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Crouch Yacht Club Autumn Series - Race 7: Peter Cashel Memorial Trophy

by Sally Harbott 13 Nov 2017 05:57 GMT 12 November 2017

Before racing on Sunday, the entire Crouch Yacht Club fleet picked up moorings off Burnham War Memorial and along with Burnham Rowers, the RCYC Dragon Fleet and other yacht owners, observing the two minutes silence afloat.

The seventh race in the CYC Autumn Series not only counts for class points, but all boats race together for the Peter Cashel Memorial Trophy on local handicap. The wind was a strong North Westerly and with the tide ebbing, the fleet were sent up river to Raypits, a mark half way between Canewdon and Short Pole Reach.

At the start, many of the fleet were very close to the line. Digger Harden and Pete Jackson's Glorious Fools were OCS just ahead of Grace and Danger, the SJ27, and Tifarno, Ant Law's Folk boat. Mantra the Aphrodite 101 with one reef in were just behind, to leeward of Tifarno and Glorious Fools, with Stephen Gosling in Grace and Danger just ahead but to leeward. Double Trouble, Jeannie and Thistle were just a little off this front pack. Sapphire had joined the fleet for the silence, but motored in to the Yacht Harbour before the starting sequence.

The fleet had a beat up to Cliff in choppy water. With a reef and a semi furled headsail, Jeannie, John Saunders Elan 31 couldn't point, and found the conditions hard going, retiring before Number 15. Digger Harden in the J80 who had failed to return to clear the line, led the fleet at the start of the beat, with Duncan Haley's Corby 29 Double Trouble following. Mark Lyons, the Class Three leader was next on the water, with Mantra unable to get in clear air to get ahead. Grace and Danger, Tifarno, and the Jaguar 21 Thistle owned by Alan Hanna followed. Some very strong gusts hit the fleet on the beat and fetch from Cliff, and some boats suffered broaches, and were knocked flat in the heavier of these.

Duncan Haley rounded Raypits first, and chose not to set a spinnaker at all. Glorious Fools followed, put their kite up straight away, suffering a large broach. They gybed to the other shore, but again had a big broach, and consequently dropped their kite until the last leg home. Glorious Fools got to the line first, but were not hooted in, and the Corby under white sails came down a little way behind. Martinique had rounded Raypits next, and hoisted a spinnaker at Number 15, coming down quickly to the line.

The tender Aphrodite 101 also opted not to set a spinnaker and came down river very quickly under white sails, having shaken out their reef at Black Point. Tifarno, the Folk Boat were next to approach the finish line, looking very comfortable under spinnaker. They were well up on corrected time, but just at the town end of Essex Marina lost a spinnaker sheet, losing valuable time, and taking some time to collect the kite and be able to drop it. Hence, they finished bare headed, and lost vital minutes against the higher rated boats.

They were not the ones to suffer sail issues on the race, with Grace and Danger having to finish under just a headsail, having blown out their mainsail during the latter stages of the race. Thistle were coming down well, but near Number 13 were hit by a big squall and had to retire.

Overall for the Peter Cashel Memorial Trophy Double Trouble won, with Mark Lyons' Martinique second and Mantra third. Tifarno finished in fourth, with Grace and Danger fifth. In Class One, Mantra and Glorious Fools still have all to play for next week, and Grace and Danger are leading Class Three overall. The trophy was presented by Russ Cashel after Brenda Cashel had spoken about Remembrance. Next week is the final race in the series with prize giving and lunch in the club house afterwards.

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