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Crouch Yacht Club Nutcracker Series - Race 2

by Phillip Harbott 5 Dec 2017 06:03 GMT 3 December 2017

Race two of the Nutcracker Series started with overcast grey skies and a light North Westerly wind. The course was set to take the boats up and down the river, on a windward leeward course.

The first mark was Number 13, giving the fleet of 6 boats a windward with tide start. As the final countdown was broadcast to the fleet, Martinique bore off down the line to avoid being OCS, but Martin Brooks in his Dehler, Sapphire, held his nerve, keeping the power on and getting a fantastic start. Also up there, was the Corby 29 Double Trouble owned by Duncan and Beccy Haley.

Sapphire led the beat and got to Number 13 first, but stalled trying to pinch around the mark, allowing Double Trouble who tacked for the mark to get ahead, as did Digger Harden and Pete Jackson's J80 Glorious Fools and Martinique. Mantra managed to get through the two Dehlers on the run, having crossed to the South Shore early. They found more breeze in the middle of the river, and were close on Double Trouble's quarter.

The fleet headed down to Number 5, where Glorious Fools rounded first followed in quick succession by Double Trouble and the Aphrodite 101, Mantra, owned by Phillip Harbott. Martinique had been passed by Sapphire and rounded in fifth, with the SJ 27 Grace and Danger owned by Roger Noble, Stephen Gosling and Andrew Courts following closely behind. The leg up to Cliff Reach had a good starboard tack, but the port tack was inconsistent, with boats often pointing down river on this point of sail in the headers.

On the second run down river, this time to Number 7, Glorious Fools had a problem as they approached the mark, and couldn't complete the rounding. This allowed Duncan Haley in Double Trouble to round, tack and head back up river on last of the fair tide. Glorious Fools had picked up an enormous lump of weed on their keel, and the crew sailed the boat backwards in order to remove the weed. Mantra rounded but Glorious Fools caught up with Double Trouble, sailing through them to windward. Sapphire couldn't quite catch up with this group, having more of the ebb to contend with. Martinique, owned by Mark Lyons and Grace and Danger were having a great battle all way down the final run to the finish, with Martinique beating them in, having benefitted from a gust coming into the line.

On corrected time, the J80 won, with Mantra second. Double Trouble were third, with Sapphire fourth, Grace and Danger fifth and Martinique sixth. Overall, with the last race next week, Phillip Harbott's Mantra is leading by a point from the J80 Glorious Fools, with Double Trouble a further point behind.

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