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ILCA and Byte open meeting at Spinnaker Club

by Keith McQuillin 1 Jun 2022 15:52 BST 28 May 2022
ILCA South Coast Grand Prix Series opens at Spinnaker © Keith McQuillin

Spinnaker Club held the season opener for the ILCA South Coast Grand Prix Series on Saturday 28 May. For the first time, Spinnaker invited the Byte class to the club to combine opens with the ILCAs. Starting between the ILCA 7s and ILCA 6s worked well with all fleets maintaining clean air throughout.

Being more overcast than forecast, the sea breeze never established so that the wind stayed relatively constant throughout the day providing four good races. The course used the full extents of the lake with the 'Spinnaker' shifts keeping everyone on their toes both upwind and down.

The ILCA 7 were first off with Gareth Humphries and Keith McQuillin getting the early lead with Keith eventually getting ahead. In Race 2, latecomer, Ian Hickman made up for Missing Race 1 with a comprehensive win from Peter May. Race 3 saw Keith back at the front with Ian squeezing ahead of Peter on the finish to take second. With only Ian able to snatch the overall title with a final race win, Keith kept him close from the start. Peter, then Terence O'Neill held the lead but eventually, it was Keith closely followed by Ian who took the top two places in Race 4 and overall with Peter third.

Racing in the Bytes was extremely tight all day with places changing regularly and three of the four races being decided by less than a boat's length. It was good to host visitors from far and wide and equally pleasing to see some new faces on the circuit (welcome to Gabby Burns from Spinnaker and Darren Andrews from Island SC). Nobody managed to break away from the pack in any race and there was always a threat from those behind making better use of the breeze that came their way. The starts and first beats were very busy with plenty of opportunity to get things right, or wrong.

Mary "Maverick" Cooper from Thorney Island had a stormer of a first beat in final race only for her hard work to be undone by an unexpected navigational error at the windward mark - so close. The runs close to shore were particularly entertaining for the support crews who were on hand to witness the impact of the gusts on the fleet. Will Sears from Christchurch was the unfortunate recipient of a rogue in race 3 that rolled him in to windward - the thwack as his mast hit the water was very impressive.

Overall, Rick Whitehouse from Combs (yes Combs in the Peak District - 10/10 for commitment) was the most consistent posting four second places but he couldn't stop Duncan Glen from the home club whose three bullets were enough to secure the winners spot. The other bullet going to Kirsten Glen also from Spinnaker who closed out the podium and was extremely pleased to be fighting it out with the big (well not so big really) boys.

The ILCA 6 and 4 were the third starts. Xavier Dunn laid down a good first win some way ahead of Jasmine McQuillin. In Race 2, Oliver Freemantle came out top in a close battle with Xavier and Jo Fordham in third. Race 3 saw Jasmine take an early lead but with Xavier clawing it back each lap. After a high-energy final beat, Jasmine just edged it. She was now the only person who could grasp the series win from Xavier, and there was an excellent three-way battle in the last race. Xavier, with a cool head, kept ahead to win the race and the series, and with Oliver taking second place overall by a point from Jasmine.

A fantastic final beat from Ava Francis saw take her second third place of the day.

Tea and scones between races and more cake with the prize-giving is always the sign of a good day, thanks to all at Spinnaker for their excellent hospitality.

The next Byte event on the calendar is Weston on 18th/19th June and for ILCAs, at Bosham on 11th June - back to salt water, tide and waves. Fingers crossed for some sunshine.

Byte Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4Pts
13298Duncan Glen11‑313
23693Richard Whitehouse‑22226
32950Kirsten Glen‑33137
43737Mary Cooper444(RET)12
53734Gabby Burns5‑76415
63736Darren Andrews‑765516
73709Will Sears65‑7617

Radial Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4Pts
1216647Xavier D1‑2214
2205144Oliver F31‑426
3196727Jasmine McQ2‑5147
4PurpleAva F43‑5310
51817Jo Fordham‑543512

Standard Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4Pts
1196727Keith McQuillin1‑3113
2217830Ian Hickman(DNC)1225
3202523Peter May323‑78
4212146Gareth Humphrey24‑539
5208157Jonathan Crosser5‑64615
6178823Terence O'Neill4‑88416
7215420Paul Watson65‑7516
8181711Guy Rushton776‑820