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Conwy Fife One Design 'A' Series Race 16 at Royal Anglesey Yacht Club

by Mike Hardie 30 Aug 09:07 BST 28 August 2021

Having negotiated the Bank Holiday tourist mayhem in Beaumaris and successfully found a parking spot on the green, 16 Fifes came out to play on a perfect Summer's day with a steady NE breeze, it looked like it was going to be a good day on the water.

Race Officer Chris, after a consultation with his minions, set course 14 for the days challenge, B6, B12, B8, B12, B8,B10, Finish. This long course allowed plenty of time for afternoon tea for the Race officer and his team.

As always the fleet prowled up and down the line, prior to the start, trying to decide which side to start in the strong flooding tide. The choice was not straightforward, logic seemed to suggest that the Anglesey shore was the place to be, however as this would entail much short tacking up the wall, if you didn't get a decent start, you were likely to be buried in the bickering for water along the wall, so clear air on the banks side seemed a good idea, but with little tidal relief there was likely to be a price to pay. Decisions, decisions, the first gun concentrated the mind though and with chances to change ones mind diminishing with every passing minute, the bulk of the fleet decided on the Banks as the favoured option (so much for clear air!) 10 started by the distance marks and 6 on the Anglesey shore.

35, Hugo & Bob got the better start on the Anglesey shore, followed by 32, Ioan & Rowan, 30, Gwen, Jay & guest, 29, Trigger & G, 38 Mike & Steve and 39, Gavin (unleaded) Morgan & Dr Annika in hot pursuit. Having started on this side I cant really comment on what was happening to the group who had started at the ODM'S and were now heading for Llanfairfechan for an ice cream. Once the Anglesey pack had sorted themselves out with surprisingly little shouting, we settled down for the long beat to B6. 35, sailed away from the pack, followed by 32 and 30, with 38 and 29 following, 39 slowly lost contact with this group, not sure why, maybe just keeping a low profile after the previous days events (you will have to ask Gavin!)

As we approached B8, it became clear that Anglesey had paid off once again, proving the local saying 'Born on Anglesey, stay on Anglesey' to be correct. 35 rounded with a commanding lead, with 32, 30, 38 and 29 following on. The first of the ice cream seekers was 41, Family Yates, with 7, Howard, Leo and Georgie, 6, Dom & Lauren, amongst the chasers. The long run to B12 saw 35 extend away, never to be threatened again, with 32 likewise opening up on the pack, 30 and 38 sailed side by side for a while, with 29 and 41 and 14 keeping them honest not too far behind. Rounding B12, the order was 35 (who by now were in a different postcode!, 32, 38, who had pulled clear of 30 with 41, 29 and 6 in a close group behind.

The beat to B8 allowed the first 3 boats to increase their lead over the group behind who were all fighting for clear air and tidal relief along the shore. 35 continued to lead handsomely around B8, followed by 32 and 38 to start the second run to B12. 14 had passed the chasing pack to take fourth spot with 41, 29 and 30 still fighting for the scraps. The fleet, having now finished their ice creams and pork pies (Central Bakeries vs Swains, the debate continues!!), looked longingly at the starters box, hoping for a shorten course so they could get back for a welcome beer or two, however, afternoon tea was in full flow in race control, and the boiled fruit cake (thanks Val) was going down a storm, so we carried on to B8 once more.

No changes occurred to positions at the head of the fleet during the final run for home (and beer), with 35 taking yet another handsome win followed by 32, 38, 6, 41, 29, 30, 39, 34, 5, 42, with 40, Men of Panache taking the wooden spoon (and a subsequent hammering from their onshore coach and mentor during the debrief in the bar) 15, 7, 14 and 24 decided that the day wasn't for them and retired at some stage during the race.

With only 5 races now left to be sailed, things are starting to heat up as boats fight for position in both the 'A' series and the Leagues as boats try to avoid the dreaded teapot!

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