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Zhik 2021 Dec Choice of Champions LEADERBOARD

OGA East Coast Race 2015

by Sarah Adie 11 Aug 2015 21:43 BST 18 July 2015

A view from the crew of 'Transcur', a smack competing in the race

It always seems such a privilege to be invited to sail the smack 'Transcur' so I was delighted to rush back from Shetland just in time to step aboard for the East Coast Race on 18th July. Conditions were perfect as we made our way out of the Brightlingsea creek for our 8.15 am start with the sun already warm on our backs.

I like to think I add to the tension before the start by relating the count down from my watch, but I spoiled that one year by doing a perfect count down to what turned out to be our 5-minute gun. I don't think anyone listens to me anymore but I do the countdown anyway.

Brightlingsea is such a great place to start a race - the smacks creep up so close to the East Mersea shingle it looks like the crew could step ashore. It's difficult to imagine how much depth there must be to sail so close in there. Later on it was a different matter for 'Sheila' and an East Coast One Design. They both got away eventually but it must have been very frustrating.

We were seven crew on board 'Transcur', so I elected to be photographer (with OGA competition in mind). The course gave plenty of opportunity to line up the perfect shot of the faster boats coming back, or the slower boats once we had turned. Perhaps just a tiny touch more wind would have made them even more dramatic, but I was glad not to have to struggle with any of the gear.

With a 20 mile course, there was plenty of time to remember how to do the various jobs on board (running backstays a favourite), plus a little time out on the foredeck listening to the water frothing and gurgling as we ploughed through at 7 knots. That is definitely the most exciting place to be, both for sound and for the whole thrill of the smack.

There's something about the cutter rig – whether it's the power-to-weight ratio as Pete says; or the driving force of the jib at the end of a huge bowsprit – either way, it's a massive thrill. As I said earlier, a huge privilege, so thank you to the owners.

In the end Roy Hart trounced all the big boats with a splendid performance in his Memory 'Greensleeves' to win the Stone Trophy and the OGA Pennant, donated by James Lawrence Sailmakers. Roy is Commodore for the next 12 months.

Gaffer results [PDF]
Bermudan results [PDF]