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Redwing Nationals at Scillonian Sailing and Canoeing Club

by Bill Dowell 23 Sep 2012 20:30 BST 26-31 August 2012
National Redwing Dinghy Championships on the Isles of Scilly © Philippe Saudreau

For the fourth occasion the Redwing Dinghy fleet shipped out to the Isles of Scilly to hold their eagerly awaited annual national championships. Since the last visit a healthy local fleet of Redwings has grown up now numbering 10-boats of which 7 made the start line on most days.

Sunday - 1st Points Race (medium/light SW)

R250 'Spirit of Bald Eagle' Helmed by Peter Kinver and crewed by Joe Palfrey had a decent start but was sandwiched between R225 'Sweet Song', Mike Stace and Deanna Morton, to leeward and R220 'Scooby Doo' Arthur Kinver and Tamsin Kinver, to windward. R220 forced R250 to the left hand, and unfavourable, side of the course. R250 managed to pull out in front of R220 and tacked away to the right hand side of the course to find R246 'Nightingale', Cecil DuValle and Hedley Martin, R228, 'Pintail', Bill and Nan Dowell, and R240 'Bearded Tit', Colin Crabb and Adam Hayler, out in front. R240 tacked onto starboard just short of the lay line and passed in front of R250. R228 over stood slightly and allowed R250 to tack under him to lay the mark. Minutes later R240 passed behind R250 on port tack while Peter KInver laid the mark on starboard. Meanwhile R246 had also tacked onto the lay line too early and tried to pinch up to the mark allowing R250 to sail over the top of him to 1st place at the mark. R250 then lead the rest of the way around to take an un-assailed first place. R240 was second and R228 third.

Monday – The forecast strong winds arrived and although the 2nd and 3rd races were on the programme, the fleet had an enforced lay-day ashore

Tuesday - 2nd Points Race (medium/light SW)

Peter and Joe in R250 had a great start in clear wind and powered away on starboard. They did not tack off to the right hand side of the course too early owing to the tide going into Tresco. Eventually tacking on the lay line for the mark it was found that the leaders had misjudged the tide sweeping through the sound and had to put in a few tactical tacks to get to the mark. R250 arrived in first place closely followed by Bill and Nan in R228. R228 really pushed R250 down the next leg but Peter managed to keep ahead. Gradually drawing ahead by superior boat speed, on all points of sailing, R250 lead for the rest of the way around to take first place. R228 was second with a clear gap to the third boat R240, Colin Crabb and Adam and fourth boat R134, Keith and Ned, with whom they had been having a close tussle.

Tuesday – 4th Points Race (medium/light SW sailed back-to-back with the first race)

There was pandemonium on the start line as boats tried to get away as others sailed down the line baulking them. R250 was buried in the fleet, as was R228, but kept going to the left hand side as the flood tide up to Tresco was now having an effect on the right side of the course. Most boats tacked onto port mid course to miss the tide on the St. Marys side. Keith and Ned in R134 getting the advantage lead at the first mark, with R240 Colin Crabb, second and then R250, Peter in third. At the leeward mark R240 favoured the right hand corner of the course but R250 and R134 immediately tacked off to the left in front of R240. Again, Peter chose to tack back onto port mid course and passed well behind Keith. Keith also then tacked onto port. At the lay line Peter tacked under Colin's bow as he had him on starboard but managed to lee bow him and pulled out clear in front. Meanwhile Keith passed behind them both closely followed by R225, Mike and Deanna and then R220 Arthur and Tamsin. Thus the order was established. R250 lead at the next mark and carried on for the rest of the race. Finishing first; R250, second; R240, third; R225 and R220 fourth.

Thursday - 3rd Points Race (strong NW)

The fleet was seriously depleted due to strong winds with only six boats deciding to take part. Peter and Joe started mid line on starboard and pulled out in front going to the left hand side of the course. Colin, R240, who was just under R250 then tacked onto port and crossed behind them. 30 sec later Peter also tacked onto port for the lay line but had over stood as by the time he got to the mark Colin had managed to come up from below and had the lead at the first mark. At the leeward mark, Colin in first place, tacked onto Starboard and went for the left side while R250 remained on port to take advantage of the slight lift by the golf course, before tacking off onto starboard to make the most of the lee-bowing effect of the strong flood tide out in the sound. Peter managed to pass well in front of Colin and lead for the rest of the race. The rest of the fleet spread out behind them. At the last gybe Peter left it late due to a strong gust at the mark but Colin who maybe saw a chance to sneak in unfortunately capsized and let Mike and Deanna, R225 and R134 Keith and Ned through. However R250 completed the course with a big lead. The finishing order being R250, R225, R134 and R240 in fourth. After the first race Paul and Geoff in R166 'Rosewing' seemed to lose concentration and going downwind had 'capsize' written all over their sailing, to those watching from the shore – sure enough they fell over!

