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Bembridge Redwing Mackinnon and Chetwood Trophies and Bembridge One-Design Margetson Trophy

by Mike Samuelson 29 Jul 13:11 BST 26-28 July 2019

Other than the sun hiding behind the clouds on Friday evening, conditions were almost perfect with a steady SW'erly F4 breeze for the seven Redwings and two One-Designs who wanted to race.

After a brief discussion it was agreed that although the One-Designs would follow a slightly shorter course (Fitzwilliam rather than Moreton), both fleets would start together off a line half way between Garland and Under Tyne. After a pretty good start, the Redwings quickly split tacks as they headed for Pepe.

Jockey Wilson in Quail (30) was first round with the Nainby-Luxmoore's in Snowgoose (5) and McCue's in Musicus (47) not far behind. On the long run to Moreton there was quite a spread north & south of the rumb line as the chasing boats tried to catch up. Snowgoose was first round and held the lead briefly on the beat back to Under Tyne, however Quail soon powered back into the lead and finished twenty seconds ahead; Musicus was third about half a minute later.

In the meantime guest helm Charles in No 5 One-Design with Syd reminding him where the buoys were rounded Pepe just ahead of Sophie Ross in No 11 on the beat to Pepe; however she did really well sailing single-handed and was never that far off the pace and had she been able to get her jib polled out a bit sooner on the run to Fitz, it might have been a different story. Pity there were not more takers!

There were seventeen Redwings out on Saturday afternoon (the largest fleet so far this season), so it was a bit disappointing that the initial F3 NWesterly breeze did not hold up and the first race had to be shortened to just one round. With the start line at Fitzwilliam and Derrick the windward mark, they got away to a clean start and it was not long before the fleet spread on different tacks as they tried to find the best of the breeze. Matt Alexander in Harlequin (18) and Colin Samuelson in Toucan (11) were never very far apart; indeed for much of the race were neck and neck with places changing more than once.

However in the end Harlequin crossed the finish line at Janson less than half a boat length in front. Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II (24) was third just over a minute later and Jockey Wilson in Quail (30) was fourth a similar distance behind. Nine boats then lined up for the Chetwood Cup (under 30s), however sadly although they managed to round Derrick with Toucan helmed by David Phillips well ahead, none of them made it to Tara so the race was abandoned and boats were towed back to their moorings.

Although there were five One-Designs racing for the Margetson Trophy, only the Mathieson's (Helen & Katie) in No 1 actually qualified as a 'family pair' so unsurprisingly ended up the overall winners! Set a shorter first race with Britten as the windward mark, the timings worked well and the two fleets intermingled as they rounded the leeward mark, Fitzwilliam. In the first race Hugh Doherty in No 10 came in nearly a minute ahead of the Beart's in No 5. Charles Abel Smith helming No 7 was third a couple of minutes later.

With a shorter beat to a laid inflatable for their second race, they all made Tara, were the race was shortened, before the breeze dropped off completely; Hugh in No 10 was first there with No 1 (helmed by Katie) second and No 11 helmed by Jacs Cottrell third.

Sunday afternoon's forecast for sunshine and a F4 gusting F5 South Westerly was pretty spot on so some excellent racing was very much on the cards. Two races were programmed; the first was the second race for the Mackinnon Trophy and the second race was for the Crew Trophy. Starting off Fitzwilliam with Garland as the first windward mark, fourteen Redwings jostled for the prime spot on the line.

Unluckily for Matt Alexander in Harlequin, he not only overcooked it but he also failed to pick up the calls on Ch 77 that he was OCS until at least a couple of minutes after the start when he spotted the X Flag was still displayed.

The fleet was surprisingly spread out by the time they reached Garland; Jockey Wilson in Quail led the way and remained out in front for the rest of the race. Indeed was almost a minute ahead of David in Musicus. Colin in Toucan was third half a minute later. Although no doubt there were a few words afterwards in the bar following an 'interesting' incident right on the finish line between Nick Wakefield in Bizarre (35) and Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore in Snow Goose (5), the race sheets reflects Bizarre finishing in fifth, inches ahead of Snow Goose. Overall this meant Quail won the Mackinnon Trophy on a count back with Toucan.

Although a few more boats were expected to join in, six Redwings stayed on the Crew race. After an excellent start by most, Amanda Bunbury helming Harlequin (18) rounded Garland in front and held onto the lead for the majority of the race but was then caught out by the windshifts on the final challenging beat in from Ruthven to Under Tyne.

Ed Butler, helming Quail (30) (his first time helming a Redwing!) managed to work the shifts better and took over as the boat to beat, holding off Peter Harvey in Toucan (11) to finish just under half a minute ahead and therefore win the Crew Trophy. An excellent race in quite challenging conditions.

Earlier in the day, a number of One-Designs headed off to Cowes for Cowes Classic Week that starts tomorrow. Although not programmed, three boats who were not racing at Cowes asked if they could have a couple of local races. Initially following the same course as the Redwings, a change of course was set up so as to minimise any risk of a clash with the Redwings. The only slight problem was that No 3, helmed by Andrew Palmer, which was in the lead, did not have a radio so was a bit confused about the course change and requirement to self-finish!

The Beart's in No 5 almost caught them at the finish, but subsequently admitted that they had hit (albeit minimally) No 3 as they were rounding the finishing mark, Under Tyne. The Ross's in No 11 looked as though they were going to be well ahead in the second race after a port tack flyer at the pin end of the start line. However, by the time they had run to Ruthven and then beat back to Under Tyne, it was the Beart's in No 5 who finished just under thirty seconds ahead of the Palmer's in No 3.

It's the Bembridge Village Regatta next Saturday morning and the Bembridge SC Keelboat Regatta on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Additional photos can be seen at flic.kr/s/aHsmFzepYs

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