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Cyclops Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Astral Azure 2000 Class National Championship at Brixham Yacht Club - Day 3

by Mark Foley 19 Aug 10:06 BST 16-21 August 2020

A confident race officer, the excellent Sean Semmens of BYC expected a stronger breeze than Monday. So assured, the fleet set sail driftily across the millpond of the bay.

Half way to Torquay, after encounters with a ferry and a trawler, and a spookily rainbow-free sunny drenching, the shore side boats took off as the wind came in from the south west. Sean aspired to three races on Tuesday as Thursday and Friday looked extremely "fresh to frightening", so from there on there was no hanging around.

Race 5

The course was set at 225 degrees. The pin end was crowded but no one was over the line. The breeze was stronger than Monday in the low teens MPH, and the judgment to tack across the fleet onto port is a bit shaky after lockdown. Those who did it well prospered. Rob & Sarah Burridge most notably. Approaching the windward mark the wind became shifty, as you would expect as you approach the land, and those calling their shifts and tacking promptly gained well. The wind was constant throughout the race, and the Burridges came out on top, with Paul & Georgia and Simon & Katie taking second and third.

Race 6

The breeze was noticeably stronger, but the direction consistent on 225. The boats that held the left hand side of the beat longer, and sail consistently flat, appeared to gain substantially on the first lap. Again it was Rob Paul and Simon who were making the most of it. However they didn't get away from the fleet and the upwind mark was still an unusually crowded place even on the third lap.

Coming downwind the leaders went right, but those gybing away early then back onto starboard didn't do too badly by avoiding the blanket behind them. As for the result, see above: Burridges came out on top, with Paul & Georgia and Simon & Katie taking second and third.

Race 7

The flag was raised indicating a third race; after two races already that had been pretty hard work, perhaps the whole fleet wasn't delighted by this extra play time. The breeze was stronger still, in the gusts possibly 20 mph+ and becoming stronger, so it was going to tell on Wednesday morning! The start was briskly done, but Simon and Katie were OCS and had to go back.

It was tough going to keep the boat flat going upwind, and at least one boat went upside down, but it was fun coming down wind! Good to see those hulls coming out of the water and some fast but fair overtaking.

At the downwind gate at the end of the first lap there was a curious kazoo-like noise and flag that indicated a new upwind mark had been set; the wind had backed by about 40 degrees. I didn't hear of anyone who didn't spot this (eventually) but if there's a random result this might explain it.

Incredibly Simon and Katie sailed through the fleet to come out sixth. Rob & Sarah Burridge completed a great day at the office with another single point, and Paul & Georgia maintained their excellent championship in second.

It evidently suited Ed Dodwell and his son Ruben who finished an amazing third place and Johnny Sargent helming for his old man Matt who came in fourth. There are some top prospects in the 2000s.

Storm Ellen may have curtailed this Championship with Rob and Sarah the 2020 Champions, we'll see if any race can be put on for Thursday morning when there may be a lull. Meantime the sailors will enjoy a Wednesday rest.

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