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Ovington 2021 - ILCA 2 - LEADERBOARD

Bembridge Sailing Club Keelboat Racing - 7th to 13th August 2023

by Mike Samuelson 14 Aug 05:56 BST 7-13 August 2023

On Monday afternoon (7th August) a fresh15 + knots from the SW promised good race conditions for eight Redwings and four One-Designs. A line was laid south of St Helens Fort to allow Garland to be the windward mark for all races.

Ruthven and Janson were used as leeward marks for the Redwings and One-Designs respectively. Sadly Mike Toogood in Tara had to return to the moorings with gear failure, but the remaining seven Redwings got away cleanly and were still closely grouped at Garland. On the run to Ruthven and subsequent beat back to the line, Jockey Wilson in Quail led Jo Downer in Enigma and Nicko Robertson in Musicus. The change of leeward mark to Janson was not seen or heard by all boats, but the order remained unchanged and Quail led home, followed by Enigma and Musicus. Next was Colin Samuelson in Toucan, Christopher Chetwood in Ladybird, Alex Andreae in Prawn, and Tarpon helmed by Dominic Samuelson. Five boats stayed out for the crews' race of Garland/Janson twice round. Jo Downer started well and was never headed. She was followed home by Quail, Thalia Chetwood in Prawn, Christopher Chetwood in Ladybird and Hugo Samuelson in Tarpon.

Four One Designs raced twice round Garland/Janson with the lead changing several times. A broadly smiling D Orange in No3 came out on top, leading Mark Grzegorczyk in No9, Russ Fowler in No1 and Susie Beart in No5 at the finish. D then headed home, and at the second start over the same course Russ was very much OCS but did not return. Mark led the way, and came home ahead of Russ and Susie, but Russ's OCS gave Susie 2nd spot.

Another very overcast day on Tuesday, but a steady 12 to 15 knots from the SW gave good sailing for two Redwings (would have been a couple more but for an error on when racing was) and four One-Designs. The Redwings asked for just one race and were sent from a laid start line on a beat to Garland followed by a run to Ruthven, twice round. Colin Samuelson in Toucan and Dominic Samuelson in Tarpon both had good starts, but Colin's good form continued and he soon established a lead that he never relinquished. He led at the finish by two and a half minutes.

The One Designs were also sent to Garland, with Janson as their leeward mark, again twice round. After a timid start from all boats, D Orange in No 9 was the only one to opt for the right hand side of the beat and led at Garland by a short head from Jos Coad in No8, followed closely by Susie Beart in No5, John Suffield in No4 and Simon Allocca in No1. On the run and second round both Susie and John managed to work their way past Jos, and the finishing order was D, Susie, John, Jos, and Russ. The same course was used for race two and Susie led up the beat after an excellent start. However, Mark Grzegorczyk now helming No 9 again opted right and again it paid off. He led Susie at the mark, and indeed al the way home, not far ahead of George Harbord-Hamond in No 4, Jos, and Russ Fowler in No 1.

Wednesday morning was the Zanen Long Distance Trophy with seven Redwings and five One-Designs starting together at Undertyne in a light NNW'erly breeze. With the target as Warner via Derek, most boats headed in towards the St Helens shore. Colin Samuelson in Toucan lead the way with Capella II, helmed by James Wilson never very far away. These two stole a march on the rest of the fleet and developed an unbeatable lead (well providing the breeze did not die completely and they made it to Warner!) Mark Gregorczyk meanwhile in No 1 One-Design was well ahead of the other One-Designs and indeed was ahead of some of the Redwings. Although it was a slow work, only Ladybird decided to call it a day; all the rest persevered despite what should have been a run back to the finish at Undertyne turning into a beat after the breeze veered 180 degrees! Toucan finished 6 minutes ahead of Capella II with Robin Ebsworth in Quintessence a further 4 minutes behind. Mark finished 27 minutes behind Colin which using 'Mike's handicap' would have put him into second overall, however using the new (and more accurate) YTC ratings, he ended up coming fifth. All the other One-Designs retired.

