour on time. As the breeze was a Northerly F2-F3, the start was at Undertyne, with the Redwing going to Derrick, Garland, Drum and a running finish at Pepe. Although it was tight on the line for the leeward boats, Bruce Huber helming Snowgoose was the first to lead the way by tacking onto port to get well clear of the line, however once settled, the majority then tacked back onto starboard and headed towards the St Helens shore. Richard Jessel helming Blue Jay II, James Tate in Rosetta and Robin Ebsworth in Quintessence bucked the trend and headed offshore. A tactic that worked for Richard and saw Blue Jay II rounding Derrick well in the lead, but was not so successful for the other two boats. There was little to separate the next three, Toucan, Colin Samuelson, Red Gauntlet II, Jo Robertson and Quail, James Wilson. On the run to Garland the gap between Blue Jay II and the chasing group vanished and Toucan rounded just ahead. The lead changed again on the testing beat to Drum with Red Gauntlet II rounding just ahead of Toucan and Quail. The run to the line was nerve wracking but Joe just managed to hold Colin and James off and finished a couple of seconds ahead. Blue Jay had to make do with fourth.

The seven One-Designs were all a bit shy at the start and D Orange in No 9 was ‘further away than ideal’! Sarah Marshall in No 7 tacked early and was followed soon afterwards by the other six boats. Jos Coad, sailing single handed was the first to reach Britten with No 1, helmed by Simon Allocca and No 5 Susie Beart not that far behind. Although both No 1 and No 9 then launched their spinnakers, it did not make a great deal of difference and at Garland, No 12 rounded just ahead of No 5. On the beat to Drum, Sarah Marshall in No 7 found the best way to go but just as she was rounding, there was an incident involving No 8, helmed by Hamish Janson which put the latter into a narrow lead. On the final run to the line at Pepe the fleet compressed and there were some very close finishes with No 8 crossing the line inches ahead of No 7. No 5 was third soon afterwards and No was fourth. However once ashore and after a short ‘discussion’, No 8 retired which meant that all the other finishers moved up a place. It also meant that No 7 won the Victory Trophy that is raced traditionally for over the Bank holiday weekend.

Redwings & One-Designs at Garland –

Afternoon starts (14:30) next weekend.

Additional photos:

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