ROYAL VICTORIA YC
AS often happens in September, the weather gods smile and sailing conditions are at their best. Sunday was no exception at the RVYC as 38 boats took to the water.
The largest fleet were the Squibs and 11 boats, including the whole Blamey family in Squidney, wrestled for the prime position on the start line.
Aquabat with Steve Warren-Smith and Dominic Lamb on board prevailed and made the short beat count to lead at the windward mark and hold the position for a second bullet in the series. It was all very interesting behind them as the shifting wind allowed ample opportunity for place changes, and it was Ben and Kev Gibson in Satu who took full advantage to post a second ahead of the Porteobrooks in Firecracker Too.
The next biggest flotilla were the ten Optimists, the fleet bolstered by newcomers Luke Sheridan, Matthew Bamber and the returning Haydn Sewell. Sewell showed his experience from the circuit as he took his first win of the year at the club, closely followed by Charlie White and his brother, Tom.
There were also ten Lasers reveling in having their own start and split equally between Radials and 4.7s. The generally light wind favoured the bigger rigs and George Downer brought home the bacon for his second win of the series. Next was Dominic Mortimer also in a Radial, with Tom Griffiths third, proving that it’s not all about sail area even in gentle breezes.
Yet again it was the battle of the Solos and the RS 400s in the fast handicaps and yet again it was the Solos who dominated, Derek Stroud being unbeaten in the series followed by Nigel Talbot while Neil Griffiths and Mark Turner posted their second podium of the Harrison Black sponsored event.
Last but far from being least was the newest fleet of Picos, competing in the slow handicap section and it was the all-girl team of Annabel Lamb and Isobel Rae who recorded their first race win. Second were Anna Bamber and Frances Garth, while third went to Freddie Ware and James Moody, who pipped Celine Russel, the only solo helm.
It was great to see these new products of the cadet training section take to the race course and acquit themselves so competently and we look forward to watching them develop.
Saturday afternoon’s first race in the September series was sailed in a light Force 1-2 southerly breeze, which decreased during the race and resulted in a shortened course.
In the handicap class, the Picos of Helen Sceales and Alex Gallimore crossed the line in first and second places respectively with Ian North’s Mirror third. These were also their positions on corrected time.
Melinda Measor and Harry Castle battled it out at the front of the Scows and on the first beat, David Hedley, the only wooden boat, was in third place but by the second round Mike Sheaf and Roger P-E were in contention for third place, with Mike just ahead. Following the run back to the line, Melinda was in first place, followed by Harry second and Roger just gained third place.
Winds were a lot stronger on Sunday for the Crewed Race, when the Force 4-5 winds made for exciting sailing, especially for the Scows.
Alex Gallimore and Dan Lee’s Pico disappeared into the distance and achieved a convincing win both on the water and on handicap. Niall and Pauline Wallace and Alan and Pam Toms were the first Scows away with the boats of Marion Heming and Melinda Measor and Paula Sheaf and Carol Mabey both facing the wrong way at the start.
Ian Meadows and crew sailing the club Scow retired with gear failure just after the first mark. Marion and Melinda were leading the Scows, followed by Paula and Carol, who overtook them exiting Mill Creek on the second round and held their position to the line to gain second place with Marion and Melinda third.