On Thursday, twelve Redwings were racing for the Princessa Trophy; in anticipation of the ESE'erly breeze increasing slightly as the afternoon wore on, they were sent from a laid line north of Undertyne to Bembridge Ledge, the West Princessa, Cochrane, Footprint and finishing at Undertyne. After the start, all boats soon headed inshore to get out of the tide. Progress was slow particularly the closer they got to the Ledge buoy and there were some interesting manoeuvres as they rounded it! The front runners all headed back inshore while some decided there was less tide offshore. Which ever way was chosen, patience was definitely required as boats tried to stem the tide in about 3 knots of breeze. After what must have felt like an eternity, Capella II helmed again by James Wilson rounded just ahead of Paroquet helmed by Rory Morrison. There was then a gap to Colin Samuelson Toucan, and an even wider gap to the Downer's in Enigma. Full marks to the rest of the fleet who, save for Redwitch, kept going in the sloppy sea and all eventually made it round the West Princessa. Indeed aided by the tide, all made it back to the moorings, the first 5 having completed the complete course and the rest awarded a finishing place as they passed Undertyne enroute for Footprint. On the run from Cochrane, Paroquet managed to creep in front of Capella II and on the beat back to the line it was nip and tuck with Rory just hanging on and managing to poke the bow over the line before they were pushed back by the tide. Toucan was third.

Three One-Designs meanwhile had an interesting race with No 9 helmed by Penny Stanley carrying a genoa and No 7, helmed by Charles Abel Smith and No 1, helmed by Simon Allocca, with normal jibs. Starting immediately after the Redwings their windward mark was Tara with Nainby as the leeward one. Simon tacked straight after the start and headed inshore; definitely the right tactic as he rounded Tara in the lead. Penny got ahead on the slow run to Nainby and held it to finish 40 seconds ahead of Simon.

Friday was the first day of the annual BSC Regatta and it was great to see a dozen Mermaids and two Squibs joining the Redwings and One-Designss for racing in a 15 to 20 knot SW breeze off Bembridge. The Redwings and Mermaids were set a windward/leeward course between Garland and Ruthven, with the One-Designs and two Squibs having a shorter course with Janson as the leeward mark. However, shortly after the last start the wind unkindly backed by 30 degrees, turning the beats into port tack fetches! A course change to Under Tyne as the windward mark was made for all classes, but the wind continued to lighten and back, so this too almost became a fetch from the leeward buoys. There was little more the ROs could do and all classes were finished at Under Tyne.

Colin Samuelson (Toucan) led the Redwings home, followed by young Alex Downer (Enigma) who just pipped Joe Robertson (Red Gauntlet II) for second with a well timed tack at the finish line. Noel Dobbs led the Mermaids for the whole race, and although Mark Grzegorczyk in No 9 was the first One-Design to finish, applying the new YTC rating as he used his trial spinnaker, his corrected time put him 10 seconds behind Susie Beart in No 5. The two Squibs were neck and neck all the way, and were overlapped at the finish. Unhelpful breeze, but good racing nonetheless.

A robust 20-25kts from the SW led to a reduced turnout on the Glorious Twelfth. A handful of Mermaids kindly made the journey from Seaview, but then decided against racing and headed back home. Eight Redwings, five One-Designs, and three visiting Squibs braved the gusts over a course set to avoid the bigger seas offshore. Garland/Janson provided a windward/leeward course for all classes, three times round for the Redwings and twice for the others, with a finish back at Garland. A couple of retirements and a huge uncorrected OCS meant that the Redwings were down to four boats completing the course; Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II led to the finish, followed by Henry Thorpe in Redwitch and Ben Stoddart-Stones in Vera. The One-Designs had a very tight race with John Suffield in No4, approaching the finish on port, just unable to clear Hugh Doherty in No10 and Alexander Ross in No11. John crash tacked, bumped the finish mark, did a 360, and ended up going from first to fourth over the finish line! Hugh luffed over the line and won by the very slimmest of short noses from Alexander. The 3 Squibs clearly enjoyed the conditions, and 835 (Kestrel) helmed by Harry White eventually came first, closely followed by Chris Gear in 808 (Osprey) and Philip Russell in 687 Icarus.

Sunday saw ten Redwings and four One-Designs head off to race in the SVYC Regatta. Conditions were not for the faint hearted (SW F4-5) but once they had worked out where to go, they all thoroughly enjoyed the challenging racing. Mark Downer in Enigma led from the start and having sailed at Seaview many times before served as a useful guide for the rest of the fleet.

Rounding the first mark

Rory Morrison in Paroquet and Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II were nip and tuck for the first round and a half, however Rory found an extra knot on the final round and finished a safe second. Joe was third and Robin Ebsworth in Quintessence was fourth. Although well up in the fleet after the first round and a half, sadly for them Prawn, helmed by Alex (jnr) Andreae, and Tara, helmed by Will Toogood lost a lot of ground when they initially missed the spreader buoy (3). The four One-Designs meanwhile had a similar but slightly shorter course; Susie Beart in No 5 held a slender lead over Charles Perry in No 8 for the first half of the race but Charles got ahead and finished a good half a minute ahead. There was then a considerable gap to No 11 helmed by Richard Hall and No 1 helmed by Simon Allocca.

Additional photos:

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