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A weekend of light wind Bembridge Redwing racing

by Mike Samuelson 9 May 06:09 BST 7-8 May 2022

Friday evening's local forecast for Saturday afternoon was for sunny periods and a light SW'erly breeze. Although there were indeed some sunny periods (and a few spots of rain), there was no sign of a SW'erly breeze!

There was, however enough of a NE'erly to tempt seven Redwings to head out for their programmed two races. Optimistic that the breeze would hold, they set off from a line at Garland towards Britten.

Start of Race 1 on Saturday

Rupert MacInnes helming Avocet stayed out on starboard tack and as the breeze came and went, emerged the first to round Britten by a country mile; indeed after a course change to bring the fleet back through the line to finish on the run, Avocet was well over 10 minutes ahead of Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II with Rosie Gosling in Gosling third.

With what looked like a strengthening SE'erly breeze, every one agreed to give a second race a go. Indeed although progress off the line towards Tara was not exactly fast, there was certainly some progress with Richard Jessel in Blue Jay well down to windward and finding the best of the dieing breeze. With such slow progress and no sign of a stronger breeze on the horizon, it was suggested by the Race Officers that boats might be happy to abandon the race, however all agreed to persevere but that the finish would be at Tara. Richard's tactic paid off and Blue Jay crossed the line first two minutes ahead of Rupert in Avocet. Joe was third and Robin Ebsworth in Quintessence was fourth inches ahead of the Goslings who had risked all by going inshore.

There were no One-Designs - they had been put off by the prospect of little or no wind! Sadly this also meant that it was unlikely that any would race on Sunday because of the tides (the plan was for them to be moored overnight at Under Tyne like the Redwings).

Conditions on Sunday afternoon were almost perfect with a SE'erly F2 breeze and bright sunshine for the six (Richard & Lisa Jessel were RO'ing so no no Blue Jay) Redwings to enjoy. The first leg from Janson to Tara saw a split fleet with Gannet and Avocet going for the right handside of the course with Red Gauntlet II and Gosling remaining on starboard tack; a tactic that paid off and put them into the lead. On the run to Derek, Red Gauntlet II, Gosling and Avocet kept inshore with the other three taking the offshore route. Joe held onto a comfortable lead for the rest of the course (Tara, Nainby with the finish at Pepe) ahead of Jonathan N-L in Snowgoose; Rosie was third in Gosling with Robin Ebsworth in Quintessence fourth. Overall this meant that Joe won Lt Col Stanley's Ink Well.

Morning starts next weekend - the Redwings are competing for the Svana RYS Quaich and it's a BODA weekend.

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