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RC1000 Event 1 at the Royal Western Yacht Club, Plymouth

by Keith Davies 16 May 21:01 BST 15-16 May 2021

The first RC1000 class regatta of the season was held over 15/16th May at the Royal Western Yacht Club. The forecast was closely monitored by the race committee, as the potential was that the Sunday could be blown out, so a change to the schedule was announced to enable 4 races to be sailed on the Saturday: as opposed to the original 3 with a further two on Sunday.

Ten boats turned out for the first warning signal at 0955 and were welcomed by a fresh south-westerly breeze with a forecast increase in pressure with a high chance of rain.

The first race was a long round-the-cans race shortened at a three quarters of the predicted distance after an hour and a half, with Jon Harris on 'Jump N Shout' coming out on top. An early casualty was Roy Morgan's HOD35 'Sir Ducktion' who ripped the clew off their mainsail along with Pete Duffy sailing 'Luna' who also retired finding the conditions a bit much for his crew who are starting to learn the boat. Along with the Covid restrictions limiting boats to max crew of six, it was going to be a testing day for all.

As the breeze built, it was Steve Andrew's Sun Fast 3200 'Sunfire' that shone through on the next two windward-leeward races, taking the win in both.

The final race of the the day was a long distance race with a target time of two hours with a few legs south of the breakwater out into a large swell and consistent breeze above 20 kts, then back across the Sound to finish in the Cattewater on the RWYC club-line; it was going to be a challenge for the remaining 7 teams. After a few legs inside the Sound, boats headed out of the Eastern end of the breakwater before beating to the Draystone Buoy near Rame Head before the long run back in via the Western entrance. After rounding Draystone it was close between the first three boats, until MuskOx (who had previously lost their fractional halyard earlier in the day) had a broach with their masthead spinnaker in the swell as they passed the breakwater.

The close racing had 'Jump N Shout' taking the win from 'Sunfire' by 2 seconds. It was a good day for Steve Andrew who had a great day on the water whilst also celebrating his birthday. 'Sunfire' lead JNS by 2 points with Muskox and Altura tied for third with all to play for on the Sunday. Peter Rowe sailing his J109 'Jukyu' commented after Saturday's racing "Excellent race management today - only one complaint - no time to eat anything! How is it that our race officer can set a magical mystery tour round-the-cans that is effectively a windward-leeward - brilliant!"

With two races scheduled and upon consulting with Longroom and Plymouth QHM where the breeze was already at 25 kts gusting mid 30s in the heavy squalls, the race management team took the early decision to cancel Sunday's racing with the biggest consideration being that all boats were sailing with restricted crew numbers. This was welcome news for crews who'd had a tough workout on the previous day.

Thank you to all who put this weekend's event on, and to all participating teams.

Full results at www.halsail.com/Result/Public/51485

The class thanks their supporters: Ullman Sails, Allspars, Paul Gibbins Photography, Freshwater IT & Web, PR Systems, Plym Yacht Club, Royal Western Yacht Club.

The RC1000 class is an IRC rating-band class initiative in Plymouth, bringing a close racing-format for all comers in the SouthWest over 5 events across the season, scored as individual weekends and as a series.