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IOSSC Round the Isle Of Sheppey Race Day 1 - Around the cans

by Lee Marriott 2 Sep 2023 22:18 BST 2-3 September 2023
IOSSC Round the Isle Of Sheppey Race Day 1 - Around the cans © Ethan Rotter

As with many sailing events this weekend, the weather forecast looked beautiful and perfect for a BBQ, not sailing! None-the-less 11 boats went out in 6kts of wind to have some fun before the main event of sailing around the Isle of Sheppey tomorrow (Sunday).

As spotted on social media a local had said 'there will be wind', ignore all weather reports! Low and behold he was right. As if by clock work the wind filled steadily to a beautiful 18kts and 3 races where sailed.

Race 1: With the lighter winds to start with the monohulls wanted to take advantage over the cats. 4 boats however were OCS at the start and only 1 returned... a catamaran! As the wind slowly built the horse power of the Nacra 20 Carbon (Kevin Dutch & David Banner took full advantage as they had a hull out the water and both on the wire! Closely followed by the F18 (Tim Neil & Simon Farren). The monohulls were left in the wake. The Merlin Rocket (Chris Marten & John Tailby) had a good fight with the RS400 (David Ryder & Ian Pierce), which left the single handed boats, Enterprise and a Topper Cruz to fight it out at the back. The Musto Skiff (Richard Smith) and 1 of 2 Blazes (Lee Marriott - 860) flew round only to realise they were OCS! This allowed the laser/ILCA7 (Ian Brunger) to take the 'singlehanded' honours followed by Andy Wilson (Blaze - 77).

Race 2: More wind!!! This was starting to look more fun. Gentle waves built as did the wind. The people at the Met Office seriously underestimated the power of the Sheppey Sea Breeze. On this occasion everyone was a little more cautious with the start. The Catamarans really looked fun flew to the windward mark, and the monohulls all arrived together. The locals opting to go inshore (out of the tide) whilst the visitors sailors went for a more direct route (clearly pond sailors!) but suffered. However... that was short lived as on the next round they learnt their lesson and went inshore. The 2 Blazes where neck and neck for all but the last beat. The Merlin and RS400 did there thing, the Musto Skiff had the best reaches and the results... well as you would expect, with the exception of the Merlin who just pipped the F18 on handicap.

Race 3. EVEN MORE WIND! A steady 18kts had developed. The cats had fun, but this time the wind was a little too much for the Nacra and all that horsepower couldn't be put down. The F18 came into its own and enjoyed the long reaches. The tide had started to taper off and the course came a little more tactical. Blaze 77 (Andy Wilson) however, suffered a kicker failure just before the start which meant the other Blaze could relax a little. The RS400 and the Merlin did their thing. The Musto Skiff Kept up with the cats (initially!) and looked superb on the water. The Laser started to slow as the wind got a little to much, and as always the older Enterprise looked graceful sailing around amongst what could be described as a very modern fleet.

The same is expected of the weather tomorrow (Sunday) starts of light but will build to around 20kts. This years 65th Island Race is well and truly on!

Tonight will be social, enjoyable and relaxing. Fish and chips are being served and a classic IOSSC sun-downer will be had on the beach.

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmCrewPYR1R2R3Pts
1stNACRA 20 (CARBON)35Kevin DutchDavid Banner60311‑22
2ndFORMULA 18518Tim NeilSimon Farren6702‑313
3rdMERLIN‑ROCKET3787Chris MartenJohn Tailby980‑3235
4thMUSTO SKIFF615Richard Smith 845(OCS)448
5thRS 4001447David Ryderlan Pierce9404‑559
6thILCA7/Laser113606lan Brunger 11015‑9712
7thBLAZE860Lee Marriott 1033(OCS)6612
8thBLAZE77Andy Wilson 103367(DNC)13
9thENTERPRISE22901Paul YoungLauren Morgan11267‑8815
10thDART 15 / SPRINT 15 (1p 1s)1808Rob ISted‑Smith 926810(DNC)18
11thTopper CruzN/AAshley BeukesLuca Franilis1050(OCS)DNCDNC24

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