Race 5 – Stone SC Cruiser Trophy

One thing we all know is that no weather forecasts consider the possibility of sea breezes and their effect, and many’s the time that they have had a crucial effect on BJRC races. As we went past Osea on the way down the south westerly was stronger than forecast, but by Stone it was enough to stem the tide under full main alone, but not a lot more – that sea breeze was pushing against the flow.
16 BJRC boats started, plus 6 from the BCOSS downriver and Colne clubs. Especially nice to see the late David Lawton’s Sonata ‘Hornblower’, a long time BJRC stalwart, back in the flock, skippered by his son Jim.
Jerry Flaxman’s ‘Quixotic’ and Nigel Sheppard’s ‘Aloha’ got away from the line well, but almost all the others stayed in a bunch all the way out to the North Eagle, with very little wind and few changes of position. After the North Eagle a difficult light beat against the ebb to the North West Knoll, where the correct strategy meant big gains could be made, and the leaders, followed by ‘Absolution’ and ‘Triton’, started to pull away, while the rest of the fleet also spread out more. A run up the Colne to the Inner Bench Head, still no real wind, a one sided beat to the Bench Head, with some wind returning from the south and then going east for a while on the way to North Eagle for the second time. The wind then shifted back to where it started, in the southwest, and piped up to F4, a reach becoming a fetch, and then a beat past Bradwell to the line.
A long race for some, and thanks to the Stone SC bridge team for managing the race and staying to see the last boat home, after 7 hours and thirty nine minutes racing.
Despite the long bunched run the faster boats did manage to make it up on the more breezy beat back, and the winner – in both NHC and IRC classes, was Peter Copsey’s ‘Triton’ – without a win for quite a few seasons. ‘Aloha’ continued her improving form to take second in NHC, while ‘Absolution’ took third in NHC and second  in IRC. ‘Quixotic’ took third in IRC.
‘Hornblower’ sailed an excellent race to come fourth in NHC. Welcome back!

NHC Class
First –  ‘Triton’ – Peter Copsey – Blackwater SC
Second – ‘Aloha’ – Nigel Sheppard – Blackwater SC
Third –  ‘Absolution’ – Eric Reynolds – Maylandsea Bay YC

IRC Class
First – ‘Triton’ – Peter Copsey – Blackwater SC
Second –  ‘Absolution’ – Eric Reynolds –
Maylandsea Bay YC
Third – ‘Quixotic’ – Jerry Flaxman – Blackwater SC

The full NHC result here

The full IRC result here


Winner of both classes, 'Triton', with Barry Foulds at the helm, Peter Copsey on the winch, and Bob Appleby on the foredeck - photo by Guy hawkins

Winner of both classes, ‘Triton’, with Barry Foulds at the helm, Peter Copsey on the winch, and Bob Appleby on the foredeck – photo by Guy hawkins











The Leader Board
Five races finished, and seven boats have finished all five. ‘Aloha’ is beginning to look unbeatable in NHC, with no poor results, but on the best four ‘Soprano’ is close behind. Everyone else is rather a long way back …….. but there are still four to go.
In IRC ‘Blue Moon’ has finished five races for 12 points, but ‘Triton’ and ‘Absolution’ have two first places each, so if they keep up that level it will be tight at the end.

The full NHC series scores here

The full IRC series scores here