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Bembridge Redwing & One-Design Late May Bank Holiday Racing

by Mike Samuelson 28 May 10:11 BST 25-27 May 2019

Having had no racing the previous weekend as there had been little or no wind, there were a lot of quite relieved Redwing & One-Design sailors when better conditions materialised for the late May Bank Holiday weekend.

Racing started on Friday evening with both classes competing for their Friday Evening Challenge Trophies. The four Redwings made a pretty reasonable start in the SW'erly F2-3 breeze from a laid line half way between Janson & Garland; with Pepe as the windward mark, they soon split tacks, albeit most went inshore. Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore in Snowgoose was first round and maintained the lead for the long run to Ruthven and the challenging beat (because of the ebbing tide) to Under Tyne. James & Jeremy Tate in Rosetta had a taste of second, but ended up in third place 30 seconds behind Becky Samuelson helming Toucan. Robin Ebsworth sailing Quintessence single handed was fourth. The four single-handed One Designs meanwhile had a close race with Jos Coad in No 8 leading James Beart in No 5 until they got to within striking distance of the finish line. Having both under estimated the effect of the tide, Mark Grzgroczyk in No 9 surprised them by coming in on the starboard lay line to finish 25 seconds ahead of James, with Jos 10 seconds later. Sophie Ross in No 11, having rigged with a genoa, was not far behind.

Sunshine and a F4 SW'erly on Saturday afternoon offered almost perfect conditions for the two programmed races for eleven Redwings and eight One-Designs. With the line set up at Janson, and insufficient water to risk using Pepe, Garland made a perfect windward mark for the first set of races.

Start of Redwing's Race 1

After an excellent start, the Redwings soon split tacks as they tried to work out the best one. Colin Samuelon in Toucan got it right and was first round with Jockey Wilson in Quail, Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore in Snow Goose, Andrew Eddy in Plover and John Raymond in Harlequin not far behind. On the long run to Ruthven, Quail took over the lead and never looked like giving it up as they beat back to Janson, ran back to Ruthven and then had a final beat back to the finish at Janson. Snow Goose finished second just over half a minute later; Harlequin was third, thirteen seconds later and Bruce Huber helming Quintessence, having caught up a lot on the shorter legs was fourth, ten seconds later. A bit lower down the fleet mere seconds separated Avocet, helmed by Michael MacInnes & Blue Jay II helmed by Chloe Crisp; also Andrew Eddy in Plover & Mike Toogood in Tara. Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II retired with gear failure.

The start of the first One-Design race was not one of their best with only a couple of boats any-where near the line. However things soon settled down as they tacked to Garland. William Bland in No 12 was first round, with James Beart in No 5 and Jos Coad (sailing single handed) in No 8 close behind. By the time they reached Janson again, Jos had taken the lead and held onto it for the rest of the race finishing well over a minute ahead of James with Sophie Ross in No 11 third only a second later. Robin Joy in No 10 was fourth just ahead of William in No 12.

The second Redwing race was for the Mercedes Trophy for 'lady helms' which meant that only half the fleet qualified! After an excellent start, they soon split tacks as they headed to Garland. Chloe in Blue Jay II was first round by a considerable margin and was never under much pressure for the rest of the race. However, it was by no means a procession and Alex Toogood in Tara took advantage of a slight mistake by Becky Samuelson in Toucan as she rounded the leeward mark, Moreton to take second, just under a minute ahead of Meri Benham in Paroquet. With the breeze picking up to 18 knots for a period half way through, it turned out to be quite a challenging race.

The second One-Design race saw a much better start with Norman Marshall in No 7 just getting away with his pin end start on port!

Start of One-Design Race 2

There was not much in it as they rounded Garland and made the long run to Moreton. On the homeward beat to Under Tyne, Jos in No 8 worked his way into an unassailable lead to made it two straight wins. It was nip & tuck as to who was going to fill the next two slots but in the end D Orange helming No 12 was second, two seconds ahead of Alexander Ross who was helming No 11. James Beart in No 5 was fourth.

