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Plymouth Regatta 2018 - IRC Fleets

by Sam Marshall 31 Jul 2018 10:19 BST 13-15 July 2018
IRC fleets at the Plymouth Regatta © Tom Gruitt /

IRC 1 report by Team Bandit

The fleet woke to a gloriously sunny Saturday morning albeit with no breeze and after a briefing with the PRO it was decided that IRC would be split into two fleets and the fleets would wait for the breeze in the sound.

After a short wait the breeze filled in to around 10kts and a windward leeward course was set. A little pin bias for race one saw the fleet fairly evenly spread down the line but towards the pin. Some near perfect conditions saw a close first race with the top three boats finishing within 50 seconds of each other. Alfresco sailed well to claim first blood, with Musk Ox second and Bandit third.

The start of race 2 was just as competitive although a little less shouting – some close but respectful positioning saw another clean and competitive start with the crew of Bandit out-pointing the fleet to win the start. Some good boat handling and gybe-sets saw the little blue boat from Dartmouth claim the second race.

With the breeze increasing to 14kts headsails were being changed and rigs adjusted leaving a tight timeframe for sarnies and hydration. Race 3 and 4 were both four lap races which appeared to challenge the visitors counting ability with the question of 'is there really another lap' being broadcast over the radio! The increased breeze and short four lap courses proved to be a physical and mental challenge of maintaining concentration, hiking efforts and boat handling which slightly benefited the bigger heavier boats. These races saw a mix up of results again with Alfresco claiming the 3rd race and Musk Ox claiming the last race of the day. The rest of the fleet started to see a more consistent series of results and a split in the fleet started to emerge.

Final standing of day 1 saw Alfresco lead with 6.75, Bandit with 7.75 and Musk Ox with 8.75.

A good party on Saturday evening was sure to enhance the performance of the crews for Sunday and a good evening was had by all. The event organisers did a great job in keeping the fleet entertained and supporting the local economy!

Sunday saw a very similar start to the day with the fleet heading out with no on-shore postponement. Racing started on time in around 4-6 kts of breeze. Due to the light conditions (and a little whining from some crews) races were kept short and thankfully no four-lappers! Alfresco had a great start to race 5 and launched off the line with pace beneath Bandit and went on to control the race. Xtorsion8 seemed to find their pace in the light conditions beating Rumour and Jamala to consistent 4th places over the next three races.

Race 6 saw a great start From Bandit and pinned Alfresco out preventing them from tacking and clearing the fleet which allowed Bandit to control the early part of the race and go on to win. With Musk Ox securing two third places in the fifth and sixth it was looking like a two-horse race going into the final start of the series.

Another great start saw a similar race unfold with Bandit controlling the early phases, the slightly lighter conditions benefiting the small boat – Alfresco could not get away and stretch her legs. Two short laps and a race of less than 40 minutes lead to a convincing win for the blue boat of over a minute and 40 seconds.

As always with IRC, while estimates of finishing times and corrected times can be made it is difficult to know exactly, especially when the races were so tight. The top two boats knew it was tight with one thinking the other had claimed it. At the daily prize giving, the knowledge that Bandit had won the second race of the day was enough to secure the overall win on count-back due to finishing on tied points but Bandit winning the last race of the day. It really was a tight series!

Team Bandit would like to thank the Event organisers, race management and sponsors for a cracking regatta. Also, a special thanks to our own sponsor Atwell Martin estate agents.

IRC 2 report by Imelda's crew

Plymouth Regatta saw some extremely close racing for the IRC2 fleet. Saturday involved four quick round the can races. Antix, an X302, loved the favourable 12 knots of wind and was leading the regatta on Saturday night with three wins. On his tail was Rob Boalch's Imelda, an Impala 28, and Neil Trathen's Laser 28 Elusive. It was a beautiful sunny day and everyone enjoyed the close racing and tight results.

The following day saw lighter winds and it proved a successful day for BOB, a modified 707. They flew in the light airs to be rewarded with two wins out of the three races. This split the fleet but Imelda was by far the most consistent boat. Imelda was the winning boat of the regatta, with Antix in second place and Bob in third place.

It was a fantastic event with close racing, sunny weather and a great atmosphere.

Overall Regatta Results:

Our thanks go to all the race officers, Sean Semmens, Dave Curno and Mike Pearson, and the line crews and volunteers, without whom the event would not be able to run and to our sponsors and partners, Cattewater Harbour Commissioners, Ancasta Yacht Sales, Plymouth Yacht Haven, The Treasury Plymouth, Dart Sails and Covers, Freshwave, Mount Batten Boathouse and Tom Gruitt Photography, for their generous support. See you next year!

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