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707 & Sonata Northern Championships at Scarborough Yacht Club

by Rudi Barman & Anthony Cooper 23 Sep 2021 18:29 BST 4-5 September 2021

The 707 and Sonata Northern Championships were hosted by Scarborough Yacht Club over the weekend of 4th & 5th September. Boats arrived on the Friday afternoon ready to lift in from the pier, with the 6 travelling boats coming as far as Aberdeenshire and Suffolk to attend the event.

They all made short work of rigging and lifting, so it wasn't long before everyone had retired to the yacht club bar. A fun night ensued with live music on the pier hosted by The Regal Lady.

Saturday morning arrived looking distinctly grey and dull, no fabled Scarbados sailing today and by lunchtime and kick off it had got no better!

707s

Race 1 The first race was started on time in a slight breeze and light rain. The boats got away well, a little pin biased but cleanly first time. As the boats sorted themselves out up the first beat, it was Sharky first to the windward but being chased hard by the rest of the fleet. Halfway down the first run the wind began to drop and as the leading boat reached the gate, it became a bit of a lottery. The fleet split, some heading off towards Whitby, others to Bridlington, nearly 180 degrees different. Luckily after about 15 minutes the wind filled in from the right-hand side of the course and we could all get going again. The boats that went left had the benefit of the tide behind them but those on the right caught the wind first and it was close at the windward mark for the first 5 boats. The wind held for the next run and Seaword took the bullet after the race officer decide to give finish under the "Whiskey" flag.

Race 2 The wind stayed and race 2 went off without too much incident other than the usual racecourse shenanigans. Rammie was a bit too eager off the starting line and paid for it with an OCS. There were one or two bumps and bangs mid fleet but nothing to capture the attention of the "dick of the day" police. In the middle of the fleet Blacksheep and Grand Day Out traded places with Black Sheep the quicker boat downwind and Grand Day Out having the legs when on the wind. Cacciatore and Seaword were battling out at the front again with the next 3 boats just waiting for one to make a mistake. Seaword held on the take the line honours and the 2nd bullet of the day.

Race 3 The wind had picked up by another couple of knots and the whole fleet was away this time, no early bolters, or at least that's what we thought; Turbulence had jumped the gun but hadn't realised. The "pin end on port" flyer was on and both Seaword and Sharky tried it, with Seaword executing it better. Cacciatore and Crhu were both at the pin but on Starboard and by the top mark Cacciatore and Crhu had made their better start pay, beating the bolters to the buoy. There was no change on the runs but places to gain and lose on the beat. The two boats that had started closest to the pin on starboard fought to the end with Cacciatore taking the win.

Saturday night fun was at the SYC bar and wood-fired pizzas were served by local restaurant Embers. The beer was flowing as we played various games and raised £142 for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust in honour of our late friend Bruce Temple. A few crews carried on to sample the best of Scarborough's night life and subsequent hangovers became apparent the next day!

Sunday morning came and Scarborough came alive, with a late start of 1pm due to the tide. A leisurely morning was had, giving competitors enough time to pull themselves round from Saturday night's festivities. It didn't look promising early on with the waters of the South Bay glassy. However, the day warmed up and with it the sea breeze filled in and by kick-off there was a solid 10 to 12 knots.

Race 4 It was Cacciatore's turn to be over the line, this time just caught out with boats underneath forcing them over. It was tight throughout the fleet approaching the windward mark for the first time with barely a boat length between positions and it wasn't until the 2nd beat that boats got some separation. Most of the fleet stayed towards the left-hand side of the course upwind, tacking on the odd shift that came through. By this time there was a strong tide flowing South. Sharky took advantage of the leebow and slingshot to jump two places but it was another fine performance from Seaword, who managed to hold Crhu off to take another race win. Mid fleet it was again Grand Day Out and Black Sheep trading places to keep the pressure on each other for Scarborough bragging rights.

Race 5 The only clean start of the series! Sharky got their nose in front, off the start line and banged the left-hand corner, again using the leebow and slingshot of the tide they'd used to good effect in race 4, and despite the best efforts of Crhu down the first run, managed to hold them off and extend their lead upwind, seemingly having a touch more pace and favouring that left hand corner each time. Try as they might the fleet couldn't catch Sharky who took the race win.

With 4 races to count, the discards were applied and Seaword came out well deserved winners on 6 points for the series. Well done to Dara and the boys! The rest of the fleet were incredibly close with only two points splitting the next three boats. But for 1 position in 1 race, we could easily have had 3 boats in 2nd all on 11pts and countbacks would have had to be applied.

It was incredibly close racing, throughout the fleet, with individual battles all over. Black Sheep took Scarborough bragging rights, whilst a special mention should be made of Shameless - they unfortunately timed out in every race but this didn't curb their enthusiasm and hopefully they will have taken something away from the event.

Sonatas

Sailing the same course, the fleet of 4 Sonatas started 5 minutes after the 707s. Some good battles were had throughout all the races but the standout was Jimmy Cliff's Bee Sharp, who placed 1st on every race. Freshly back from the Sonata Nationals in Cowes, they certainly proved they were match fit!

A huge thanks to all the competitors and volunteers who helped make this event a great success. A special mention of thanks to Sean Clarkson our Race officer and his on-the-water team for a very well run event. Special thanks also to Filey Sailing Club for the loan of the RIB and Scarborough Harbour for assistance and berthing for the event.

Lastly a huge thank you to our prize sponsors: ZSpars, Gill, Elvstrom & East Coast Marine.

Overall Results:

707s
1st Seaword 6pts
2nd Crhu 10pts
3rd Cacciatore 11pts
4th Sharky 12pts
5th Turbulence 14pts
6th Rammie 21pts
7th Black Sheep 26pts
8th Grand Day Out 27pts
9th Just One More 34pts
10th Humdinger 37pts
11th Miss Moneypenny 38pts
12th Shameless 52pts

Sonatas
1st Bee Sharp 4pts
2nd Sting 8pts
3rd Zeris 11pts
4th Far Out 15pts

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