Redwings & One-Designs Weekend Racing – 11th & 12th June 2022

At last, a F4 increasing to F5 SouthWesterly breeze and lots of sunshine! Great conditions for the six Redwings and three One-Designs that headed out towards Janson on Saturday morning for a 10:00 / 10:05 start. In the event there was a five minute postponement to allow the last two Redwings to reach the start area. Tara, helmed by Mike Toogood was too keen and had no option other than to cross the line early; getting back was not easy and so he found himself very much in catch up mode.

Start of the Redwing’s Race 1 on Saturday –

Bruce Huber helming Blue Jay was the first to round the windward mark, Garland, and led the fleet downwind to Ruthven. Second was Henry Thorpe helming Redwitch closely pursued by Alastair Speare-Cole in Avocet. Dead downwind runs are always quite challenging and often see a number of different routes being taken – this leg was no exception! On the beat back to Garland, the fleet split tacks with Blue Jay heading inshore and Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II and Robin Ebsworth in Quintessence staying out. Back to Janson and then to the finish saw Blue Jay come in half a minute ahead of Avocet with Red Gauntlet II third nearly a minute later.

The second race saw an excellent start with all six boats spread out along the line.

Start of Redwing’s Race 2 on Saturday –

Blue Jay lead the way again but half way down the first run they retired when they spotted a problem with the mast; fortunately heading back to the harbour allowed them to keep the rig tight and they got back safely. Red Gauntlet II took over the lead ahead of Avocet, Redwitch and Tara but on the second run to Moreton suffered a broken jib halliard and although they kept going on the main and finished, it was at the back. On the final beat in from Moreton to the finish at Hello Sailor, Mike Toogood in Tara got a couple of favourable windshifts and moved ahead of both Redwitch and Avocet to take the win.

The three One-Designs meanwhile had slightly shorter courses. In the first race, Charles Perry in No 8 established an unbeatable lead ahead of Martin Bonham in No 2 and Penny Stanley in No 9 who were never very far away from each other. In the second race, both Charles in No 8 and Simon Allocca helming No 9 were called OCS.

Start of the One-Design’s Race 2 on Saturday –

Having reviewed the video, the latter probably only by inches which was bad luck! This left No 2 in the lead but on rounding the leeward mark Janson, the snap shackle on their jib parted company so they retired and headed back to the Under Tyne Moorings under just the main. By the time No 8 rounded Garland for the second time they were well ahead and crossed the finish line via Fitzwilliam 5 minutes ahead. All in all, an excellent morning’s racing.

On Sunday morning there was a short postponement to allow the Race Officers to sort the courses out – no easy task as the breeze was regularly flicking from NWest to NNWest and varying in strength between 5 & 10 knots! Setting a perfect line proved very difficult with the tide and light breeze countering each other, so rather than waste further time getting it perfect, it was agreed that ‘it was good enough and anyway it was the same for everyone’!

Start of Sunday’s Redwing race –

Not surprisingly all started on port at the pin end of the line. Flycatcher helmed by Nick Fairfax tacked soon after crossing the line and went in towards the St Helens shore; the rest stayed on port to get out in the better tide. Progress to Derrick was slow but steady and first to round, by a long way, was Avocet helmed by Alastair Speare-Cole. Second was Henry Thorpe helming Redwitch and third was Quintessence helmed by Robin Ebsworth. However the fleet had compressed by the time they completed the first run and reached Hello Sailor (E) and although Avocet was stil in the lead it was not by much. Initially it looked as if the planned beat to Britten was going to be a close fetch after the breeze had backed to the WNWest; however on reaching about half way, they were all knocked off when it veered back to the NWest. At Garland, Avocet and Redwitch had established an unbeatable lead and the question was simply which one was the going to win after the beat to Nainby and final run to the finish line at Pepe. As Avocet had tacked and headed out towards St Helens Fort, Redwitch went in towards the St Helens shore and by dint of a couple of favourable wind shifts rounded Nainby (which is not far from Garland) with over a two minute lead. Finishing first at Pepe meant that Redwitch won the Evert de Kort Cup after a count back with Avocet. Tara, helmed by Mike Toogood was third just ahead of Robin Ebsworth in Quintessence.

The three One-Design’s all made a similar port tack start at the pin end. Last over the line was Penny Stanley in No 9 however by remaining out in the tide she was first round Britten by a country mile.

Start of Sunday’s One-Design race –

No 2 helmed by Martin Bonham and No 8 helmed by Lavinia Perry rounded close together and matched each other on the down wind leg to Hello Sailor. After a testing leg back to Britten, No 8 closed the gap on No 9 slightly but then lost out on the beat to Nainby and was just over a minute behind when they finished at Pepe.

All in all, two days of very satisfying racing. Next weekend the Redwings are racing for the Bembridge Harbour trophy (Edwardian race) on Saturday afternoon; sailing ‘fancy dress’ to emulate what was worn by members in the early 1900s is encouraged!

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