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Bembridge Redwing & One-Design Weekend Club Racing

by Mike Samuelson 13 May 12:21 BST 10-12 May 2019
Racing on 10th May 2019 in the Solent © Mike Samuelson

Nice breezes and sunshine made for some champagne sailing over the weekend. With only two Redwings and two One-Designs turning up to race on Friday evening, it was decided to start them together from a laid inflatable to the south of Janson.

All made good starts with Philip Bown helming No 21 Redwing just to windward of Jim Conybeare-Cross helming No 37 Gannet, and Jos Coad in No 8 One-Design in a similar position to Hugh Doherty (hot foot from having been in the US all week) in No 10.

Both pairs stayed on starboard for five minutes or so before tacking inshore as they made for Tara. Redwing was first round a few boats lengths ahead of Gannet, while No 8 was rather further ahead of No 10. On the run to Britten, both Redwing & No 8 extended their leads so it became a bit of a procession; however it was such a nice evening it was decided to let the Redwings complete the full course (Under Tyne, Footprint, Under Tyne) but to finish the One-Designs as they rounded Under Tyne first time. Philip in Redwing crossed the line four minutes ahead, with Jos three minutes ahead of Hugh.

A pleasant NNW'erly F3 (12-15 knots) breeze on Saturday afternoon promised good racing in the sunshine for six Redwings and four One-Designs. The start line was at Under Tyne with Drum as the windward mark and Tara as a leeward mark for the Redwings, and an inflatable for the One-Designs to give them a slightly shorter run, twice round for both classes, finishing at Under Tyne.

A very competitive start saw four Redwings over the line, allowing clean starters Andrew Eddy in Plover and Mike Toogood in Tara to get away somewhat. The beat up to Drum saw those who chose the right side of the course benefit from some west-going tide. Positions were maintained on the run, but with the wind fading, the RO team shortened to one round. Andrew in Plover was first home, followed by Colin Samuelson in Toucan and Mike in Tara.

The four One-Designs split into two pairs at their start, with Mark Grzgorczyk in No 9 leading Ollie Joy in No 10 on starboard inshore towards the harbour and Jos Coad in No 8 and new One-Design sailors Tim & Nics Cotterell in No 11 heading offshore on port. The latter choice paid off, and Jos led at Drum by a large margin and was never caught. Ollie passed Mark (who only had his tiny storm jib aboard) for second place. At the end of race 1 the wind veered almost 180 degrees and dropped to 2 knots, and with no signs of improvement the decision was made to call it a day. Naturally enough, 5 minutes later a steady 12 knot breeze from the North reappeared!

Conditions were nearly perfect for the three Redwings that raced on Sunday afternoon. Bright sunshine, and a steady 12 knots from the SSE. Although only one race programmed, everyone agreed that it was too nice not to have two. Both started from Fitzwilliam. The first race was a simple windward/leeward course, up to Cochrane, a run to Janson and back through the line, twice round. Everyone made an excellent start and Jonathan Nainby-Luxmore in Snowgoose led by a whisker from Mike Toogood in Tara and Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II at the windward mark. The order remained unchanged on the run and second beat, with Jonathan a minute ahead at the finish of the shortened race. Mike took second from Jo by a boat's length. Enough though to secure Tara the weekend's trophy - 'Lt Col Stanley's Inkwell'.

The second race was a bit of a zig-zag from Fitzwilliam to Tara, Janson, Under Tyne and Derrick, with the finish near the harbour at Garland. Joe in Red Gauntlet II led at the first mark, with all three boats very close to each other for the run and second beat. On the longer run from Under Tyne to Derrick, Jonathan's angles worked well, and he opened up a lead which he maintained for the final beat to Garland. Again Mike took second with Joe snapping on his heels. Sadly, as conditions were so nice, there were no One-Designs racing.

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