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Bembridge Redwing & One-Design Early May Bank Holiday Racing

by Mike Samuelson 4 May 19:02 BST 1-2 May 2021
Early May Bank Holiday Bembridge Redwing & One-Design racing © Mike Samuelson

Although the One-Designs started racing after Easter, the early May Bank Holiday is always the first weekend for the Redwings. The forecast for Saturday afternoon was for a light cyclonic breeze and rain at times; and this is exactly what happened!

Not much fun for either the six Redwings and five One-Designs or the race officers as they chased the breeze around the compass. However, they did eventually get both fleets away on a beat to Tara but then the breeze died and what turned out to be initially a reach to Garland ended with a beat as a heavy squall came through from the north-west.

In the Redwings, Colin & Becky Samuelson in Toucan were first across the line with Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II and Mike Toogood in Tara not too far behind. The One-Designs had the same course; Mark Grz in No 9 was first to Tara, a lead he never relinquished; he was followed home by Sarah Marshall (No 7), Russ Fowler (No 1), D Orange (No 12) and Tad Ross (No 8).

With Sea Breeze unable to move because of a fouled anchor and the breeze veering to the South West, both fleets were sent off on a run to Fitzwilliam but alas the planned beat back to Garland never materialised as the breeze continued to go round in circles. Colin in Toucan was first Redwing to round Garland but by the time they reached the finish line Will Toogood in Tara had managed to get ahead by just over a minute. Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II was third a minute behind.

In the meantime, Mark Grz got away again in No 9 BOD and maintained his lead to the finish. On the way back to the line the breeze died off and at one stage it looked as no-one else was going to make it, however they did eventually get there with Tad Ross in No 8 coming second and Sarah Marshall in No 7 third ahead of Russ Fowler in No 1 and William Bland who helmed no 12 in the second race.

Conditions on Sunday afternoon were much more conducive to racing with a pretty steady SW'erly F3 breeze. Starting off Janson, the six Redwings were sent to Garland then Ruthven twice and the One-Designs to Garland and Janson twice. Colin & Becky in Toucan took an early lead and built on it on each leg to finish 2 minutes ahead of Joe in Red Gauntlet II. On the second round Bella Janson in Gannet who was last at the start of the second round made up a lot of ground and finished third, twenty seconds ahead of Mike Toogood in Tara.

Meanwhile in the One-Design race, Hugh Doherty, in No 10 and out for his first sail of the season, got well ahead of the nine boat fleet on the first beat to Garland, a lead that he was to hold for the rest of the race; he was followed by Tad Ross in No 8 and Russ Fowler in No 1, positions they held throughout. The rest of the fleet swapped places frequently, finishing with William Bland in No 12 just pipping Mark Grz (No 9), followed by Lachlan McLucas (No 6) and James Beart (No 5) 3 seconds apart, then Sarah Marshall (No 7) and Jos Coad (No 2) bringing up the rear.

Given the late tides and forecasted storm, Monday's racing was cancelled. Congratulations to Colin Samuelson who thertefore won the Redwing's Quail Trophy and Mark Grz who won the One-Design's Woodroffe Bowl.

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