A ONE-day regatta featuring four Illusion class racing for the St George’s Trophy, concluded the class competition for the season last weekend.
In sparking spring conditions, 14 boats made it to the start line but in the light and variable conditions the usual top guns struggled to perform and it was John Raymond who found more breeze and speed than the rest of the fleet and sailed away to take the winners’ gun, from Rupert Holmes in second, and Mark Downer third.
The second race was won by Holmes, followed by Raymond and Jo Downer respectively,
In race three, the breeze stabilised and having got a taste of winning, Holmes was again out in front together with Jo Downer, both of them enjoying some of the best results they have had this season.
It was close on points between Raymond and Holmes but as the wind increased to a nice Force 3-4, the top guns Mark Downer, Bruce Huber and Rudy Jurg showed they like a bit of pressure in their sails and water coming over the deck and finished in that order in the final race.
However, after adding up all the points, Holmes took home his first regatta trophy with Mark Downer in second and Jurg third.
ROYAL VICTORIA YC
More strong winds were on the menu for the fourth round of the Island Ales series — and competitors lapped it up.
A record 30 boats took to their start lines last Sunday, with the Oppies holding two races in brisk Force 5 winds. Harry White dominated the first race, leaving Haydn Sewell and Harry’s brother Tom to fight it out for second and third, with the third White triplet, Charlie, just pipping Reuben Leal for fourth.
In the second race, again the bullet went to Harry, with Haydn and Tom swapping places on the podium.
The fast dinghies had National 12s, Solos, RS 400s and all three Laser rigs.
Fred Warren-Smith and Tom Griffiths were first and second respectively, with Dare Barry in third.
In the Squibs, Ann and Martin Harrison in Hussar, romped away for a good win.
Second was taken by Steve Warren-Smith and Martin Sinclair in Aquabat, and Kev and Marney Gibson in Satu.
It was another perfect sailing day last Sunday for Spring Series 4 in Gurnard Bay, and most of the late starters were tempted onto the water to give the biggest gate of the season so far with 57 entries.
The medium group was the most numerous and incorporated two growing classes, the RS100 single-hander and RS500 crewed boats.
However, it was Paul Blowers in the lone Finn who took the honours from Mark Harrison and Mark Robinson, with Phil Wright in the first of the RS500s edged into fourth.
Of the mixed Laser group it was Martin Bean who established a good lead, which he held to the finish. Chris Hobday was second, with Martin Conder next in the first of the Radials.
The fast group were allowed to stretch their legs to Elephant buoy in Thorness Bay, and Keith Hayden finished with a two-minute lead over the next boat which gave him the win overall from Phil Bunn and Steve Cole and Pete Green.
In the depleted RS400 fleet, the Bowen and Kellett boat made the crucial first cross on the beat in each race and was never headed.
A battling Graham Deegan was next with Mike Acton third.
Paul Jennings’ big cat and Robin Leather’s Shadow had the closest of contests in both races, with Paul Tanner and Mike Martin similarly engaged in battles for third on a course also set in the inviting open water of Thorness Bay.
Jack Elsom’s lead on the water in the final group was just too slender to defeat the Ellis’ Feva, but enough to keep Alex Paterson back in third place.
BRADING HAVEN YC
Rather boisterous conditions greeted sailors taking part in the first round of the club’s Spring series.
Force three Westerly winds moved South resulting in some increasingly gusty conditions on Sunday, despite this only one boat out of the 15 who took to the water, chose to retire.
One of the largest group of Solos for a good number of years took part in the fast handicap but as the race developed and conditions deteriorated, Roger Herbert in his Wayfarer took the gun a good three minutes clear of Richard Coleman and Martyn Davies, making his return to racing.
Six Scows and a single Pico, sailed by cadet Josh Hill, made up the slow fleet to sail a triangle course inside that of the fast with the race itself being contested by the usual suspects of Graham Sutton and Jodi and Barry Dyer, who broke away from the chasing fleet.
Sutton coped best in the conditions, eventually shaking off the strong father and daughter challenges to take the line from Barry and with Jodi having to concede half a minute to her father.
Cadet Hill did well to complete the course having had a personal battle with Ann Barlow, which he won on the line by a matter of seconds although losing out on handicap.
Rachael Parsloe made a welcome return to action in the handicap class last weekend.
She was first away on Saturday but the fickle winds and a strong incoming tide in Mill Creek got the better of her and Alex Gallimore stormed ahead to open up a significant lead which he held to the finish.
Rachael held her second place and Chris Parsloe was third.
In the Scows, Roger P-E was first away, followed by Graeme Bowen and John Bennet.
Melinda Measor brought up the rear having mistimed her start. However, the race was won in Mill Creek, when Melinda recovered all her lost ground and tacked back out into the river leaving everyone else at a stop and searching for the wind. Graeme was second and Roger P-E third.
On Sunday, only two Picos started in the handicap class in a stronger Force 3-4 SW wind.
Alex led the way into Mill Creek but Rachael was the first out in a close contest but extended her lead when Alex hit the mud and couldn’t catch his opponent.
Roger enjoyed victory in the Scows, overtaking Melinda early on. In the end, Roger won from Graeme and Nick Measor.