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Raymarine 2021 Element - LEADERBOARD

Conwy Fife One Design 'A' Series Race 19 at Royal Anglesey Yacht Club

by Mike Hardie 13 Sep 20:18 BST 11 September 2021

Before I start on the Fife 'A' Series race, I must cross to the 'dark side' and mention the MSODs who rarely get a mention in these reports.

Last Wednesday saw the final MSOD evening race of the season, the by now, traditional 'Sprint' race, a short race, normally just start, round 1 buoy and finish, hence the name sprint. This year in a fairly revolutionary and controversial break with tradition, race officer Doug decided to use 2 buoys! As has been the case in recent years, a number (well 2) Fife sailors had been persuaded to join the race having been generously lent boats for the event.

A short but competitive beat to Hwfa, saw a surprised defending Champion Trigger in 16, round first, closely pursued by Henry in 9, Ray in 4 and yours truly in 12. The run to Nwy, with the tide saw Trigger trying a tactic not seen before of sailing broadside down tide as he wrestled with the complications of the Spinnaker, or is it a storm Jib, anyway, as he pranced around on the foredeck, first Henry sailed passed while Ray and yours truly closed the gap. Rounding Nwy, Henry rounded clear ahead and tacked for the banks to avoid the tide, Ray rounded inside Trigger and by doing so opened the door for yours truly to slip into 3rd. The usual cat and mouse game of short tacking along the banks followed with Henry and Ray fighting it out for the chocolates, with yours truly not too far behind keeping them honest.

Henry held on to take the victory (just) with Ray in second, maybe a boat length behind and yours truly holding on for a lucky 3rd.

Saturday 11th September saw the 19th race of the Fife 'A' Series and with just 3 races to go before the end of the season, those in with a shout of the various prizes are taking things seriously.

The programmed event was, and I quote 'SW of Bangor'. Chris, our trusty Race Officer for the day, set course 4, Bangor Outfall, B8, Hwfa, B8, Finish. Despite the weather forecast, the wind decided to play ball and we had a decent SW to play with. With the tide flowing towards Menai Bridge, most were a little cautious at the start, trying to avoid being OCS, everybody except that is, 24, Simon & Merfyn. The rest of the fleet succeeded in staying on the right side of the line and set of for Bangor.

Series leader 5, Andy & Pete (who isn't Dave) moved smoothly to the front of the fleet pursued by 41, Family Yates, 30, Gwen & Dick (Jay having been removed before the start to attend a lifeboat shout), with 35, Hugo, Bob & Lauren in touch. Squabbling behind was the peloton of, 29, Mary (Honorary Trigger for the day) & Dave (who isn't Pete), 37, Rhys, Rowan and Dr Rob, 38, Mike & Steve, 34, Family Flower, 15, Gavin & Dr Annika, and 15, Tak and Dave (who is Dave).

Rounding Bangor outfall, 5 and 41 had a narrow lead from 30 with 35 in touch. On the run down to B8, 39 who had fallen back in the peloton, took an early dive for the Anglesey shore whilst the leaders sailed over the banks. This cunning move, mirrored by 15, saw 39 pickup 4 places as the fleet passed Gallows and the two options came back together (do I hear someone saying, 'born on Anglesey, stay on Anglesey'?).

Running past the watching throng on the green on the way to B8, it was good to see that the catering staff were working flat out at race control amidst clouds of steam and the clattering of the Royal Albert, with cake (of the Carrot Variety, I believe) was being consumed by the great and good.

5 rounded ahead of the fleet, with 41 still in second and 35 and 30 still locked in a battle for the final podium place. The beat to Hwfa against the now building tide made for interesting choices, Go into Friars bay and risk the inevitable quiet spot under Mount Field, or stay out in Stronger tide, but more reliable wind. In the end I don't think it made much difference, the only place change seemed to be 35 finally passing 30 and 29 closing the gap on both. No change on the run back to B8, but with the wind moving more to the West the last leg to the finish became more of a fetch, with the usual choice of out in tide or under Mount Field in little wind. 5 held on to take the win and consolidate their position at the top of the leader board, followed a minute later by 41, with 35 a further 6 minutes behind to take third. 29 followed and then came the chasing pack, 30, 37, 38, 34, 15, 39 and 24 who despite being OCS had soldiered on to collect the wooden spoon.

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