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Bembridge Redwing & One-Design Racing on 8th & 9th June 2024

by Mike Samuelson 10 Jun 05:37 BST 8-9 June 2024

For Saturday the racing was based on the Redwing's 'Edwardian' race for the Bembridge Harbour Trophy; a race that uses as many of the pre-war buoys with as close to a harbour start and a harbour finish possible.

Starting from a laid line just outside the harbour, it was a reach to Drum (rounded to starboard), a run to Under Tyne and out to Ruthven; then a beat back into the harbour to an inflatable representing the old Broad Hole. Back out of the harbour and a run to Fitzwilliam before the final leg to finish at Pepe which although not an 'old' buoy, is the closest to the harbour entrance.

Sadly there were only four Redwings, Blue Jay, Ibis, Quintessence and Gosling. After a spread out start, the four settled down with Richard Jessel helming Blue Jay first to round Drum with Gosling (helmed by Serena Gosling), Quintessence (helmed by Robin Ebsworth) and Ibis (helmed by Tom Scott) not far behind. After an interesting bit of navigating to find Ruthven after Under Tyne, it was Gosling who led the beat back to the harbour.

Redwing start on Saturday

Rounding the laid windward mark just to the north of Bembridge Outboards with a good lead ahead of Blue Jay (who grazed 'Broad Hole' and took a penalty on the way out of the harbour), Ibis and Quintessence, it was looking like both the best dressed prize and the Harbour Trophy was Gosling's for the taking. However while they still won the former, they apparently got confused by one of the yellow 'speed' buoys on their way to Fitzwilliam and went from first to last by the time they reached the finish. Reading the fickle breeze best, Blue Jay pounced on the opportunity to take over the lead and finished just over 2 minutes ahead of Quintessence with Ibis and Gosling not far behind. A fun race!

Although shortened slightly having rounded 'Broad Hole' (Footprint in lieu of Fitzwilliam), five One-Designs were set the same course. Arguably closer to the line than the Redwings had been at the start, it was No 8, helmed by Charles Perry, who rounded Drum first just ahead of No 3, helmed by Stephan Ludwig, and No 10, helmed by Jos Coad.

One-Design start on Saturday

On the run to Under Tyne No 1, helmed by Russ Fowler caught the front three up a bit by flying her blue spinnaker. Although only briefly, No 9, helmed by Alexander Ross flew her grey spinnaker on the leg to Ruthven with questionable success! Despite best efforts by No 3 & No 10, Charles & Lavinia in No 8 held them off to finish a minute ahead of Stephan. Mind you it might have been a different story if Jos had not briefly run aground close to St Helens groyne as they entered the harbour en route for 'Broad Hole'!

Fewer boats on Sunday which was a pity as there was a lovely breeze and some sunshine. There were three Redwings for their first race which dropped to two for the second, and three One-Designs. With the Bembridge Gig Festival using the water between Silver Beach and St Helens Fort, a line using an inflatable was set up about half way between Garland and Janson. After a close start Serena rounded Garland first in Gosling with Tom in Ibis and Robin in Quintessence not very far behind.

Start of Race 1 Sunday

Indeed this was still the order at the finish after they had run to Ruthven, close reached (after the breeze had veered twenty degrees) back to Garland, run to Fitzwilliam and beat back to the line. That said, there was little to separate Gosling and Ibis and Serena only secured the win after forcing Tom onto port tack as they maneuvered to cross the line.

With Ibis returning back into the harbour, the second race was a one on one between Gosling and Quintessence. After a close start, using Garland as the pin they had an excellent beat to Drum, then a run to Tara, a beat back to Nainby and a reach to the finish at Pepe. Always close, Robin got ahead on the run and crossed the line fifteen seconds ahead.

Start of Race 2 Sunday

The three One-Designs made a good start and followed the Redwings to Garland before using Janson as their leeward mark. Xander Shaw in No 6 lead most of the way but unfortunately failed to pick up a course change that sent them to Fitzwilliam rather than Janson after the breeze had gone right 20 degrees which allowed Charles Perry in No 8 to take first by twenty seconds.

Start of Race 1 Sunday

In the second race it was another good start with No 6 and No 1 at the Committee boat end and No 8 at the pin end of what was an extremely long line. However when they came together there was very little between them which proved it was a very square line! On the run to Tara, No 1, helmed by Simon Allocca, experimented with their spinnaker but without much success. At the finish at Pepe, Xander was about 10 seconds ahead of Charles.

Start of Race 2 Sunday

Early-ish starts next weekend so as to get racing completed before the bulk of the Round the Island Race cross our patch of water.

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