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Crouch Yacht Club Autumn Series - Race 2

by Sally Harbott 15 Oct 22:36 BST 14 October 2018
Fleet racing to the finish - Crouch YC Autumn Series race 2 © Alan Hanna

The second race in the eight-race series took place today from the Burnham Sailing Club. The wind was slowly building from the North, leaving the town shore in the lee of the wind, and the last of the ebb flowed for the first part of the race.

Ten boats started on the grey morning, and as the gun went, Andy Heel in Bella Vela was closest to the line, under a boat length away fully powered up with the rest of the fleet a way behind. John Saunders in Jeannie the Elan 31 was furthest up to weather on the North Shore and soon over hauled Bella Vela. Exile were at the front of the chasing pack, with Lucy Lee to leeward and slightly behind Phillip Harbott in his Aphrodite 101 Mantra and Richard Keam George in Lucy Lee quickly got through the 101 to leeward.

As the fleet headed up river, Traigh, Dan Tribe's UFO 31 helmed by Dylan McPherson, on the South Shore caught up with Andy Heel and soon got through him. Mantra were in the main pack which also included Skullduggery, the MG34 owned by Don Rawling out for his first race in the series ahead of her, Lucy Lee and Misled.

Near to Creeksea Richard Moore in Ophelia came roaring up behind Mantra, who were in the lee of the trees, and on the stronger breeze got to within three boat lengths of the higher rated boat. Exile, Paul Trueman's X37 got up to the front, with Jeannie second, Lucy Lee and Skullduggery following. A navigation error by Exile led to Jeannie leading from 15 as Exile came back to pass the mark to starboard.

The course then took the fleet up to Cliff and Exile, the highest rated boat in the fleet were back in the lead on the water, with Jeannie and Lucy Lee both closely following him. On rounding Canewdon, the fleet headed back to Cliff before doing a quick loop around Bridgemarsh and Glaze. As the boats headed down river Lucy Lee went aground at Black Point allowing Jeannie, Skullduggery and Mantra to get through her to windward. Mantra hoisted her white AP and sailed over Skullduggery as the crew of the MG34 were getting their kite set.

Both yachts flying their spinnakers got through Jeannie and stayed ahead on the water for the remainder of the race. Misled, helmed by Digger Harden, owned by Richard Oram also set her kite and Grace and Danger, the SJ27 owned by Andrew Courts and Stephen Gosling and helmed by George Clarke followed suit and set their red and white kite.

Going round Number 9 to head up to Number 13, Jeannie stayed for a long time out of the tide on the North Shore, as had Exile. Mantra and Skullduggery headed across the river earlier to hold their kites longer against the foul tide. Lucy Lee were fifth to round, with Misled, Ophelia, Grace and Danger and Traigh close to the leading group.

The lowest rated boat, Bella Vela was a little way off suffering as the wind eased up. The fleet came down to finish with Paul Trueman taking line honours in Exile, Mantra under her red asymmetric second, Skullduggery third to finish with Jeannie very close behind the higher rated MG.

In the overall local handicap class Mantra won by just over a minute from Jeannie with Skullduggery two minutes behind in third. Richards Moore in Ophelia was a minute behind third on corrected time with Grace and Danger just three seconds behind her in fifth.

On corrected time in the IRC division, Mantra won with Skullduggery second four minutes adrift of the win. Grace and Danger were just 18 seconds off Don Rawling to take third.

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