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Vaikobi 2021 Boots - LEADERBOARD

Shearwater TT Round 5 at Stokes Bay Sailing Club

by Sam Vaughan 6 Sep 2019 07:29 BST 31 August - 1 September 2019
Prize winners in the Shearwater TT at Stokes Bay © Sam Vaughan

A slightly depleted Shearwater fleet arrived at Stokes Bay Sailing Club for the penultimate TT of the 2019 series, with plenty of places up for grabs in the standings all was to play for.

With anticipation of a breezy day at fever pitch, the massed fleet were slightly disappointed when they launched with a 12-16knot breeze. It defiantly was windier on the beach. Race 1 got away with full wind against tide, and the standard Solent chop providing a challenge. Nigel & Sarah Stuart sailing Crowns lead up the first beat with Jessabelle (Mark Norman & Rob Britton) in hot pursuit, Foreigner (Alex Wilcox & Elias Woodward) were battling hard with Carbon Footprint (Shaun & Alex Allen) for third. Downwind the boat were playing the shifts in an effort to dodge the tide make some gains. On the final lap Crowns extended their lead to win with Jessabelle in second.

Race 2, the breeze had built with gusts into the 20s, the sea state was even more confused, however the fleet had started to work out how best to deal with the conditions. The majority of the fleet went offshore looking for a the more favourable tide, Jessabelle elected to go closer to the beach and they came out on top after fairing better with a softer sea state. The downwind was exciting, and fast, with lots of surfing of the chop and plenty of exciting gybes. The second beat was as fast paced as the first, with an ever exciting bear away. All boats made it around, except Foreigner who went full bows down pitchpole. Alex & Elias survived as did Foreigner! Jessabelle came in first with Crowns second.

Race 3 on Sunday got underway with even more tide than the first two races of Saturday. A slight bias on the port end of the line gave the opportunity for a verity of starting strategies. Some boats started on port lost out to Jessabelle who started at the committee boat and tacked early and lead up the beat, down the run repeated this three times to win by a fair distance from Crowns. Carbon Footprint rounded out the podium.

Race 4, with boats ganging at the committee boat learning from Race 3. Some were OCS and one of these was Jessabelle. The fleet went left and after restarting Jessabelle went right and were a long way ahead, annoyingly at the windward mark. The fleet pursued and Crowns came to the front to challenge Jessabelle with Foreigner not far behind. On the second lap the fleet closed up and Jessabelle managed to stay ahead the battle was on for second and this was a battle that Crowns were not going to lose. And like many times this year they did not lose out and held out for second.

Race 5 was more of the same, a bit more breeze the fleet all went up the beach and many tacks were used to dodge the sea state and find more favourable tide. Carbon Footprint sailed a really great race and led by a long way extending on every leg. On the final lap the breeze finally came in and both trapezes were finally utilised! Crowns were in second and Jessabelle in third. With Carbon Footprint a long way out in the lead they held out for the win.

Jessabelle took the top spot on the podium followed by Crowns and Carbon Footprint in third. Thanks must go to Stokes Bay Sailing Club for a great weekend.

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