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RC1000 Event 5 at the Royal Western Yacht Club, Plymouth

by Keith Davies 1 Oct 10:28 BST 25-26 September 2021

Over the weekend of the 25/26th September the Royal Western Yacht Club was pleased to welcome back the RC1000 class for their final event of the year, with a promising forecast of dry weather and 6-8 knots for the Saturday and 15-18 kts for the Sunday.

Unfortunately upon arrival at the race course in Plymouth Sound the nine competitors from varying locations were welcomed by 50 meters (and less!) visibility and 2kts of wind. The Marina team at Queen Anne's Battery were quick to assist the Race officer and his team by berthing the four visiting yachts, allowing for AP over H to be quickly displayed which was quickly followed by an AP over 2.

During this postponement the class chairman took the opportunity to gather the owners to discuss the ongoing format for the class for the future. Unfortunately although the visibility cleared the breeze did not fill enough for fair racing. The Schedule for the Sunday was amended to comprise 4 races consisting of 3 windward leeward, followed by a longer round the cans race to finish the day.

Sunday's weather didn't disappoint with race one starting in bright sunshine and with a consistant 13 kts of wind which was forecast to increase as the day went on. Race officer Keith Davies set up the Committee boat to the West of Plymouth Sound with Melampus as a leeward mark and a laid windward mark just behind the Western end of the Breakwaker and proceded to run the first windward-leeward race of the day starting to schedule, although 'Men Behaving Badly' was a little early and had to turn back to restart. Races 1 and 2 were all about Steve Andrew and his team on 'Sunfire' (Jeanneau Sunfast 3200R2): after clear starts in both races they led around the course from start to finish taking the first two race wins. With tight racing and congested mark roundings making every second count, Robert Fletcher's 'I Say Ding Dong' took second and 'Muskox' 3rd in Race 1, 'Men Behaving Badly' took a 2nd, and 'Jump and Shout' 3rd in Race 2.

With close fleet racing all teams were aiming for an edge - clear starts were needed for any chance of a race win to close the gap to Sunfire, but Race 3 saw 3 boats over the line and having to restart, Robert Fletcher on his 34.7 'I Say Ding Dong' being the furthest over. Race 3 also saw a change at the front with Jon Harris' A35 'Jump and Shout' taking the race win from 'Altura' by only 4 seconds with 'Bandit' (David Gouldens JPK visiting from Dartmouth) in a close third. Unfortunately for Neville and his team on 'Muskox' their day was cut short at the first windward mark with a broken D2 forcing them to retire. Race 4 saw the fleet get their only clean start of the day with a staggered round-the-cans course, beating out of the Sound to Knapp (just South of the Breakwater) followed by a long run back into the Cattewater to finish on the RWYC club line. This longer race suited the team on 'Bandit' who took a close win from Peter Wanstalls 'Men Behaving Badly', with 'Jump and Shout' 3rd. Adam James' 'Blackjack' had shown steady improvements with his young crew and was progressing through the fleet with each race. With no discards and every race to count it really was a case of every second counts, with 'Jump and Shout' taking the regatta win with 11 points from 'Sunfire' on 12 and 'Men Behaving Badly' only 3 points back.

Full results can be found on HalSail Results here...

Following the close racing all crews gathered for a brief prize-giving and well deserved drinks back at the club house.

This IRC-rating band series has proved a fantastic success with the racing fleet and, as it is an Open series looks forwards to building on the intense and focussed racing with dates already being planned for 6 regattas in 2022. Interested crews need to keep an eye on RC 1000 - Quality Matched IRC Racing and the RC1000 Facebook page for details.

Photos with thanks to Paul Gibbins Photography.

The class would like to thank their supporters Royal Western Yacht Club, B&G, Freshwave IT&Web, Ullman Sails, Allspars, Paul Gibbins Photography, PR Systems Marine Electronics, Plymouth Yacht Haven, Plym Yacht Club.