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J Composites 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Conwy Fife One Design RNLI Cup and 'A' Series Race 8 at Royal Anglesey Yacht Club

by Mike Hardie 13 Jun 20:53 BST 5 June 2021

Like many other clubs I am sure, the RAYC has strong historical & current links with our local RNLI station, indeed a good number of our members have been or are currently serving crew members of the Beaumaris lifeboat, so the Lifeboat Cup has a particular significance for the club and its members.

11 Fifes ventured forth on a bright and warm day to compete, with the wind going around in circles before the race, causing a degree of pessimism as to the likely quality of the coming race. Eventually, however, the wind settled in a NE direction and remained fairly light, but constant all afternoon, apart from the odd hole or shift. Race Officer Chris, after some deliberation set course number 9 from the book, this meant a close fetch to Friars for the first leg.

As there was little tide running towards Menai Bridge at the start, the fleet had a number of choices at the start, Anglesey shore, out of what little tide there was, mid line giving a slightly freer course, or the limit marks giving an even freer course, but a greater distance to travel. At the start the fleet was fairly well spread out along the line. 39, Gavin, Dr Annika & Stevie (she who must be obeyed) were judged to be over and had to return, this put them firmly at the back of the fleet, but did give them the chance to enjoy the quality picnic provided by Stevie (outside events catered for!!).

5, Andy & Pete and 38, Mike & Steve, led from the start, having started towards the middle of the line. 15, Tak & Dave and 7, Howard, Georgie & Leo took a lower road into Friars Bay, whilst 30, Jay & Gwen and 42, Family Booth and 29, Trigger, G, but without Dan the man (who was sleeping of the excesses of the previous evening spent at Grannies??) coming from the distance mark end of the line, not far behind. 41, Family Yates, 28, Family Parker (with Sarah getting some practice in for the Ladies Race?) and 34, Family Flower & Ian completed the fleet.

As the leaders approached Friars the wind freed slightly, allowing 38 to establish an overlap on 5 and round first, with 15 in 3rd and 7 and 30 not too far behind. As your reporter had now entered full concentration mode, details of what was happening behind are maybe, not surprisingly, rather sketchy, but the long fetch to Castle saw 15 sail over 5 into 2nd. The next leg, another fetch to Friars saw no changes at the front, but the tide had turned and was now heading towards Puffin at an increasing rate for the rest of the race. Rounding Friars, it was a case of Spinnaker up, brief pause, no, Spinnaker down for 38 and 15 as the wind had shifted slightly. Now against the tide, the fleet headed towards the Anglesey shore and then headed for the Perch. With a decision to be made as to when to cross the adverse tide to Hwfa, 38 and 15 played a game of 'chicken' skirting the shallows off Beaumaris, before heading for Hwfa. 38, once more, just holding 15 at bay to round first.

Another close fetch to Friars and reach to Hwfa followed, with no change in position, 15 being an ever present threat and allowing 38 no chance to relax. The next leg to Friars saw a slight header 15 tacked first and was covered by 38, this happened a couple of times, with 38 managing to keep 15 at bay, before the run / reach to the finish. 38, headed for the shallows in Friars Bay to avoid the tide, whilst 15 sailed slightly higher. Meanwhile the pursuing pack of 30, 5, 41 & 29 had the benefit of a rising breeze allowing them to close the gap, 15 who spotted the change coming headed up slightly and got into new breeze first, allowing her to sail over 38, who now looked as if she was going to be swallowed by the chasing bunch.

15 held on to take her 2nd win of the season with an increasingly nervous 38 managing to hold onto second, less than a minute behind after 2 hours of racing.

The race for third had intensified as the 4 following boats raced for the line (see photo), 30, despite being in stronger tide (apparently in the mistaken belief that we were going to Hwfa again) managed to hold on for third about 5 seconds in front of a rapidly closing 5 in 4th. 41 and 29 meanwhile were in a fight to the death, with 29 taking the inside line, dipping all the way (credit to G, for dipping, flying the Spinnaker and holding the boom out at the same time, while Trigger told her what she was doing wrong from the back!) 29 narrowly took 5th for 41, with 7, 42, 39, 28 and 34 finishing in that order.

Another great day on the water, thanks to our Race team and the 'Boys in the Boats' Bosun Guy (fount of all knowledge) Apprentice Arwel and the Apprentices Apprentice Archie, who in foul and fair weather look after us so well, thanks guys.

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