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Bembridge One-Design Easter Weekend 2019 - The Oppenheim Trophy

by Mike Samuelson 23 Apr 06:56 BST 19-20 April 2019
Bembridge One-Design Easter Weekend 2019 © Mike Samuelson

Although the lovely sunny weather over the Easter Weekend was perfect for many sports, the paucity of wind limited the number of races that the Bembridge One-Designs were able to complete in their opening series of the 2019 season (the Oppenheim Trophy).

On Friday morning, eight boats, having decided to go for normal jibs, initially struggled to make it from their temporary mooring in front of the Redwing Quay to the start line off Silver Beach. However progress improved after they agreed to change up to genoas. With two races programmed and only a very light breeze, the course for the first race was kept very simple - Nainby to starboard and Under Tyne to port. Everyone made the start in reasonable order although Simon Alloca in No1 found himself stuck down to leeward in everyone else's dirty wind.

Start of Race 1 Friday

The fleet soon split tacks as they searched for the breeze and Charles Abel Smith crewed by Dominic Powell in No 6 was first, by quite a bit, to round Nainby. However, with the rest of the fleet all round quite close together and what little breeze there was backing further to the West, the finishing order at Under Tyne was anybody's guess. In the event, No 11, with Jac Cottrell helming her first One-Design race, found a few elusive zyphers and with Jonathan N-L providing the tactical advice, crossed the line over a minute ahead of Jos Coad & Maya Kemp in No 8. Charles Evans & Hugh Doherty looked as if they were going to take third but ended up drifting onto the Committee Boat; as did William Bland & D Orange in No 12 and Charles & Dominic in No 6! This meant that Norman Marshall with his wife Sarah crewing in No 7 was third and Sophie Ross & husband Alexander in No 4 were fourth. With little sign of the breeze returning, everyone sensibly headed to the Under Tyne moorings and de-rigged.

With the boats moored at Under Tyne overnight and with Saturday's breeze from the North, the obvious course for the One-Designs was a simple windward/leeward course from Under Tyne to Janson and back. Although the programme was for two races, there was a slight misunderstanding and so they just had the one race with two rounds. The first boat (No 11) round the first mark took 16 minutes and completed the first round in 35 minutes. With the breeze dropping off and the tide starting to ebb to the East, No 8 helmed by Antonia Row who was second at the start of the second round managed to work herself into pole position by the finish and crossed the line just over 30 seconds ahead of No 11. Alexander Ross & Norman Marshall in No 4 were third a minute later.

Commitments on Easter Day inevitably saw a reduced number of boats getting ready to race on a beautifully warm sunny Sunday morning. Sadly though for the five crews who had wanted to race, the breeze, or lack of, put paid to any racing and the crews returned back into the harbour without having left their moorings.

Monday morning looked a bit more promising, however sadly the East South Easterly breeze remained elusive and racing was again cancelled and all the boats were subsequently towed back into the harbour.

With only two out of six races completed, the trophy was won by No 8 with a second & a first with No 11 (first & a second) the runner up.

No racing next weekend; the weekend after is the early May Bank holiday with five races programmed for the Woodroffe Bowl.

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