Keelboats 9th & 10th July 2022

Nine Redwings and four One-Designs reached the start area off Footprint with plenty of time on Saturday morning. As to be expected, the NE’erly Force 4 breeze meant that sea conditions were quite lumpy and that to do well meant being able to keep the boat ‘going’. Derrick, Garland twice round going through the line on the beat back to Derrick to finish at Footprint proved quite testing but hot foot from their extended holiday in the Med, Mark & Joe Downer in Engima made it look very easy.

Start of the Redwing race 1 Saturday –

Although there where a number of place changes lower down the order as the race unfolded, the Downer’s finished a minute ahead of Red Gauntlet II, helmed by Joe Robertson. Colin Samuelson in Toucan was a close third. Lower down the order, there was, as usual, some close racing especially between Quintessence, helmed by Robin Ebsworth and Lady Laetitia helmed by Digby Morrison.

With the breeze dropping slightly and backing to the North, it was not the best of lines for the second race. However, rather than delaying the start to re-set the line, it was decided to press on. Given the difficulty of crossing the line on starboard, a number of boats decided to join the start from the on course side. Predictably it all got a bit messy at the far end of the line and three hoots signalled a General Recall. The second start was better with only Gosling, helmed by Rosie very obviously OCS and having to re-start.

Second Start of the Redwing race 2 Saturday –

The slight shift in wind direction saw the fleet on different tacks as they made their way to Derrick (to starboard); the run took them to Hello Sailor and then it was a beat to Janson with a run to an inflatable laid near to the moorings before finishing at Hello Sailor. Toucan lead the way and as the race progressed built their lead to finish nearly two minutes ahead of Enigma. There was a shorter gap to Red Gauntlet II who held off Andrew Eddy in Plover and Robin in Quintessence.

The four One-Designs meanwhile had slightly shorter courses with Britten coming into play in both races. The start of the first race saw them all nicely spread out along the line.

Start of the One Design race 1 Saturday –

Sarah Marshall in No 7 lead the way and having decided that the left side of the course was preferable on the first beat to Derrick never looked under too much pressure from No 8 helmed by Jos Coad or No 5 helmed by Susie Beart. No 2, helmed by Martin Bonham struggled a bit to keep boat speed up through the confused sea and retired so as not to hold up things up. The start of the second race was similar to the first except that everyone was a bit further from the line when the hooter sounded! Having split tacks, Susie and Sarah remained on starboard and appeared to make better progress. Indeed Susie reached Britten first but sadly for her, she rounded it to Port rather Starboard (as set) so lost out to Sarah and Jos as she corrected herself. The former took over the lead and despite Jos’s best efforts maintained it to the finish at Hello Sailor, crossing the line 30 seconds ahead. Susie was third and Martin was fourth.

On Sunday morning with Chimet showing a light E/SE’erly breeze, the Race Officers (Robin & Rosie) decided to avoid a long course in case the breeze died, so set the seven Redwings a three round windward leeward course using Tara & Footprint. Arguably Cochrane would have been a better windward mark, however local practice is to avoid Cochrane in light airs and a falling tide! Red Gauntlet II, helmed by Joe Robertson was shut out at the Committee Boat end of the line at the start but did not take long to catch up. Colin Samuelson in Toucan rounded Tara first, closely pursued by Digby Morrison helming Lady Laetitia and Red Gauntlet II. Although Toucan remained in the lead for the rest of the race, it was by no means a walk over and one slip would have let Joe in. As it was, Colin finished just over 30 seconds ahead of Joe, with Digby a minute or so later. Mark Downer in Enigma was fourth. With two first and a third, Colin won the Curlew Cup.

Three One-Designs meanwhile covered the same ground but only twice round; Martin Bonham in No 2 was the early leader but was overtaken by Alexander Ross in No 8 on the second beat. After some close racing, No 8 crossed the finish line 25 seconds ahead of No 7 helmed by Sarah Marshall. Martin was third but was only 15 seconds adrift.

In addition to the normal Redwing & One-Design racing next weekend, we are also hosting the Swallow Nationals at Bembridge. A busy couple of days!”

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