A very cold start to the season, despite a lot of sunshine, but a good turnout of 14 boats on the Osea start line. The forecast was for no more than F3 from NW, so Race Officer Paul Su set a short course, with the Bench Head and Colne 8 the outer marks.

Before the 10 minute gun a one minute silence was held in memory of Geoff White, a regular competitor in ‘Waratah’.

All the fleet got away cleanly, led by ‘August Sky’, in a light NNW wind, except ‘Absolution’, with a mainsail batten snagged on a runner, losing them several minutes. New this year were Tommy Mills’ First Class 8 ‘Geronimo’, ex West Mersea, replacing ‘Rhombus’, and Steve Sharpe’s First 285 ‘Rocket’, replacing ‘Red Storm’. ‘Soprano’ and ‘Moondance’ sported new laminate sails.

Most spinnakers went up not long after the start, and the shifts led to a mixture of tight and broader reaches all the way to the Bench Head, bar the usual cross tide leg from WM2 to WM1.The fleet spread out on the run to the Bench Head, but on the one sided beat up to Colne 8 the wind became shifty in direction and strength, leading to changes of position and a bunched arrival of the faster boats.

A reach back to the Bench Head, during which Paul Su assessed the wind situation in consultation with the skipper of ‘Quixotic’, and the course was shortened by the omission of WM2 on the return, relayed to all boats by ‘Quixotic’. The tighter fetch to WM1 allowed the boats with larger genoas to pull away from the First 25.5s ‘Dan Dare’, ‘Aloha’, and ‘Easi Rider’. ‘Quixotic led as usual, but not by enough to score. ‘Geronimo’ and ‘Triton’ got into their stride, with ‘Blue’ Moon’ level with ‘Triton’ all the way to Osea, where she ran aground for a short while on East Point.
Meanwhile, approaching the ‘Radio Caroline’ ship, ‘August Sky’ appeared at full speed from astern, catching up ‘Dan Dare’ and ‘Easi Rider’, and going on to win by 5 minutes on corrected time from ‘Triton’ and ‘Blue Moon’. A great start to the season for Maurice and his crew!

First – ‘August Sky’ – Maurice Mutimer – Blackwater SC
Second – ‘Triton’ – Peter Copsey – Blackwater SC
Third – ‘Blue Moon’ – Richard Robarts – Marconi SC

First – ‘Triton’ – Peter Copsey – Blackwater SC
Second – ‘Blue Moon’ – Marconi SC
Third – ‘Absolution’ – Eric Reynolds – Maylandsea Bay YC

The full BJRC Result here

The full IRC Result here

The BJRC table shows the revised handicaps for the next race for the first five places, in accordance with SI 2.4.1. The code R1 in the same column shows that these boats fall in the last third of the fleet, and after 3 races in this category a boat is eligible for handicap review under SI 2.4.2