What a fantastic day’s sailing and racing! A steady Force 3 – 4 westerly, flattish water, warm and sunny – T shirts only, instead of the five layers we have been used to so far this season.
Race Officer Trevor Holder, on ‘Jelly Bean’, set the perfect course for the day – K 14 X – and sixteen boats got away cleanly. Nice to see Joe Leary’s ‘Breezy’ back in the fleet, crewed by John Dyer – tough guys indeed with that masthead genoa and spinnaker! Nigel Sheppard’s ‘Aloha’ once again led away, on the south side, then ‘Blue Moon’ and ‘Sophie’ – I really enjoyed taking the pictures of all those boats behind us! ‘Quixotic’ soon broke through to lead, followed by ‘Absolution’, with her crew of six, then ‘Blue Moon’ and ‘Aloha’. At West Mersea No. 3 the fleet had split into the usual two bunches, then spread out for WM2, a fetch back to WM1, and off to the Northwest Knoll and the North Eagle.
A beat back to the Colne Bar – the ebb still running, which was the best way to go? ‘Quixotic’ still led, followed by ‘Absolution, ‘Aloha’, ‘Blue Moon’ and ‘Triton’. By the next mark, the Bench Head, ‘Blue Moon’ had clawed up to second place, but then made a ‘GPS induced error’, heading straight back to the North Eagle instead of taking in the NW Knoll again. She discovered her mistake and beat back ….
After the second rounding of the North Eagle it was a beat all the way home. The wind now a nice F4, and at the back of the fleet Maurice Mutimer’s ‘August Sky’ and Ken and George’s ‘Carolanti’ got into their stride once on the wind.
‘Quixotic’ finished 23 minutes ahead of ‘Absolution’, but as is common with a westerly, the fastest boats could not draw out enough of a lead, and the NHC winner was your Chairman’s ‘Sophie’, followed by ‘August Sky’ and ‘Carolanti’. Best fast boat was ‘Aloha’ in fourth place. Many of the corrected timings were extremely close – 2 seconds in two instances!
In IRC ‘Absolution’ registered another win, followed by ‘Triton’ and ‘Blue Moon’, who suffered less from her mistake than she did in the NHC race.
First – ‘Sophie’ – Guy Hawkins – Blackwater SC
Second – ‘August Sky’ – Maurice Mutimer –
Third – ‘Carolanti’ – Ken Rolland and George Allen –
First – ‘Absolution’ – Eric Reynolds –
Maylandsea Bay YC
Second – ‘Triton’ – Peter Copsey – Blackwater SC
Third – ‘Blue Moon’ – Richard Robarts – Marconi SC
The Leader Board
After six races ‘Aloha’ still leads the NHC points’ followed by ‘Soprano’, with ‘Sophie’ moving up to third.
In IRC ‘Triton’ and ‘Absolution have three wins each, and on best four races are one point apart.
Three races to go, and some top places to gain. If the wind turns easterly and blows a bit, some different leaders might emerge – at least in NHC!
Next Race –
Maldon Yacht Club
Sunday 26 July
At 1030 from the Osea line. Back to Sunday starts!
The next Newsletter, with the Revised Handicaps, will be issued in the week before the race.