Well everyone, the long awaited race report for the race on Thursday 29th June, written by our newest race officer Fleur Bryant, is finally here. What a race report it is, with a fantastic result at the end once the handicapping was applied….and a new race winner…!!!
Light, shifty winds were the order of the day, but the race was able to take place on the now common ACD race course. The pack bunched at the start, competing for position. Mike Blatchford was first across the line on the port end of the line in a Martin. The wind was fickle though and his good start was whittled away by Peter Gregory in his 2.4, aka The Red Torpedo, who took full advantage of the lighter shifty breeze. He was followed closely by Peter Wagner and David Mason also in their 2.4s. Behind them leading the way for the Access 303s were Fay Watson with her crew James Thomas and then Brian Mac in a Liberty.
The wind struggled for the remaining part of the lap. The 2.4s had a highly competitive first lap, but the end of the first lap showed the importance of choosing the right side of the beat when Peter Wagner and David Mason rounded the Leeward mark and took opposing sides. Peter being forced into the shoreline side of the beat lost out once they reached the start / finish gate.
Brian Mac continued a strong performance from the start, gaining advantage on the beat and maintaining his position on the subsequent two legs. The 303 fleet was led by Fay Watson, followed by Bob Fisher then Ann Frewer in her, highly handicapped, 2.3 and then Steve Farmer and Mark Cayzer. Whilst the beat was competitive on the 2nd lap, positions were maintained with only 2 changes. Fay made her move and overtook Brian Mac in the Liberty, whilst Andy Wallace decided to retire.
The 2.4s sailed a 3rd lap having completed the 2nd lap in well under the 30 minutes allotted for the race. The placings were maintained, although both Peter Gregory and David Mason managed to pull away, increasing the gaps between 1st and 2nd and 2nd and 3rd positions on the water.
Well done to everyone for persevering with the fickle winds. Mark Cayzer must also have a mention for brilliantly persevering and finishing the course.
A couple of points to remember: firstly, the starboard end of the line (the right side) may not always be the best end to start as was proved by Mike Blatchford in this race; secondly, before the race, try to practice the time it takes to get to the line from a starting position behind the line. There was quite a gap between the gun firing and the first boat over the line. Getting this right will lead to significant gains over competitors and reducing your overall sailing time.
Finally well done to everybody, not a single competitor forgot to go through the start / finish gate. And many congratulations to our new race winner Fay Watson!
The final result is:
- 1st Fay Watson (crew James Thomas)
- 2nd David Mason
- 3rd Peter Gregory
- 4th Ann Frewer
- 5th Peter Wagner
- 6th Brian Mac
- 7th Bob Fisher
- 8th Steve Farmer
- 9th Mike Blatchford
- 10th Mark Cayzer
- Retired Andy Wallace
This leaves the overall series results with 4 races left, as:
- 1st Kim Sparkes – 5 points
- 2nd Mike Blatchford – 7 points
- 3rd David Mason – 11 points
- 4th Peter Gregory – 14 points
- 5th Fay Watson – 18 points