This year’s MOCRA Regatta at Bembridge was doubled up as the National Championships and as an experiment was programmed to immediately follow the ever popular Round the Island race in the expectation that an increased number of boats would enter.  In the event, despite best efforts, we ended up with only ten entries for the main event and three of the new Diam 24od trimarans who came along to race (albeit as they do not yet have a MOCRA TCF, it was not possible for them to be included in the overall championship scoring).  A bit disappointing as there were a quite a few Solent based members of MOCRA who raced round the Island on Saturday but stayed away from Bembridge.  However, those who did enter had two days of excellent and very competitive racing – and much enjoyed the social camaraderie which was boosted by a number of non-racing multihulls who joined in.

The first two races on Sunday were scheduled to be windward/leeward courses of around an hour each.  In the event both took rather longer because the slight increase in the breeze that had been forecast failed to materialise.  However, no one appeared too concerned as the sun was shining and it was just a joy to be afloat.

Using Under Tyne as the outer limit, a beat to Warner and back to Cochrane twice round started off well, however the light NNW’erly breeze backed as the leaders rounded Warner and the planned run became a broad reach.  With the Diams starting five minutes after the main fleet, it did not take them long to catch up and it was the Buzz Race Team (helmed by Ben Saxton of Team GB as Phil Cotton was ill) who were first through the line to start the second round and act as the pilot to locate the inflatable windward mark that had been laid just south of the Seaview moorings.  By the time they got back to the finish, Drop Bear had moved into second place about a minute behind Buzz RT; Hissy Fit meanwhile had a close race with Wombat to finish seven minutes behind the front two Diams.  On corrected time Hissy Fit was first, Wombat second and Nitric third.

2July17 - r1_brt(1)

Despite the length of the course being reduced for the second race (the inflatable was brought in approximately 400m and Tara was used as the leeward mark), progress at times was slow and considerable patience was required.  Unfortunately Adonnante having suffered damage in the previous race to her jib sat the race out while she changed to a spare one.  Wombat lead for the first round with Nitric only a minute behind.  Buzz RT was third and Suenos was fourth.  At the finish at the end of the second round, Buzz RT had moved into the lead and finished just under a minute ahead of Drop Bear.  Wombat was third and Hissy Fit had caught up to fourth.  However it was Suenos, who had had an excellent race, who was first on corrected time ahead of Hissy Fit and Nitric.

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Concerned that the breeze might drop even further, the Race Officers decided to use Nab East rather than the Nab Tower for the final race of the day over a “longer distance”.  In the event the breeze held up; indeed as the back markers began their final leg from Tara to Britten, the wind increased and backed to the SW.   Line honours went again to Buzz RT who finished in one hour seven minutes; Hissy Fit was second only five minutes later and Wombat was third.  However on corrected time it was Spirit of Scot Bader with her crew of able and disabled sailors who emerged as the race winner – a fantastic result.  Hissy Fit was second and Suenos was third.

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Except that the sun failed to appear until after racing had finished, conditions on Monday morning for multihulls were almost prefect with a SW’erly F4 breeze.  The first race of the day was billed as “short & sharp” and saw the fleet (down to 8 boats as Adonnante headed over the Portsmouth to try to get her headsail repaired before starting back to the West Country) starting from an inflatable that was laid to the North of Fitzwilliam with Footprint as the windward mark, Fitzwilliam as the wing mark and an out of position Ruthven as the leeward mark, three times round.  Most favoured the pin end of the line, with Suenos just over cooking it and having to return;  the main fleet soon split tacks and although the Diams were out in front after two rounds, Wombat, Nitric and Hissy Fit made sure that they had to work for it.  Drop Bear made up for their disappointing result in Race 3 the previous day and finished just over two minutes ahead of Buzz Race Team.  In the main fleet, Wandering Glider had a problem with their asymmetric on the last round, as did Nitric, however fortunately neither suffered any damage and were able to continue racing.  On corrected time, Wombat was just ahead of Hissy Fit with Nitric just hanging onto third.

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The final race was another longer distance one and although the Nab Tower was tempting, it was decided to keep the fleet closer just in case the breeze increased and made it risky for the Diams.  Using the same line as the previous race, the course was Footprint, Warner, St Helens, Ruthven twice round.  The start was made exciting by Wombat going for a port tack flyer at the pin end of the line; it was close but they got away with it and were first to Footprint.  Hissy Fit and Suenos headed inshore which definitely paid off.  Buzz RT & 3 Wise Monkeys also started on port at the pin end – it was touch and go as Drop Bear accelerated down the line on starboard.  By the end of the first round, Buzz RT and Drop Bear were in the lead with Hissy Fit third having overtaken Wombat.  The Diams stretched their lead on the second round but with the conditions favouring Hissy Fit, it was no great surprise when corrected times for the main fleet were worked out that she came first; Nitric, after another excellent race was second and Wombat was third.

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3July17 - r5r2hf(1)

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With three firsts (including being the first of the MOCRA entries in the RTIR) and three seconds, Hissy Fit was the undisputed 2017 champion on 7 points; Wombat was second with 13 points, Suenos was third with 14 points and Nitric was fourth with 15 points.

An excellent two days racing, with thanks to Bembridge SC for their traditional hospitality and pin point organisation.

Web Album – https://flic.kr/s/aHskY1Sv7A 

Start of the final Race on Monday – https://youtu.be/iEy9owbMtl4

Start of the final Diam 24od Race on Monday – https://youtu.be/enGEjH8WbMI

 

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