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Bembridge Sailing Club Weekend Keelboat Racing

by Mike Samuelson 7 Jun 09:38 BST 5-6 June 2021

A forecast of wall to wall sunshine with gentle and variable breezes should have seen lots of boats racing on Saturday, however a probable paucity of wind on Sunday morning, early tides and the annual Club Car Rally restricted numbers to four Redwings and five One-Designs.

Starting at 09:00 on a laid line north of E, the Redwings had a challenging beat to Derrick. Henry Thorpe in Redwitch, out for her first race for over 18 months, rounded Derrick just ahead of Colin Samuelson in Toucan, however on the slow run to E, Toucan got ahead and never looked like being overtaken. Rory Morrison in Skua and Henry enjoyed a close first round with Skua just keeping her bow in front.

Start of Redwing Race 1

A second round to Britten saw Toucan extend her lead and Skua move well ahead of Redwitch and with the breeze dropping, the course was shortened by bringing them back through the line on the run. In the second shorter race (to Britten and back to E), Colin in Toucan got the start wrong and having hit the pin and taken a penalty was always in catch up mode. Henry in Redwitch was again first to round the windward mark just ahead of Rory in Skua. However on the slow run back to E it was Skua that got the first benefit from a massive wind change that resulted in what had been a run becoming a beat about two thirds of the way to the finish line at E. Mike Toogood in Tara was third a good couple of minutes ahead of Toucan.

The five One-Designs meanwhile had Britten as their windward marks for both rounds of the first race. Charles Perrry helming No 8 was closest to the line at the start having come in from above the line; all bar Charles Evans in No 10 tacked early onto port, which turned out to be the right thing to do.

Start of One-Design Race 1

Sarah Marshall in No 7 and Simon Allocca in No 1 were close for most of the race, although the former moved into a lead of over a minute on the final leg to the shortened finish as they ran back towards E on the second round. Charles in No 8 was third nearly a minute ahead of Penny Stanley helming No 9. Charles Evans in No 10 retired and sailed back into the harbour. The four remaining boats had a good start for their second race. Jos Coad helming No 8 tacked early while the other three stayed on starboard; sadly for him it did not pay! Mark Grz helming No 9 spotted the 180 degree wind change first and crossed the finish line just over 30 seconds ahead of Peter Summerhayes helming No 1; Tad Ross in No 7 was third.

Sunday morning was dank and depressing, however the forecast was for a 7 knot SSW'erly and with Chimet recording WSW 7 knots, Blue Jay II, who did not race the previous day, launched in anticipation of joining the four boats from Saturday who had moored overnight at Under Tyne. However, with the Tara remaining on her mooring it was another four boat race. With just enough breeze to make progress, the Redwings set off from a laid line just south of Janson to Garland. Rory Morrison in Skua tacked early in the hopes of more tide and breeze on the right side of the course, however the others headed towards the Bembridge shore which paid off with all three rounding G close together. Colin in Toucan led but Henry in Redwitch and James Bunbury in Blue Jay II were not far behind at Janson. Toucan, somewhat surprisingly, kept to the right edge of the course while out Redwitch and Blue Jay II stuck to the middle of the track which undoubtedly paid off and put Redwitch into the lead at the finish at Pepe. Although it looked as if Blue Jay II would be second, Toucan just found enough breeze to finish 10 seconds ahead.

The four One-Designs had the same course although when it was clear that the run back to Janson was going to take forever, an inflatable leeward mark was dropped. Charles Perry in No 8, crewed by Jos Coad, who was a bit fortunate to be given the benefit of the doubt at the start because Sea Breeze was swinging to the tide, was first round Garland and by keeping in the centre of the track remained ahead of Simon Allocca in No 1 for the rest of the race. Mark Grz in No 9 sailing single handed and Hugh Doherty, also single handed, in No 7 were somewhat off the pace and never threatened the two front two boats.

Start of Sunday's One-Design Race

Congratulations to Henry Thorpe in Redwitch who won the Evert de Kort Cup.

Next weekend the Redwing's are racing for the Nicholson Trophy which traditionally involves, weather permitting, rounding at least one of the Solent Forts!

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