Once again the weather forecasts failed to take account of possible sea breezes, so the expected South Westerly came in as a very light South Easterly, veering slowly over the course of the race to SW and ending up a good F4, before dying as usual after the race.
The biggest turnout this year – nineteen starters, with nearly all the regulars, plus Dave Onyons Impala ‘Monkey Business’ from Marconi SC – nice to see you back!
Race Officers Don and Penny Baines set the shortest course available – K 14 X, and the fleet got away slowly on starboard tack, but leaving Maurice Mutimer’s ‘August Sky’ caught downtide, fortunately outside the line, unable to get back. She eventually started some 20 minutes late, with a filling wind, and stormed up the fleet.
All boats took a long time to get to Thirslet, after which those who chose the potentially risky southern route to WM3 were rewarded by the wind filling from that side and bringing them well ahead, led by ‘Aloha’, ‘Quixotic’, and ‘Absolution’. A beat to WM2 saw many holes in the wind, on ‘Sophie’ we were caught aback twice with strong gusts followed by calm patches, and most boats probably suffered some setbacks. Across to WM1, then the long one sided beat to the Northwest Knoll, in F3 becoming F4. ‘August Sky’ appeared from the west, going like steam …… Next, two visits to the North Eagle, with a beam wind going and coming. ‘Quixotic’ had jumped into the lead by this point and was going back the second time while the tail enders were going out for the first time. Early boats set very shy spinnakers on the return legs, but the wind pulled slowly south, and later boats could not hold them.
No more marks after the Colne Bar until WM3 off Tollesbury. The wind continued to veer, spinnakers were dropped, early boats fetched back to the finish, some holding asymmetrics, but late comers faced a beat to the line.
‘Quixotic’ was back first, 18 minutes ahead of ‘Aloha’, followed by ‘Absolution’ 10 minutes later, then closer timings, with a few longer gaps.
The NHC winner was Nigel Sheppard’s ‘Aloha’, followed by ‘August Sky’ (So much for the importance of a good start!), and Peter Copsey’s ‘Triton’.
In IRC ‘Triton’ won, followed by ‘Absolution’ and ‘Monkey Business’.
First – ‘Aloha’ – Nigel Sheppard – Blackwater SC
Second – ‘August Sky’ – Maurice Mutimer – Blackwater SC
Third – ‘Triton’ – Peter Copsey – Blackwater SC
First – ‘Triton’ – Peter Copsey – Blackwater SC
Second – ‘Absolution’ – Eric Reynolds – Maylansea Bay YC
Third – ‘Monkey Business’ – Dave Onyons – Marconi SC
The Leader Board
The BJRC series will now be decided between ‘Aloha’ and ‘Soprano’ on the last race, a month away. Both boats have 12 points, and fourth places as their next discard, but ‘Soprano’ has two firsts.
‘Triton’ pushes up into third spot, well behind the first two, on 27 points with a ninth to discard, ‘Sophie’ is on 28, ‘Dan Dare’ on 29, and ‘Red Storm’ on 30, ‘Poohstick’ on 32, but ‘Caroline’ on 35, has a 14 point discard available, and ‘Blue Moon’, on 37, has a 10 to drop. There could be a lot of changing places, and a lot will depend on the weather – will it be the traditional big blow?
In IRC, ‘Triton’ has 6 points, ‘Absolution’ 7, and ‘Blue Moon’ 9, each of them with a second place to discard. No other boats threaten these three
Next Race – Harlow Blackwater SC Weather Mark Trophy and inter Club Team Race
Sunday 6 September
At 0900 from the Stone SC line.
As the last race, on which a great deal hangs, is a month away, and everyone will be waiting anxiously for the revised handicaps, these will be issued in a Newsletter next week.
Also – don’t forget to register for the MLSC Passage Races on the weekend of 22 – 23 August, and book your marina berth.