Thursday - 5th Points Race (even stronger NW – sailed back to back with the first)

After a very long arduous wait in some quite heavy gusts while the rescue crew went about their business, the second race eventually got underway without Colin and Adam who had to retire between the races due to a ripped tack cringle on their mainsail. However their place was taken by Joe and Clive Sibley in R205 'Spirit' who took on the challenging conditions. The wind seemed a lot stronger than the 20 mph that was being recorded by the race officer and it was suggested he stopped buying important equipment from eBay!!. During the race Mike Stace and Deanna in R225 kept close to Peter at times but Kinver managed to keep out in front all the way around, both enjoying the rougher conditions. Again the right hand side of the course was the favourite due to the strong flood tide out in the sound. Sailing furiously Keith and Ned were third, absolutely flying down the reaches, and Arthur and Tamsin capsized while on the last short beat. So R250 took the honours with R225 second and R134, Keith, third. There had been a fair bit of collateral damage; first aid had to be administered to Geoff's cut finger and Arthur's broken tiller

Friday - 6th Points Race (light NW)

Now with a clear overall lead Peter's concentration went awry and he made an unusually poor start mid line and got sandwiched between Colin to leeward and another to windward. Recovering from this poor start he was forced to put in many tactical tacks to work up to the first mark and managed to round right on the race leader's transom (R240 Colin and Adam). Peter was forced to sail high down the reach by R225, Mike Stace, who rounded right behind him, and he managed to hold R225 off down the reach and also overhaul Colin at the same time to lead at the second mark. This was probably the most tactical race of the series as there was a lot of covering going on to protect positions and the leading group had to put many tactical tacks in to keep their positions, R250 managing to stay in front. Peter then lead for the rest of the race to take first place. R228, Bill and Nan, managed to overtake R240, Colin and R225, Mike on the final beat, as they were engaged in their own tacking duel, to take second place. The excitement didn't end there as Arthur Kinver, R220, crewed for this race by Carol, pipped Cecil and Hedley, R246, right on the finish line. An excellent performance was turned in by Be and Andrew Combes sailing R19 'Gleam' finishing 10th overall. It was the 65 year-old 'Gleam's first outing in their hands and sailing with sails that are nearly 50 years old did nothing to dent their performance. Also going well were Mike Hannaford and Sam Wightman in R194 'Vianne' with in effect and extra crewmember on board in the form of her 132pound iron plate! Despite this 'handicap' they managed a 9th Overall.

So ended a very enjoyable week of sailing and socialising with Peter Kinver and Joe Palfrey carrying away all the silverware as Redwing National Champions 2012. Many thanks to our hosts, Scillonian Sailing Club and the many people and organisations who together made the event possible. The Redwings are due to return to Scilly in 2015.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoNameHelm/CrewR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1250Spirit of Bald EaglePeter Kinver/Joe Palfrey1111116
2240Bearded TitColin Crabb/Adam Hayler2342DNS317
3225Sweet SongMike Stace/Deanna Morton76232417
4134BallerinaKeith Buchanan/Ned Buchanan64363527
5220Scooby DooArthur Kinver/Tamsin Kinver5754DNS644
6228PintailBill Dowell/Nan Dowell32DNS5DNS246
7246NightingaleCecil DuValle/Hedley Martin45DNS8DNS758
8166RosewingPaul Dunn/Geoff Godbolt91067DNS958
9194VianneMike Hannaford/Sam Wightman1412DNS1051169
1019GleamBe Combes/Android Combes1114DNS9DNS1078
11205SpiritJoe Sibley/Clive Sibley8DNSDNSDNS4DNS80
12178VenusCarol Shave/Honor Burrows129DNS13DNS1482
1377Althea VegaMark Underwood/Jim Beard1311DNS11DNS1383
1495FantasticFletcher's Dad/James Fletcher168DNSDNSDNS883
152KittiwakeRichard Spiller/Keith Cockrell1513DNS12DNS1286
16200SeagullIan Sibley/Hannah Sibley10DNSDNSDNSDNSDNS95

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