A frustrating start to the Saturday morning’s racing for the twelve Redwings and four One-Designs, and not forgetting the Race Officers in Zeta (Sea Breeze was being used for the J70 racing & training being run separately). So as to keep away from the J70s, with the Redwings coming from the harbour and a light north easterly breeze, Garland to Drum looked like a perfect beat for the first race, however the breeze did not want to play and initially veered to the north and then went round 180 degrees to the south so what was intended to be a run, turned out to be another beat of sorts! Despite being initially OCS, Colin Samuelson in No 11 Toucan made the most of the light airs and came out ahead of Tom Scott in No 36 Siskin with James Axtell in No 1 Paroquet. Having been almost becalmed after they left their moorings at Under Tyne the four One-Designs went the opposite way round and although not perfect Norman Marshall in No 7 reached the inflatable windward mark first and held onto the lead to finish just over a minute ahead of Anna Row who was sailing with David Bennett in No 8; Helen Mathieson in No 1 was fourth.
Half way through the start of the second races, the breeze decided to make things even more difficult by dropping and going round in circles. Fortunately most boats were very patient and having followed the Committee Boat out to Janson, were treated to a nice race between Footprint & Janson once the sea breeze kicked in just after a pretty windless start. No 113, Redwitch helmed by Henry Thorpe was initially OCS but came back. At the end of the first round Olav Cole in No 38 was just ahead of Colin in Toucan with Robin Ebsworth in No 41 Quintessence close behind. However on the second beat, Colin edged ahead and Olav had to be content with second place. The four One-Designs followed the same course and had a lovely sail with two going up one side of the course and two the othet. John Deacon in No 6 lead almost from the start split and finished 15 seconds ahead of Norman Marshall in No 7; Helen Mathieson in No 1 was third just ahead of David Bennett helming No 8.
Unlike the previous day, Sunday morning’s F2 NNWesterly breeze held up and allowed the twelve Redwings & three One-Designs to complete the quite testing course with with three good beats. Although Colin Samuelson in No 11 Toucan was within inches of being OCS at the pin end of the line, the start was probably the best of the season so far. Although by no means a fore gone conclusion after two wins on Saturday, Colin was first round Derrick and gained a healthy lead on the tricky run back to Moreton which saw lots of place changing behind him. Heading off towards the mainland he extended his lead on the long beat back to Derrick, however on the reach to Under Tyne it looked at one stage as if he had found a wind hole, but on the final beat to Garland he came in over three minutes ahead. Despite best efforts Michael MacInnes in No 2 Avocet never really got very close and concentrated instead in coming home second ahead of Tom Scott in No 36 Siskin, Chris Hill in No 18 Harlequin and Robin Ebsworth in No 41 Quintessence who all finished close together.
The three One-Designs meanwhile ended up doing a slightly shorter course with Fitzwilliam instead of Moreton. James Row in No 8 and Rob Mathieson in No 1 were close round Derrick but half way to Fitz, James luffed Rob with the latter having to take a one turn penalty – enough to let Sarah Marshall in No 7 through and consign him to the back of the fleet for the rest of the race. At the finish, James was nearly a minute ahead of Sarah.
In fine conditions a Sports Boat training and racing weekend was held at Bembridge Sailing Club over the weekend. With six J 70 boats provided by the Royal Yacht Squadron, 30 members of the BSC aged 18-30 had a very active weekend. Only half the weight of a Redwing and downwind with three times the sail area these boats are quick! On the water coaches Edmund Peel and Matt Alexander were busy introducing new comers to asymmetric spinnakers and how best to succeed in these exciting crewed boats. Thirteen races were organised by Race Officers Jonathan Peel, Ian Mackinnon and Sabrina Eddy in the waters off Bembridge Lifeboat Station. “It was great fun to be out on the water with other young people who were all excited about the sailing and who were interested in learning” commented Edward Nainby-Luxmoore after the event.
Click here to see the web album for the weekend.