ALMOST 30 starters took part in the final races of the season, despite very light winds and heavy rain showers.
All classes struggled to round Marsh buoy in near drifting conditions, but fortunately the wind returned as darkness began to fall, enabling all boats to finish.
There were two notable performances, with Tony Wyeth recording a rare win in the cats, and commodore Mark Harrison winning the medium handicap by 20 minutes in a race lasting less than one hour.
Perfect conditions on Saturday encouraged a good turnout for the annual Myrod trophy race to the Folly.
After the handicaps were worked out, Harrison’s RS100 took the honours from Chris Gillies and the duo of Georgia Caws and Matt Green.
Conditions could not have been more different on Sunday, but this did not stop close to 50 dinghies choosing to have a go.
However, the 20 knot winds meant numerous capsizes and retirements across the board.
Paul Tanner appeared to be going well in the cats before bravado gave way to caution and he sailed back to shore, with the remainder of the class following his lead.
In the fast group, Steve Cole’s RS800 was dismasted on the first lap, but James Downer battled his B14 around the large course, which he completed under jib alone, thereby beating Martin Scott’s RS700 to line honours.
Paul Bowen, the leading RS400, was unfortunate to capsize at the final mark of the shortened course, making for an exciting and close finish as the three leading helms contested the final beat, Graham Deegan just pipping Chris Symons at the gun.
The RS500s were well represented in the medium class, but found Mark Robinson’s Contender unbeatable in the strong winds.
Meanwhile, Harry Blowers showed Laser Radial is the ideal rig for these conditions, taking the win ahead of Chris Hobday and Libby Deegan. The slow group was decimated, just two boats from 14 starters managing to complete the course. Rebecca Metcalf was the only female helm of the day to take a winning gun in her Pico.
BRADING HAVEN YC
Ten boats took part in the last three races of the clubs’ Pico Challenge series.
Despite a number opting to sail without jibs, the final result remained unchanged with Ben Stitt taking overall honours winning both the first and last races, only losing out to C. Stitt in the second. However, it was Ben Smith who took overall silver with two seconds and a third.
The last two races of the Autumn series took place on Sunday, with eight boats in the fast handicap and ten in the slow, though winds from the south west resulted in a number of retirements in both groups.
In the first of the fast handicap races, Roger Herbert won from Jonathan Hoare and Marten Springett, but it was all change on handicap with Herbert retaining pole followed by Gareth Jones and Hoare taking bronze.
Herbert was one who suffered a retirement in the second race with Hoare rising to the challenge to take the gun, from Smith and Springett although on handicap Jones once again took the silver from Smith.
In the slow, there was something from a demolition derby with only half the fleet finishing. Barry Dyer pipped Graham Sutton to the line with three seconds to spare, with Mike Bottoms third.
Zak Chiverton won the second race, with Dyer second and Sutton third. Despite Chiverton’s brave efforts, he could not hold back the Scows on handicap, settling for third behind Dyer and Sutton.
It was an excellent last weekend of sailing for the Redwings and One-Designs.
Saturday was one of the best days of the season with a lovely breeze and a simple course for the three Redwings and ten One-Designs racing.
Joe Robertson led for the majority to finish two minutes ahead of Robin Ebsworth and Tom Scott.
After an excellent start the One-Designs, Brian Orange finished ten seconds ahead of James Bullin with Charlie Harcourt-Smith third.
Sunday was not quite so nice but there was still plenty of racing.
For the Redwings, Ebsworth led the Redwings after the first round but Robertson took the win by just under a minute. Scott was third.
In the One-Designs, D. Orange won from Jos Coad and Rob Mathieson.
It was a good finish to the keelboat season and the club is now looking forward to seeing the Illusions start this weekend.
The fourth race of the September series was sailed in ideal conditions on Saturday morning.
The handicap class was joined by Graeme Bowen trialling a Cornish Crabber 12, with Mary Lord as his crew.
However, the Picos made the running with Oli Trotter ahead of Alex Gallimore and Josh and Fergus Hughes at the end of the first leg. They also finished in this order, as well as on corrected time.
In the Scows, David Hedley led the fleet, followed by Mike Sheaf and John Bennet, for much of the race but John overhauled Mike on the second beat from C and edged in front of David as they entered Mill Creek. John kept his lead to take first place, David was second and Mike third.
There was a lower turnout for the final race of the series on Sunday.
There were only two Picos, with Rachael Parsloe beating Tim Lee. The Scows race saw Graeme Bowen, Mike Sheaf and John Bennet in the early running.
However, although Graham held on for a comfortable win, John came up to take second while Alan Toms pushed Mike out of the podium places for third.