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MOCRA Bembridge Regatta 2019, incorporating the Diam 24OD Nationals

by Mike Samuelson 9 Sep 07:14 BST 7-8 September 2019

Although at one stage it looked as if there were not going to be enough entries to make the Regatta viable, in the end the six boats that did make it Bembridge for the weekend enjoyed some excellent racing, particularly on Saturday. It was just a bit sad that there were not more of MOCRA there to enjoy it! For the Diam 24ods, it was their National Championship as they had had their originally programmed races 'weathered' off earlier in the summer.

With the normal three races to fit in on Saturday the three MOCRA boats went off first in the NNWesterly F3 to F4 breeze with Sanity, Nigel Talbot's new F82R perfectly placed when the hooter went.

Start of MOCRA Race 1:

However it was not long before Simon Forbes helming Nick Barlow's Kittiwake took over the lead and never really looked back. Sanity made up a bit of ground on the second round and although they trailed Kittiwake by six minutes at the finish, it was good enough to put them first on corrected average lap time by just over half a minute. The three Diams had the same course and although Piers Hugh Smith in Raygun Racing had a bit of catching up after Phil Cotton in Buzz Fluid Boat Systems and Jon Hutchings in 3 Wise Monkeys made perfect starts, he did this in spades and managed to develop a huge lead which put him across the finish line after three rounds just under six minutes ahead of Buzz FBS with 3 Wise Monkeys some way behind.

Start of Diam Race 1:

The second race saw Sanity make another excellent start and indeed round the windward mark at least half a minute ahead of Kittiwake, however on the close reach from Derrick to St Helens Kittiwake simply powered through and took the lead.

Start of MOCRA Race 2:

On the run to Bembridge Ledge and beat back through the line, Kittiwake continued to extend her lead and after a second round finished thirteen minutes ahead of Sanity; enough to secure first on corrected time. The Diams flew round the same course with Buzz FBS and Raygun Racing regularly trading positions up until the final leg back to the finish when Buzz FBS surged ahead and finished thirty seconds ahead.

Start of Diam's Race 2:

The Diams went first for the third and final race of the day. All decided on a port tack start and were soon on their way to Warner. Buzz FBS was first round and relishing the slight increase in wind strength made it look easy. After two rounds she crossed the finish line just under two minutes ahead of Raygun Racing. It was great to watch and listen to them all 'humming' round the course. In the third MOCRA race, Kittiwake was soon ahead after a port tack start that put them comfortably as the windward boat. After the long beat to Warner, she had established a substantial lead and although the ROs were tempted to let them complete two rounds, it was decided to shorten after one. Kittiwake's lead of seven and a half minutes enough to give them another first on corrected time.

Unusually Saturday's Regatta supper was at BHYC and our thanks to them for allowing us to join in their very jolly 'Frank Sinatra' evening. The forecast for Sunday was for the breeze to drop and back to the SW so it was with sadness that team Homewood in Molly 5 decided to head homewards rather than risk getting becalmed later in the day.

After a short postponement to let things settle down after the breeze suddenly backed nearly 90º, Sanity led the way off the line towards Derrick in the fickle breeze. Kittiwake was soon on the case and by the time they reached Cochrane was well ahead. However the beat back to the line via an inflatable leeward mark saw Sanity close the gap. Indeed following a change of course for the second round, it was Sanity who rounded Britten first and successfully keep the lead for the remaining two legs to finish 9 seconds ahead - easily enough to win on corrected time. The three Diams meanwhile started off close but then spread out as the race progressed. Heading inshore towards the St Helens on the first beat paid off for Buzz FBS who established a substantial lead; mind you it only takes an error in getting the down wind angles wrong or going the wrong way on the beat for things to quickly change. However, Phil Cotton made sure he stayed ahead of Jon Hutchings in 3 Wise Monkeys and crossed the line 2 minutes ahead.

With the breeze holding reasonably steady at around 9 knots, the course for the fifth and final race was three times round a relatively short course using Britten, Footprint and Under Tyne. After another good start Sanity rounded Britten first and then held onto their slender lead for the rest of the first round. However Kittiwake overtook them on the second beat but them mysteriously failed to round Footprint on their way to Under Tyne. After the error was pointed out, Kittiwake retired which left Sanity the winner (and thus again team Talbot the overall winner of the Samuelson Trophy) when they crossed the shortened course line to complete their second round. In the meantime the Diams were having a very close race which saw the lead change regularly.

After an interesting start and always close on the money was Jon Hutchings in 3 Wise Monkeys, but it could have any of them as they endeavoured to find the best pressure and work out the favoured downwind angle.

Start of Diam final race:

Piers Hugh Smith in Raygun Racing was ahead at Britten on the second round but 3 Wise Monkeys was ahead again at Under Tyne and managed to hold onto their slender lead for the rest of the race. Although Phil Cotton in Buzz FBS trailed Raygun Racing by just under 20 seconds at the finish, overall victory, with the kudos of being Diam 24od National Champion for 2019 was his.

Two excellent days racing; hopefully we will see a bigger entry next year for what has traditionally always been a very successful Regatta.

Additional photos can be found at

Overall Results:

PosBoatSail NoMake/ModelOwnerR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1Sanity25Farrier F82RNigel Talbot122117
2KittiwakeGBR755MBarlow 30Nick Barlow2112R10
3Molly 5GBR760MF‑P Maldives 32Stephen Homewood333SS17
Diam 24OD
1Buzz Fluid Boat SystemsGBR24Diam 24odPhil Cotton211138
2Raygun RacingFRA100Diam 24odPiers Hugh Smith1223210
33 Wise MonkeysGBR202Diam 24odJon Hutchings3332112

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