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Bembridge Redwing Curlew Cup & One-Design Coad Trophy

by Mike Samuelson 15 Jul 11:45 BST 13-14 July 2019

Fortunately the tides were such that the Redwing & One-Design racing over the weekend had been programmed for the morning which meant that everyone was back ashore in plenty of time for Wimbledon, Lords & Silverstone!

The plan was for two 'shorter' races on Saturday and one 'shortish' race on Sunday, although in the event the two races on Saturday were over an hour each and the one on Sunday about 50 minutes, however no one seemed to mind! Saturday's starts used an inflatable buoy about 300 metres north of Under Tyne (E) as the pin. In the first race, the nine Redwings found it was quite tight to make the pin on starboard and those who hung back off the line struggled as the breeze flicked left & right.

Redwing Race 1 Start - Saturday

The fleet soon split on the long beat northwards to Derrick (K). Colin Samuelson in Toucan (11) remained on starboard and went almost to Priory Bay before tacking onto port which definitely paid off as he rounded windward mark in front. Meri Benham in Paroquet (1) was second round and Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II was third. It was certainly not a procession on the run back to Under Tyne, as everyone tried to find the stronger breeze pressure. With time running on, it was decided to change the course to speed things up by substituting Britten (B) for Derrick as the windward mark. Toucan again went left and again it paid off and she finished nearly a minute and a half ahead of Red Gauntlet II who had moved into second place and crossed the line about 30 seconds ahead of Paroquet. Henry & Rod Thorpe in Redwytch (113) were fourth.

After a quick turn around, and set the same course as the first race, it was interesting to see who changed their tactics. The eventual winner, Colin in Toucan didn't which perhaps says it all! Mind you it was by no means quite as straight forward as the previous race as the NNWesterly F2/3 breeze flicked around. Avocet (2), helmed by Alastair Speare-Cole had an excellent race until the final short beat from the leeward mark (E) to the line when it all went wrong and he finally crossed the finish line in fifth place one second behind Joe in Red Gauntlet II. By that time, Toucan had moved into the lead and the big question was who had spotted the major lift to the line first between Mike Toogood in Tara (20) and the Thorpe's in Redwytch. Having looked to having it nailed, Redwytch was thwarted in the last few metres when Tara shot the line to finish a mere inch or two ahead.

The eight One-Designs had similar problems on the tight line at the start of their first race albeit at least three of them spotted the advantage of starting on port and then switching back to starboard once they were clear.

One-Design Race 1 Start - Saturday

With Britten rather that Derrick as their windward mark, they obviously did not have so far to go so it was quite surprising that apart from the leaders, No 10, helmed by Robin Joy and No 11 helmed by Alexander Ross, they were well spread as they goosewinged down to the leeward mark. Unfortunately for Alexander though, he obviously had a 'senior moment' and rounded the pin rather heading on past to E; having corrected himself he ended up in the middle of the fleet. On the second round, Mark Grzegoczyk in No 9 became the boat to beat with Susie Beart in No 5 moving up into second ahead of No 10.

Despite a group of PWCs passing the opposite was through the line just at the start, most of the fleet decided to tack onto port in the hopes of benefiting from the tide that was still going to the west. Susie in No 5 and Robin in No 10 rounded Britten ahead of the rest and by the time she came down to the leeward mark for the final time, victory looked certain, however never one for giving up the fight, Robin in No 10 spotted a huge lift and was able to make the line in one tack to win by 45 seconds. Mark in No 9 was third.

With most of the boats moored at Under Tyne over night and with the F2-3 breeze now from the East, Under Tyne (E) was the obvious buoy to use as the pin for Sunday's race. With probably a bit too much bias at the Committee Boat end, the start of the Redwings was certainly interesting with a number of boats being 'shut out' and quite a lot of bumping and boring as the rest jockeyed for the best position. Mind you probably not helped by one of the One-Designs finding themselves caught up in the melee!

Start of the Redwing Race

After a testing beat to Moreton with the fleet equally split either side of the course, Jim Conybeare-Cross in Gannet was first round just ahead of Henry Thorpe in Redwytch and Colin Samuelson in Toucan close behind. On the long slow run to Garland the front three went down the right side of the course to catch to best of the tide. With the time ticking past and a target time of an hour's race, a windward inflatable was quickly laid well short of the original second windward mark, Fitzwilliam. Mind you no sooner had the course change been announced the breeze got up again, but there were no complaints, particularly the Thorpe's in Redwytch who finished twenty seconds ahead of Toucan with Mike Toogood in Tara picking up a third. This meant that with two firsts and a second, Toucan won the weekend's Curling Cup.

After a pretty sedate start, the five One-Designs (with genoas rigged) made good progress to Moreton along a variety of tracks. Mark in No 9 rounded well ahead of Alexander in No 11 and Hugh in No 10. The run down to Garland was a bit of a procession however things got a bit more interesting on the short beat to the inflatable windward mark and back to the finish at Garland. Although Mark maintained his lead and finished just under a minute ahead, second place went to Tim & Hessie Bonham in No 2 with Hugh in No 10 third twenty seconds later. This meant that over the two weekends aggregate, the winner of the Coad Trophy is No 10 (Joy/Doherty); No 5 (Susie Beart) was second and No 9 (Stanley/Grzegorczyk) was third.

Its the 'all member' J70 weekend next weekend; in parallel, the Redwing & One-Designs have a joint start for the their annual long distance race for the Zanen Trophy on Saturday.

Additional photos at flic.kr/s/aHsmF7Btfj

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