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Ovington 2021 - ILCA 1 - LEADERBOARD
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Conwy Fife One Design 'A' Series Race 6 at Royal Anglesey Yacht Club

by Mike Hardie 6 Jun 11:06 BST 5 June 2021

With a forecast SW breeze and the strong possibility of a Northerly sea breeze (which often means no wind in the middle) the scheduled start at Glyn Garth, was, after minimal discussion and to the relief of the waiting sailors changed to a Beaumaris start.

The Crews race which preceded the A series race was over a simple 'X' course, B8, B10 which suited the prevailing NE breeze at the start. With a strong outgoing tide the place most chose to start was at the O.D.M'S, this decision was proved to be the right one as the wind provided a lift for those on that side at the start, enabling, 39, Dr Annika & Gavin (in full 'love boat' mode), 30, Jay & Gwen (with crackly new Spinnaker) 42, guest Alan? & Tim & 5 Pete and Andy to break clear of the vainly pursuing, 38, Steve (just call me lucky!) & Mike and 29, G, Trigger & Dan (SBTLY) the Man.

39 rounded B8 first, followed by 30, 42 and 5 in close company, as the leaders played with Spinnakers for the run back (the usual, gybe, don't gybe, take it down, no hang on put it back up) The also ran's found a building new breeze from the SW, enabling them to firstly close the considerable gap that had opened up, then to serenely sail past (whilst trying to hide smug looks) the leaders who had by now decided that Spinnaker down was the way forward. 38 held on to take a second win in the Crew series, with 29 in 2nd and 30, 42, 5 & 39 following on

For the main 'A' Series race Master of Ceremonies, Garth, set course 4 from the clubs 'bumper book of courses'. With a foul tide (heading towards Puffin) this meant it was going to be a long beat to the first mark, Bangor Outfall (and it was, it really was !) The best place to start was at the O.D.M'S, on Port tack, a move 39 pulled off with panache, taking an early lead from 29 & 15, Tak & Dave with 38 in close pursuit. As there wasn't a lot of water about the leaders showed some caution approaching B12 (a renowned parking spot for Fifes at low water) and ducked into the main channel (and adverse tide) allowing 38 to sail high on the edge of the channel which saw her take the lead on the beat to Gallows Point. Not far behind, 41, Family Yates and 34, Family Flower & Tom were along with 30, 42, 5 and 28, Family Parker, busy in a fight of their own.

When the fleet cleared Gallows point, 38 held a narrow lead from 39, with 29 and 41 never far behind. As the leaders short tacked along the bank, 15 and 5 decided to take the Anglesey shore. It was at this point that things got interesting, as first 39 ran aground (in disputed circumstances, this was resolved amicably, afterwards by the healer of all ills, beer!) 29 followed a few minutes later. This moved a grateful 41 into 2nd and 34 to 3rd. 15 & 5 continued along the Anglesey shore, but it wasn't looking too promising. We were all discovering the new location of the Banks as 38 and 41 both touched bottom, but both managed to escape the grasping clutches of the mud. At Bangor Pier the fleet crossed over to the Anglesey side for the remainder of the beat, with 38 extending her lead and 41 pulling away from the pack, as they worked up to Plas Rhianfa, before crossing the tide to the Outfall buoy.

Meanwhile at Race Control, the table was being set for afternoon tea, with a Date & Walnut cake (Thanks Val) and a selection of sweet biscuits on offer, all washed down with complimentary tea or coffee and I thought it was a tough day on the water!

The long run back saw no changes at the front, but 5 started to move through the fleet to occupy 4th. Worryingly, at times it looked like the wind might misbehave and change direction, but that was probably as much to do with high ground as anything else and once past Gallows, the wind settled to WSW. As the fleet passed the Green, 41 managed to make contact with the bottom in a fairly dramatic fashion, meaning her race was over, 38 rounded B8 first and managed to thread her way through a couple of cruising boats to head for the Anglesey shore, 41 continued to chase hard, tacking onto Starboard, 38 gradually dropped into the clutches of the tide, however, 41 managed to hold her height and climb to windward. The next mark was Hwfa, so we would have to cross at some stage, so rather than pinch, 38 sailed low and crossed the tide early while 41 remained high, but as we approached Beaumaris the fleet noticed the Shorten course flag was up, so it became a 'drag' race for the line, with 38 holding off the charging 41 (21 seconds in it after 2+ hours of racing!) 34 held on to take 3rd, followed by, 5,30 and 28 (15 having retired previously)

So a first 'A' series win this season 38, so it's now 6 races, 6 winners.

Series Positions after Race 6: (two discards)

42 - Enigma - 9pts
38 - Sard - 9pts
5 - Thelma III - 10pts
39 - Hwyl - 14pts
15 - Coila - 15pts
41 - Fiona - 16pts
18 - Carina - 22pts
30 - Coralie II - 25pts
29 - Gitana - 27pts
34 - Ceridwen - 30pts
28 - Deryn Gwyrdd II - 43pts
7 - Siglen - 49pts

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