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Bembridge Sailing Club Keelboat Racing

by Mike Samuelson 3 Aug 18:40 BST 25 July - 2 August 2022
Bembridge Keelboat Racing - 29th July 2022 © Mike Samuelson

Monday 25th July - No racing as SW F5 blowing and the two Redwing crews who did turn up wisely decided that it was not worth risking damaging their boats unnecessarily prior to Cowes Week.

Tuesday 26th July (by Mark Downer)

With a light north westerly breeze that was forecast to disappear later in the morning only three Bembridge One Designs appeared for the morning start. In the first race, Peter Summerhayes took the Committee Boat end of the line and got as good a start as you might hope for in the conditions, however halfway up the first beat Peter in No 1 and Ashley McLucas in No 6 tacked towards the shore finding one of the many holes in the course. The Luxmoore's sailing No 11 held on out to sea and kept a better breeze and rounded Britton which was the windward mark first; at this point Jonathan was looking forward to a hearty round of sandwiches which Sarah had completely forgotten to pack! Fortunately, a loose packet of wine gums floated past in the bilges and where heartily received.

With the wind fading fast the downwind leg was painfully slow sailing between zephyr and hole, fortunately the tide was starting to run to the East to aid the passage. With the breeze almost non existent it was decided to finish at the leeward mark which all did well to cross the line without being swept out into the channel on the increasing tide. As the last boat crossed the line the breeze built again and looked more settled, enough to facilitate a second short race from Undertyne. Indeed, the first windward leg was consistent enough that all three boats arrived in close company at the first mark. However, the second lap of the course consisted of two windward legs following a 180-degree wind shift half way down the second run!

Another good day on the water and all made it safely home for lunch.

Wednesday 27th July

SE F4 and as only No 5 (the Beart's) turned up to race, Sea Breeze remained alongside the pontoon!

Thursday 28th July

On Thursday 28 July there were four takers from BODA and none from the Redwings. Sadly the four were reduced to three when Andrew Eddy in No 9 had a problem with their jib halyard which precluded them from taking part. The other three had two races in an Easterly 4; in the first race they were sent from E (Hello Sailor) to Fitz, back to Garland with a beat back to E, twice round. Susie Beart in No 8 lead from start to finish beating Russ Fowler in No 1 and Ashley McLucas in No 6. Susie's lead was cut dramatically on the last beat when she didn't cover No 1 but she held on to win.

The second race was to Moreton - a lot further than Fitz, back to Garland and then to finish at E - once round. The racing was nip and tuck all the way round until Garland which they rounded together. On the final beat, Susie Beart got away from the others to win comfortably, being followed home by Ashley McLucas in No 6 and Peter Summerhayes in No 1.

Friday 29th July

Despite a forecast of light airs and a number heading to Cowes under tow, fifteen Redwings started their passage race at midday from a line off Footprint. As usual the course was to simply keep the two red posts (the first to the SW of No Mans Land Fort and the second on the northern edge of Ryde Sands) to port and self finish on the RYS line.

Fortunately the SSW F2 (5 knots) breeze remained reasonably constant and indeed increased slightly as the tide took the fleet to Cowes. Early front runners were Enigma and Quail, but it was Tom Scott in his 'new' Ibis who crossed the line in front and thus won the Svalan Trophy. Faced with having to fight against a strong westerly tide to get back to their moorings, the majority decided against continuing on the finish.

The two One-Designs meanwhile were also given a running start with Britten to starboard as their first mark. Simon Allocca & Russ Fowler in No 1 and Tim Montagu & Syd Beart in No 8 were neck and neck as they approached Britten but then mysteriously No 8 took it to port and No 1 to starboard (turns out that although to starboard was briefed over the radio, the course boards signalled otherwise!). Anyway both then beat to Hello Sailor before a run to Janson and a final beat back to Hello Sailor. With Sea Breeze off taking photos of the Redwings, it was something of a 'self-help' finish - not helped by No 8's radio going duff and some confusion over which way to cross the virtual finishing line. Suffice to say, it was agreed over a pint when they got back to the Club that victory should go to Tim in No 8.

Saturday 30th July

The Redwings are at Cowes so just the One-Designs until they return next Saturday. Sunshine and a brisk (16 knots from the South West) breeze offered great sailing for the five boats wanting to race, Programmed for the Margetson Trophy it was a race within a race as only Susie Beart & her daughter Roseanna in No 8 (No 5 is hors de combat at the moment) and D Orange with grandson Monty qualified as 'family pairs'.

After a good start with Mark Grzegorczyk sailing single handed not really succeeding with his port tack 'flyer', they made their way to Pepe which the front four all rounded quite closely. The run was initially to Hello Sailor and then a slight left turn to Fitzwilliam before a final beat back to the line where the race was shortened. Susie was first, half a minute ahead of Simon Allocca on No 1 with Mark a second later.

The second start was also good albeit this time there were two port tackers, neither of which quite got their timing right. Again not a lot in it at Pepe; first was Sarah Marshall in No 7 with Roseanna helming No 8 second, just ahead of Monty helming No 12. Despite lots of potential opportunities to change place, Sarah managed to hold, indeed extend her lead; Roseanna was second and Mark was third. This meant that with a first and a second, the Margetson Trophy was won by family Beart.

Sunday 31st July - brisk SW'erly, no takers!

Monday 1st August

Cruise to Whitecliff Bay with the Scows (and a Redwing) organised by Mark Grz. A great success enjoyed by all - just enough wind to get there and not too much to get back! History relates that No 12 One-Design found a new way of anchoring - probably not a technique to be repeated!

Tuesday 2nd August

Only two One-Designs which was of course a pity as tucked up in the lee of Under Tyne it was not nearly as windy as at the Club (SW F4/5)! Using the inflatable as the pin not far from No 1's mooring, a simple windward leeward course based on Spence Willard and Hello Sailor made a perfect inshore course. Slightly surprisingly both boats (No 8 helmed by Charles Perry & No 11 helmed by Charles (a friend of Syd Beart's) started on port tack some way off the line. No 8 took an early lead after No11 took a penalty for touching No 8 just before the start.

There was no stopping No 8 and at the finish after 2 rounds they were just over a minute ahead. Having initially decided to just have one race, both were clearly enjoying being out racing, so it was agreed to have another one round race. No 11 started on starboard and crossed the line just ahead of No 8 (helmed this time by Charles Hewitt), however it was soon clear that No 8 pointing higher with the result that they rounded Spence Willard well ahead. No 11 caught up a bit on the run to Hello Sailor but was unable to get any closer on the beat back to the line.

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