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Ocean Safety 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Bembridge Sailing Club Early July Keelboat Racing

by Mike Samuelson 5 Jul 10:52 BST 2-4 July 2021

Difficult tides, albeit perfect of course for Saturday's Round the Island Race, offered a race on Friday evening to pre-position boats out at Under Tyne ready for the next two days of racing. Well that was the plan anyway! In the event, a number of Redwingers decided to simply tow their boats out rather than race, and only two One-Designs turned up to race for the Friday Evening Challenge Cup.

Starting at Nainby with a simple course to Garland, back to Drum and finish at Pepe, it was very much a matter of whoever found the better breeze (Southerly F2 - 7 knots) and less tide would win. Soon after the start, Russ Fowler in No 1, crewed by Penny Stanley, tacked and went inshore, while Jos Coad, sailing single-handed, in No 8 stayed on starboard and took the offshore route. Russ chose wisely and rounded Garland well ahead, however on the slow run to Drum, Jos caught up and at one stage it looked as if he might round first but it was not to be. Rather than follow Russ inshore, Jos tacked in the hopes of finding more breeze, but all to no avail and Russ crossed the line two minutes ahead.

Although disappointingly no One-Designs, there were six Redwings on Saturday morning. The challenge from a Race Officers point of view was to try to set courses that kept out of the way of the Round The Island fleet. In the event, the light SW'erly breeze limited the number of RTIR boats transiting from the Bembridge Ledge and NMLF so it was not a problem. Starting at Fitzwilliam, the windward mark was E, and the leeward mark was Ruthven. Having been pushed over at the start, David McCue in Musicus had to circle back but did not loose too much ground. Avocet, helmed by Jessica Speare-Cole was last to start but then chose the best route to the windward mark and rounded well ahead of Musicus and Blue Jay II helmed by Crispin Kenyon.

Start of Race 1 on Saturday

Sadly though, she dropped back to fifth place after misreading the course and rounding (rather than passing) Fitzwilliam en-route to Ruthven. On the beat back to E, it was Blue Jay II who found the best side of the course to go and became the race leader ahead of Olav Cole in Redwing and David in Musicus. The final leg to the finish just south of Janson was a bit of a procession but necessary in order to provide a start line well clear of the RTIR track for the second race.

The Race Officers were perhaps a bit generous at the start of the second race when they gave Olav in Redwing the benefit of doubt as he sailed along the line! However, the short course to E and back to Janson (three times round) with the finish at E provided lots of opportunities for Redwing's slender lead to be cancelled out. But, although Musicus was never far away, Olav managed to hold his nerve and finished seventeen seconds ahead after just over a three quarters of an hour race. Andrew Eddy in Plover enjoyed a close race with Avocet as did Mike in Tara who finished mere inches ahead of Blue Jay II helmed by Richard Jessel.

Overnight the breeze got up and there was some heavy rain, however by 09:00 it was looking much more promising with Chimet showing a steady F4 SSW breeze. Five of yesterday's six Redwings (Musicus remained on her mooring) therefore had another two excellent races for the Fortuna II 1950 medal. Starting from Janson, the first race used E as the windward mark and R as the leeward mark. After a good start, and despite quickly splitting tacks, they rounded E close together.

Start of Race 1 on Sunday

The run to R provided an opportunity to do a bit of experimenting to work out the best line to take. Andrew Eddy in Plover established a safe lead ahead of Mike in Tara and Olav in Redwing and always looked in control of the race. Indeed Plover finished about 30 seconds ahead of Tara after just under an hour of racing. Jessica helming Avocet was third 10 seconds later.

The second race of the day saw another clean start and again a split of tacks as they headed to E. Olav in Redwing was the first to start the slowish run to Derrick which turned out to be a challenging leg with two (Redwing and Plover) choosing the right hand side of the course while the others went down the left of the track. Olav was right and rounded K having extended his lead even further. Rather then heading back to Derrick for a second time after rounding E for the second time, the course was changed to Briton which still provided a perfect run and testing beat back to the finish at E. Redwing was untouchable and finished nearly 3 minutes ahead of Blue Jay II, helmed by Crispin Kenyon with Tara third. Although the back marker, congratulations to Harriet Jervis who helmed Plover for this race and was still smiling as she crossed the finish line.

There were no One-Designs.

Counting all 4 races, Olav in Redwing won the Fortuna II 1950 Medal.

Next weekend its the Curlew Cup for the Redwings with 12:00 starts on both days.

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