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SeaChange Wine

September sunshine for the Bembridge keelboats

by Mike Samuelson 14 Sep 05:36 BST 11-12 September 2021

Well what a nice change, especially on Saturday which saw two Redwings and five One-Designs enjoying the champagne conditions provided by a steady F4 SW'erly and plenty of sun.

Starting to the east of Garland from an inflatable, the first leg was a short beat to Garland, then the Redwings headed off to Ruthven and the One-Designs to Janson. Gosling helmed by Serena Gosling made the better start and although Robin Ebsworth in Quintessence was never that far behind it was definitely three crew weather rather than two and meant that Robin (crewed by young Henry Landon) was always going to struggle to keep up with Serena, Kate Powell and Barn Cleave. As she was a couple of minutes ahead, the decision was made to shorten the course by finishing on the line downwind.

The five One-Designs meanwhile had an excellent race on a slightly shorter course; after a pretty good start, Rob Mathieson in No 1 lead the way and was able to remain comfortably in the lead ahead of Jos Coad helming No 8. There was an exciting finish between Jos and Susie Beart helming No 5 with Jos crossing the line at the pin end less that a second ahead of Susie at the Committee Boat end on starboard.

Start of the One-Designs 1st race on Saturday

The second race saw both classes following the same course (G - JJ - G (starboard) - B - #). Although Quintessence was first round G, Gosling overtook on the run to Janson; however there was still some very competitive racing and Robin was only thirty seconds in arrears at the finish at Pepe. After an excellent start, the One-Designs had another very enjoyable race with No 8, helmed by Alexander Ross holding off challenges from No 1, helmed by Syd Beart and No 1 helmed by Russ Fowler. Well done to Syd who crossed the line 3 seconds ahead and therefore took a very creditable second place.

Sunday was almost back to square one with a very light and fickle Easterly breeze that did not augur well for exciting racing. Indeed the One-Designs voted with their feet and there were no takers. However, there were three Redwings and three Flying Fifteens who were keen to try and get a race, so the Race Officers headed out to see what they could conjure up. Starting from an inflatable half way between Pepe and Garland, with the windward mark as E (Under Tyne), it was clear it was going to be more luck than judgement that would determine the winner!

Start of the Redwing race on Sunday

Quintessence helmed by young Henry Landon took the inshore route to reduce the effect of the tide and it looked as if they were well ahead, however Serena Gosling in Gosling who had, like Richard Jessel in Blue Jay, stayed out in the hopes of picking up the breeze if it came and reached E just ahead when it did. The run to N (Nainby) was slow and the three boats took very different lines but Serena's inshore one proved best and after a brief discussion on Ch 77 about changes of course, the decision to finish at Pepe saw Gosling cross the line three minutes ahead of Quintessence with Blue Jay a mere couple of seconds behind.

Once they all managed to reach the start area, the three Flying Fifteens followed the same course as the Redwings. Although just after starting, the breeze picked up a few knots, patience was still the key and Chris Wilkinson helming 3385 was able to establish a substantial lead over Richard Coleman in 3674 by the time they reached E. There was just enough breeze to keep spinnakers flying on the slow run to Nainby and at the finish at Pepe Chris was a couple of minutes ahead of Richard. Full marks to Colin Simmonds in 3750 who stayed the course even though some way behind.

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