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Ocean Elements 2018

XOD Wednesday Series at Royal Lymington Yacht Club - Race 6

by John Olliff-Cooper 6 Jun 08:58 BST 5 June 2019

Course:

A Hurst - Chewton Glen mark to starboard
E Pylewell mark to starboard
V Special mark (near Colten mark) to starboard
Finish at the Club line.
Tide a strong ebb.

Although at first sight this looked like a short course, it turned out to be just the right length, whilst providing any number of navigational opportunities to get right (or wrong).

The first matter to address was the start, and with the strong ebb tempting enthusiasts to be OCS it was a small miracle that the twenty-strong fleet got away first time. Barry Dunning in X176 Crumpet timed his charge perfectly, found a clear lane, then tacked at the edge of Fiddlers Race (which looked decidedly uninviting). At A, Crumpet led X5 Madcap sailed by Chris Torrens and his high-powered team, followed by a close gaggle that included X33, X140, X78, X48 and X87. Clean wind was in short supply as the fleet came in behind, charging down the tide.

And so the navigational and tactical decisions began. Events suggest that a dive for the shore, out of the tide, was the right way; but some chose the direct line (shorter, but bedevilled by adverse tide) and quite a few went up the middle, hoping for a miracle.

As the fleet passed the starting box X5 had managed to squeeze past X176, and X140, X32 and X48 there took the direct line for E mark: the right thing to do, with X78 and X87 having to go a VERY long way around them, as the turned to beat back to V, the new special mark. On that short beat, Rory Paton, sailing X48 'XL' turned on his afterburners to skid past X176, with only X5 ahead for the run back to the river. Having had to go the long way around inside boats at E, Jonathan Clarke in X78 also flew up that beat leg, called the lay-line to perfection, and rounded 4th.

The flat run from V to the river turning mark provided few opportunities, although X87 slipped past X32 (temporarily, as it turned out).

The broad reach up-river to the line provided the inevitable procession; the only minor event being an attempt by X87 to get past X33 to windward. A hopeless move that was easily countered, and which provided the perfect opportunity for X33 to slip past to leeward (hurumph!)

It was great sailing in about 15 knots of breeze.

Thus, they finished:

1st X5 Madcap Chris Torrens
2nd X48 'XL' Rory Paton
3rd X176 Crumpet Barry Dunning
4th X78 Fury Jonathan Clarke

Full series results can be found here.

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