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Royal Lymington Yacht Club XOD Saturday Series - Race 15

by Steve Adshead 5 Aug 09:37 BST 3 August 2019

Principal Race Officer Ken Hay and his team aboard Cheetah set a committee boat start to the east of Platform and a first leg to Dunford (B) in a light and variable south-westerly breeze.

With the spring tide already ebbing Astra (X63) and Clair de Lune (X33), fresh from another victorious Cowes Classics Week, made the best starts at the pin end of the line heading on starboard tack towards the channel, just able to clear the line with the benefit of the ebb tide.

Astra tacked off early expecting to be able to lay Dunford while Clair de Lune carried on further into tide and what proved to be stronger wind. Madcap (X5) made the same call behind Clair de Lune and those two rounded Dunford in first and second ahead of Astra who had to tack to make Dunford after the wind headed in the latter stages of the leg. Those three headed inshore to escape the strong ebb tide on the long broad reach to Tanners (G) with Clair de Lune going furthest inshore and Madcap hedging her bets midway.

Mersa (X34) rounded next having judged her tack for Dunford perfectly after recovering from a poor start when in the final countdown to the gun she had second thoughts and pulled out of a bold, and probably successful, port tack start. After rounding, Mersa headed straight for the next mark stemming the tide with Annex (X8) and XL (X48) not far behind as the fleet bunched up in the adverse tide and light wind, all spurning the leaders' inshore route.

For a while it looked like either route would prosper, but with the wind filling in and backing to the south south-east forecast from the start it was Mersa whose decision was vindicated and she made the most gains by the time the fleet reached Jack in the Basket and the infamous High Season Exclusion Zone. However, Madcap's middling course was still enough to bring her into the lead just ahead of Mersa followed by Annex and XL while Clair de Lune and Astra only just managed to climb up from their ill fated inshore venture to clear Jack in the Basket and the exclusion zone without tacking.

The variable wind speed and direction kept Madcap on her toes with Mersa in hot pursuit until she rounded Tanners when the ebbing spring tide in full flood made the rest of the race a formality, with a reach to Berthon and then a run to a shortened finish at the Platform. Clair de Lune and Astra salvaged third and fourth, respectively, ahead of Annex and Persephone (X92) who stormed up the fleet making impressive gains on the leg to Tanners.

Race 15 Results: (top six)

1st X5 Madcap, Chris Torrens
2ndX34 Mersa, Eric Williams
3rdX33 Clair de Lune, Max Crowe
4thX63 Astra, Steve Adshead
5thX8 Annex, John Morrow
6thX92 Persephone, Richard Field

Full race and series results can be found here.

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