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Craftinsure 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Conwy Fife One Design 'A' Series Race 9 at Royal Anglesey Yacht Club

by Mike Hardie 20 Jun 20:58 BST 19 June 2021

A change of tactics!

With the various forecasting websites all contradicting one another, it was difficult to guess what the weather gods had in store for us, but one thing was certain, it was going to be another light and variable day and certainly not the best of days for the programmed Glyn Garth start. Fortunately, Garth, our Race Officer for the day took the early and popular decision to stay at Beaumaris to the general approval of all.

As the small, but select fleet of 5 assembled for the Crews Race, the wind had settled into a light NE breeze and an 'X' course of Nwy (replaced by Guy, after the previous buoy had disappeared during lockdown), Hwfa was set. 38, Steve & Mike decided to change their tactics from previous crew races, by starting both on time and in the right place, towards the Anglesey shore to catch the last of the ebb, thus confusing the opposition, who, expecting them to be at the back, didn't spot the new tactics until it was too late, consequently 38 had established a clear lead by the first mark. 39, Annika & Gavin, recovered first, to round in second place followed by 29, G & Trigger, 5, Pete (who is Pete) & Andy & 30, Jay & Gwen. This order was maintained for the run and second beat to Nwy. On the run to the finish, 38 held on to take her 3rd win in the series, with 39 in 2nd. 29 & 5 had a bit of a luffing match, which led to 5 taking 3rd, 28 4th and 30 collecting the much prized wooden spoon.

The main 'A' series race attracted a fleet of 11, including a rather nervous 24, Pippa & Dick who were enjoying their first sail in Pippa's new toy. Course 10 was the chosen challenge for the day, a long course, but for reasons that will become clear, we need only concern ourselves with the first 4 marks, Friars, B6, Hwfa & B10 (All to Starboard). A clean start by all, saw 5, Andy & Pete, 7, Howard, Georgie & Leo, 41, Family Yates and 42, Family Booth fighting for the lead, with 38, Mike & Steve and 15, Tak & Dave not far behind.

Those who chose the Banks route 15 & 41, showed early promise, but then lost out as they sailed into Friars bay and lost what little wind there was. Those who stayed out were starting to recover, with 30, Gwen & Jay, 29, Trigger & G & 34, Tom & Paul. closing up to the leaders. 38, following some earlier 'constructive' criticism regarding the quality of recent reports from the front of the fleet, decided to hang back to see what was happening and thus be able to give a more rounded report (if you believe that, you will believe anything!!) Meanwhile 39, Gavin & Annika and 24 were engaged in a fight for last Place.

Once round Friars, the fleet once again split, with the Anglesey shore being the more profitable side. 5 rounded B6 clearly in front followed by 42 and 30, who had sailed through the fleet, 29, 7, 41, 15 not far behind. 34 rounded in eight place with 38 still reporting from the back, but now unable to see the sail numbers of those in front!! 39 decided to 'park' for a while on the banks where 24 (who mistakenly thought Gavin knew what he was doing, followed shortly after).

The run to Hwfa saw no significant place changes, but as the breeze started to die, the fleet compressed a little. This slowing of proceedings gave Race Control Central the chance to enjoy afternoon tea and cake, I believe it was an Apple Cake this week, courtesy of Val.

Rounding Hwfa in the dying breeze, 5 still held a lead over 42 and 30, with 29 having moved into 4th spot. With the tide now running towards Menai Bridge at a rate of knots, the leaders found themselves going sideways, like a builders promised start date! With all the fleet now in the area between Hwfa and B10, it was time to play spot the breeze and so began a game of Snakes and Ladders, with all enjoying brief moments of hope and longer periods of despair. Those who tacked onto Port in an attempt to stem the tide, found themselves in little wind, 29 (with G acting as Mrs Motivator), having spotted the beginnings of a new breeze on the Anglesey shore, took the painful, slow and horribly flat Starboard tack across the tide, and started to short tack along the Anglesey shore, followed by 5 who had also managed to get across. 38 meanwhile, tired of being at the back and seeing what was happening in front, crossed on Starboard and managed to scrape past the end of the pier by the skin of her teeth to join the short tackers on the Anglesey shore.

A relieved 29, hearing the shorten course signal, managed to hold 5 at bay to take her first (and popular) win of the season, 38 got far more than she deserved to finish 3rd, with 7 next across, followed by, 34, 42, 30, 15 and 41. 39 and 24 having retired after their close encounter with the banks.

So 9 races into the series, and with 7 different winners the points situation (with 3 discards) is as follows:

38 - Sard - 13pts
5 - Thelma III - 13pts
42 - Enigma - 20pts
15 - Coila - 21pts
41 - Fiona - 26pts
39 - Hwyl - 28pts
29 - Gitana - 33pts
30 - Coralie II - 34pts
34 - Ceridwen - 40pts
18 - Carina - 46pts
7 - Siglen - 51pts
28 - Deryn Gwyrdd II - 64pts
24 - Siglen II - 82pts

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