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Bembridge Redwing racing on the Round the Island Race weekend

by Mike Samuelson 3 Jul 2017 12:20 BST 1-2 July 2017
Bembridge Redwing and One-Design racing on the Round the Island Race weekend © Mike Samuelson

There were no Redwing or One-Design takers for the Friday evening Challenge Trophy race, however nine Redwings were towed out to the Under Tyne moorings ready for Saturday morning's racing.

Deconflicting keelboat racing with the annual Round the Island Race is always an interesting task for the Race Officers; this year was more challenging than normal with the earlier than normal start at Cowes and a NW backing W F4 breeze which meant that the waters off Under Tyne mid-morning were even more busier than usual.

The original plan was to use Under Tyne as the outer distance mark, Britten as the windward mark and a laid inflatable as the leeward mark so as to keep the west of the RTIR competitors. However the inflatable went walk about and could not be re-laid, so Under Tyne became the leeward mark. It was good to see Tarpon helmed by Dominic Samuelson (sporting Harlequin's main) out for her first race of the season take an early lead and manage to hold onto it all the way to the finish after two rounds. Robin Ebsworth was not far behind in second and Rupert MacInnes in Avocet was a close third just ahead of Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II.

With the breeze backing to the West and more of the RTIR boats keeping inshore to stay out of the tide, the ROs sensibly moved the race area with a start line just off the north western most mooring and Garland as the windward mark three times round. Avocet was first round Garland and despite best efforts by the following pack, extended her lead to finish 40 seconds ahead of Red Gauntlet II who just pipped Quintessence and Paroquet helmed by Meri Benham. Tarpon, after a slow start after her jib sheets had come undone, had to make do with fifth.

Sunday turned out to be a much nicer day than had originally been forecast. Down to eight Redwings as Tarpon remained on the moorings, a very long start line, in readiness for the first race of this year's MOCRA National Championships, was set using Under Tyne. The windward mark was Derrick and the leeward mark was Tara. Most started at the pin end and kept on starboard tack towards the Bembridge shore to dodge the tide. Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore in Snow Goose was soon out in front with Rupert MacInnes in Avocet, Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II and Robin Ebsworth sailing single handed in Quintessence someway behind on the first run to Tara. After having to take a slight detour to avoid a clash with the MOCRA start, the second round and final beat to Britten was by no means a procession. Although Snow Goose won, Red Gauntlet II moved up into second place and by the finish at Britten was only just over thirty seconds behind. Avocet had to make do with a third just ahead of Philip Bown in Redwing and Nick Wakefield in Bizarre.

There were no One-Designs racing over the weekend.

Next weekend is the Zanen Trophy on Saturday and the Redwing's Princessa Trophy on Sunday.