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Bembridge Sailing Club mid June Redwing Racing

by Jos Coad 21 Jun 06:25 BST 18-20 June 2021
Bembridge Redwings racing in mid June © Jos Coad

Difficult tides and not very promising forecasts over the weekend meant that only a few boats actually took to the water. Friday evening was the first of the Friday Night Challenges that involves a race and overnight mooring at Under Tyne, however after some promising chat on WhatsApp earlier in the afternoon, neither class ended up with any takers.

On Saturday afternoon four Redwings (who had towed out early in the morning) rigged up for the first of two races in the easterly F3. Starting at Under Tyne (E) the first race was a beat to Tara (T), followed by a run back to Garland (G) and a beat back to the line, twice round. As it took longer than expected it was shortened to one round. Red Gauntlet II (Joe Robertson) was first to Tara but was then overtaken by Tara (Mike Toogood) on the run to Garland.

Harlequin (John Raymond) was close behind the two leading boats and overtook both on the beat back to the line, just beating Tara by the slimmest of margins after the latter was late with their tack to cross the line. Blue Jay (Richard Jessel) was fourth. The second race followed the same course and with the wind freshening, completed two rounds comfortably. Tara led round T and G but was overtaken by Red Gauntlet II on the beat back to the line. Joe increased his lead in the second round to win comfortably, followed by Harlequin and Tara with Blue Jay, now helmed by Lara Crisp, finishing last.

On Sunday morning it was touch and go as to whether there would be a race with mist and very light wind from the south an hour before the start. Undeterred the four Redwings determined to give it a go and were rewarded by a freshening breeze (6/7 knots) when they got to the start line at 10 am at Jansen (JJ). It was the same starters as Saturday except with Plover (Leafy Rous) racing in place of Blue Jay that didn't come out.

The course was a beat to E, back to JJ twice round with a final beat back to E to finish. During the race the wind freshened up further to 9.5 knots which enabled them to complete the course in an hour - not what was expected at the start! All four boats were close the whole way round, Harlequin (John Raymond) leading narrowly throughout until being overtaken by Red Gauntlet II (Joe Robertson) on the second run to JJ.

At this stage it was anyone's race as all the boats were close together; however Joe got away from the others on the final beat to win comfortably ahead of Tara (Mike Toogood), Harlequin and Plover. It was very pleasing that, having opted to race when it looked so uncertain, everyone had an excellent race, nip and tuck all the way round until the finish.

There were no One-Designs racing as they were moored in the harbour with insufficient water to sail out on Saturday.

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