Not as sunny after lunch on Sunday as the day before and the SW'erly breeze was a bit stronger (15-20 knots) so no single-handed racing was the order of the day and a number of Redwings stayed on their moorings. With the start line at Janson, the windward mark at Garland and Ruthven as the leeward mark, courses were very similar to the previous day for the seven Redwings and eight One-Designs racing. After a reasonable start the Redwings soon split tacks; Jockey Wilson in Quail and Oliver Nainby-Luxmoore in Snow Goose went off to the Seaview side of the course which paid off with Quail first to round Garland; however, Robin Ebsworth in Quintessence took over the lead on the run to Ruthven only to have both Quail and Snow Goose over take him on the beat back to Janson. At the finish after two more legs, Quail finished a minute and a half ahead of Snow Goose with Quintessence just under a minute later. With the breeze building to 21 knots at the start of their second much shorter race (from Janson to Garland, Fitzwilliam and Under Tyne), Jockey had to be content with coming second fifteen seconds behind Harlequin, helmed for this race by Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore. Quintessence, helmed by Mark Downer took third finishing just under half a minute ahead of Jeremy Tate in Rosetta.

Initially set the same course for their first race as the Redwings, the eight One-Designs enjoyed some close racing, finishing as they had done the previous day at Janson on an S-Flag after the first beat in from Ruthven. Jos Coad in No 8 with Tim Bonham & Tim Cotterell helping to keep the boat upright established an early lead and finished a minute and a half ahead of Alexander Ross & daughter Tash in No 11. Ashley McLucas with Willie Cobb in No 6 were third seven seconds later. With the breeze increasing, Nos 7, 9 and 12 decided that they had had enough so headed back to their moorings leaving the other five to battle it out on the same course as the Redwings. With Jos in No 8 not making the best of starts, Robin Joy & Hugh Doherty in No 10 were to front runners and finished just over half a minute ahead of Alexander & Tash in No 12 with Jos in No 8 third fifteen seconds later. For both fleets a good if not wet afternoon's racing.

There was slightly less breeze for the Bank Holiday Monday morning's race and with a hint of north, the start line was set up at Fitzwilliam with Drum as the first windward mark. After quite a tight start as Sea Breeze had drifted back on her anchor, the eight Redwings soon settled down with half heading inshore and the other half tacking onto port and staying out.

Start of the Redwing Race

As they closed on Drum it was clear that the inshore route had paid off. Jockey Wilson in Quail rounded first after 20 minutes with John Raymond in Harlequin and Olav Cole in Goose over half a minute later. They were followed by Mike Toogood in Tara with Bruce Huber crewing. On the long run to Moreton, the leaders went south of St Helens Fort and the rest went to the north. From Moreton they had an excellent beat back up to Garland; Quail remained ahead by at least half a minute but Tara moved up into second ahead of Harlequin & Goose. Although by no means a procession, the finishing order remained unchanged for the final two 'champagne sailing' legs (to Cochrane and back to Under Tyne). An excellent race that cemented Quail as the winner of the Gunston Trophy.

The eight One-Design's set off five minutes after the Redwings on a similar course except that the final leeward mark was Tara rather than Cochrane. With Sea Breeze continuing to move back off the line, the start was less than ideal, however, the decision was made to continue rather than AP and reset the anchor.

Start of the One-Design Race

In the event everyone got away cleanly with Norman Marshall, crewed by his wife Sarah in No 7 taking the lead after a successful port tack 'flyer'. The fleet soon began to spread out as they sought to find the favourable side of the course; Norman stayed well in and Jos Coad, crewed by Anna Row in No 8 lead a few of the others well out. The former paid off in spades and Norman was first round by a considerable margin. Ashley McLucas & Willie Cobb in No 6 were second round and Susie & Syd Beart in No 5 were third. The spread from first to last was 9 minutes as they headed to Moreton. Although there was not much in it, by the time they got to Garland, Ashley & Willie in No 6 had taken over the lead and managed to hold it to the finish at Under Tyne. Norman & Sarah in No 7 were second, Susie & Syd in No 5 were third, a second ahead of Sphie & Alexander Ross in No 11. Although he had to be content with coming in sixth, it was good enough for Jos in No 8 to win the Lowry Corry Cup for the weekend racing.

Additional photos at

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