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Cowes Etchells winter series

by Rob Goddard 21 Oct 2014 13:41 BST 19 October 2014

The Cowes Etchells winter series was reduced to just one day, Sunday 19th October. Saturday the 18th had a horrid forecast so racing was cancelled by the Friday night. The few who did venture out onto the bramble bank on the Saturday found the conditions were not ideal, in fact rather strange, with 20 degree backing wind-shifts. The racing was unlikely to have been great.

But 9 teams made it to the starting line on the Sunday morning and were greeted by 17 knots gusting 22, that gradually increased to 22 gusting 26, from a SSW direction over an ebbing time that made for a slight to moderate sea state. With a clean get away for race 1 Ante Razmilovic sailing Swedish Blue headed hard left for the stronger tide and sailed away from the fleet to win race 1 comfortably. David Frank's Elvis was forced to tack right shortly after the start. He judged the lay line perfectly, and while other boats crossed ahead Elvis just before the top mark, little did they realise that the tidal flow meant that they were going to over stand allowing Elvis to get back into the top 3 and then into second place for race 1.

Race 2: again upwind the left paid and Shaun Frohlich's Exabyte was leading around the track, but again Frank's Elvis was going to get involved, gybing first at the top mark from the mid fleet positions they found extra pressure in the partial surfing/planning conditions and by the bottom gate were in second place behind Frohlich who continued to lead again to the top mark. Then it was Exabyte who gybed first while Elvis continued on starboard and only gybed half way down the course along with the rest of the fleet. Unfortunately for Exabyte now the pressure was on the right from where Elvis took the lead, which she held for the short beat to the finish, leaving David Frank's Elvis leading the regatta with a 1,2 going into the last race.

By race 3, the gusts were getting stronger and more persistent, and with a forecast over 30 knots the committee did consider sending the fleet home, but as the sun was shining and the sea state was not worsening a 3 leg race was set. At the start 3 of the 9 boat fleet were over, Swedish Blue returned fairly quickly, while Elvis and David Kitchen sailing his new boat Lady Susan both failed to return, scoring them both 10 points, and costing Frank's his chance of winning the regatta.

Meanwhile, Razmilovic close to the end of the first beat had nearly caught the leaders, but a quick match racing session by the top mark with Mark Lees sailing Sumo slowed his progress, while Jeremy Thorp's Phan sailing fast working the wind shifts was drawing to the front of the fleet. By the end of the 2nd beat had taken the lead at the top mark from Sumo from where the fleet was sent home, with overall positions for the day: Jeremy Thorp first, Ante Razmilovic second and Shaun Frohlich third.

For the Cowes Fleet's league season results it was Shaun Frohlich first, David Franks second and Rob Goddard's Stampede third who also won the Corinthian league.

Sailing in Etchells for many of the fleet continues in Hong Kong and Miami over the winter, before racing starts again in Cowes next April.

Results:

1. 1351 Phan 7pts
2. HKG1333 Swedish Blue 8pts
3. 1352 Exabyte 12pts
4. 1354 Elvis 13pts
5. 1407 Ice 14pts
6. 1020/1035 Sumo 15pts
7. 1329 Stampede 22pts
8. 1353 Lady Susan 24pts
9. 1014 Palaver 25pts

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