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Wednesday XOD Series at Royal Lymington Yacht Club - Race 19

by John Olliff-Cooper on 13 Sep 31 August 2017

With a wind direction of West North West, wind strength of 14 knots and a fast ebbing tide, Race Officer Nigel Thomas decided to send the fleet on a close fetch down tide to mark C (Colten), then a long run across the tide to mark 2 to the east of Yarmouth, then a down-tide beat to mark A off Hurst, followed by a long run uptide to mark F (Berthon) followed by a short sprint, via mark S (Sanders Sails), down tide to the finish at the club platform. An interesting and very taxing course.

Despite the down tide start, the fleet got away cleanly with the majority favouring the pin end. Ibex (helmed by Max Crowe), was just ahead of the fleet at the first mark, followed by XL (helmed by Rory Paton) and then Excalibur (helmed by John Olliff-Cooper).

On the long up tide and across tide run to Mark, the majority of the fleet either misjudged the strength of the tide and/or miscalculated the position of Mark 2, resulting in Lucrezia (helmed by Ado Jardine) rounding first followed closely by Richard Field in Persephone (who had been at the back of the fleet at the first mark) and Chris Torrens in Madcap who then misjudged the tide and hit the mark. Behind them came the bulk of the fleet about 10 abreast all wanting to gybe around the mark. All boats gave proper room to those inside them, avoiding a situation which could have resulted in a multi boat crash.

The down-tide beat to Mark A off Hurst provided a challenge to estimate the strength of the tide and to use the wind shifts which at times were more than 50 degrees. The fleet also had to keep clear of a small container ship which came down the western Solent! Due to a wind shift, the leaders over-stood the mark allowing those further back to come into contention. The order at the mark was Madcap, followed closely by Lucrezia, Persephone and Mersa (helmed by Eric Williams).

The very long up-tide run to Mark F saw the fleet adopt three different strategies. A few aimed direct to Mark F, keeping in the strong adverse tide. A number went up the mainland shore until after the club platform. The leaders kept to the mainland shore but started to steer for the mark well before the platform - this proved to be better route. The leaders at the mark were Madcap followed by Lucrezia, Persephone and Xoanon. The positions remained the same after the two short down-tide beats to the finish line.

Race 19 Results: (top four)

1st X5, Madcap (Chris Torrens)
2nd X140, Lucrezia (Ado Jardine)
3rd X92, Persephone (Richard Field)
4th N1, Xoanon (David Harris)

Full Lymington XOD Series Results can be found here.

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