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SATURDAY AUTUMN SERIES
FRIDAY NIGHT RACE SERIES 2 REPORTS
PRIZE GIVING SATURDAY 19th NOVEMBER 20.00 hrs
ULLMAN SAILS SERIES
Autumn Saturday Series Race 1
A lovely sunny afternoon for the first race of the Saturday Afternoon Series with wind from the South East blowing at a fairly steady 15 to 18 knots and with Spring Tides just approaching low water attracted 12 yachts out to tackle a three lap race. The course set by Race Officer Paddy O’Connor would start with a beat out to Duke Rock returning down to Asia on a spinnaker run with a final reach over to the Mallards for this initial lap. This would be followed by a shorter beat to F Buoy with the return run down to North West Winter before reaching over to the Mallards for both the second and third laps.
With such a decent breeze and hardly any tide to worry about all boats made a good start, on time,
And it was soon clear that the first Port Tack out was going to be by far the longest as they were on a course almost true to the first buoy with several boats able to make directly for Duke Rock with only short Starboard Tacks needed to make the buoy.
From the start it seemed that Aquaessence with a full crew sitting out on the port side was the closest to a making a one tack course, being able to sail closer to the wind than others and she reached the mark with a clear lead before hoisting her spinnaker for the run. Robert Boalch in Imelda and Peter Wanstall’s Seascape 24 Demo were in a close tussle following with Roger Stanbury in Wisecrack and Ashley Crawford’s Mischief not far behind.
Two of the smallest boats, Avago and Calvados, normally classed in the B section may have been somewhat behind but nevertheless were making a brave showing chasing hard and certainly not out of contention.
Aquaessence, skippered by James Elliott, turned at the end of lap one in first spot but several others were closing fast and Wisecrack, Imelda and Seascape were closer now than during that first beat.
Robin Butterworth in little Soundbite was at this stage in sixth position but on handicap would certainly be in the running for a good position.
The second and third laps were affected a little by the breeze backing further from the south making the beat more challenging but more of a true beat but positions did not alter a great deal and first home to take line honours was Aquaessence after a very close race in which she was almost caught more than once.
All boats were able to complete the three laps well within the time limit and no-
A CH 1st Aquaessence, Team Aqua. 2nd Imelda Robert Boalch. 3rd Soundbite, Robin Butterworth.
A ORC 1st Soundbite, Robin Butterworth. 2nd Aquaessence, Team Aqua. 3rd Mischief, Ashley Crawford.
B CH 1st Avago, P.J. Marshall. 2nd Calvados, Keith Woodgate.
Autumn Saturday Series Race 2
Today’s race, the second of this series was not graced by the sun this week but rather had a heavy and thundery look with every chance of rain developing as the day progressed. We had wind though, gusting from the South West at between 18 to 24 knots with an ebbing Neap Tide, just after high water.
11 boats were taking part, all starting together at 1400hrs and all making a clean start with a first long beat out from the breakwater to New Ground before a close reach over to Duke Rock. The course would then continue with a spinnaker run down to the Mallards ready to start a second lap with the beat, again out to New Ground but this time reaching over to F Buoy with the return down to the Mallards. A third lap would start by sailing over to Melampus and reaching over to Dunstone Rock before completing with the finish at West Mallard.
The first boats past the start buoy chose the Starboard Tack but with some of the fleet, led by Imelda, quickly tacking over onto the Port Tack, trying to make the most of the ebbing tide. Whether this was successful is open to doubt as the tide flow would have been fairly modest but nevertheless Imelda did make good progress and was up with the leaders as they approached New Ground.
First to make the mark and setting off to Duke Rock was Ian Luscombe’s Curly Wurly with Sean Koehler in Joy Ride and Aquaessence soon to follow. One small boat was seen taking a very good position early on, that of Daryl Conyer in Slipknot who was not afraid of challenging the bigger boats.
As spinnakers were raised, after passing Duke Rock, we were able to see Steve Andrew’s Red Run coming closer to the west bank and making a good run down with Mischief slightly further out. Curly Wurly however was making great strides and turned first onto her second lap with quite a gap before the second boat, Joy Ride, rounded.
All boats were sailing very well with such a strong breeze to contend with and the crews were having to work hard with plenty of sitting out on the windward side to keep their boats as upright as possible.
The rain duly came and increased in strength as the second round got under way and it became more difficult to pick out the various boats through the worsening light but we were able to see the final finishing positions, all within the space of under 20 minutes.
Line honours went to Curly Wurly with Joy ride second and Aquaessence third, but we must mention that Slipknot came fourth with less than 5 minutes behind the leader. What a good result for Daryl.
ORC. 1st Slipknot, Daryl Conyers. 2nd Curly Wurly, Ian Luscombe . 3rd Mischief, Ashley Crawford. 4th Aquaessence, Team Aqua.
CH. 1st Curly Wurly, Ian Luscombe. 2nd Joy Ride, Sean Koehler, 3rd Slipknot, Daryl Conyers .4th Imelda, Robert Boalch.
Saturday Autumn Series Race 3
The forecast for this, the third race of the series, was for rain and mist and strong winds.
Well for once the forecast was pretty accurate and we were duly faced with poor visibility, constant drizzle turning into heavier rain and wind gusting from the West, North West at between 18 to 22 knots and a rising Spring Tide.
Such conditions did not put off the 11 intrepid skippers and their crews who ventured out with every intention of making the most of the wind to make a decent race and gain points for the series.
Race Officer Mike Pearson duly set a pretty long course to test the fleet starting with a beat out to St Nicholas Buoy before a run, under spinnaker, to F Buoy with a further beat over to New Ground before reaching back down to the Mallards ready to start a second lap. This lap would also start with the beat out to St Nicholas but this time the run would be over to Dunstone Rock with the further beat now being to Melampus before returning home through South Mallard then finishing as they passed West Mallard.
At the start signal we glued our eyes, straining to see the boats as they emerged from behind the end of the breakwater but it was difficult to recognise the order of boats as they tacked out on different tacks to counteract the rising tide that was gaining speed just after dead low water.
St Nicholas Buoy was becoming obscured by increasing mist but we were able to see when the first few boats raised spinnakers after rounding and we could recognise several from the blue of Curly Wurly, the blue and white of Imelda and the green and yellow of Mischief with a small blue spinnaker of Soundbite. They duly reached F Buoy and as they turned they disappeared into the mist on their way to New Ground which had not been visible at any time being too far away into the increasing mist and rain.
With such poor visibility watchers had to wait for boats to emerge back into sight as they approached South Mallard when we could record the order of their passing the end of the lap with Curly Wurly leading by quite a margin and with Mischief second, Slipknot third and Imelda fourth.
The second lap proceeded with the boats once more disappearing into the mist and only coming back into view as they approached the west coast before being lost again as they sailed away from view once more.
Positions did change as the race continued and after two full laps Curly Wurly duly took Line Honours with Mischief coming in second and Imelda third but all other boats were in quite close proximity, finishing with only minutes between them.
ORC 1st Curly Wurly, Ian Luscombe. 2nd Soundbite, Robin Butterworth. 3rd Slipknot, Daryl Conyers. 4th Mischief, Ashley Crawford.
NHC. 1st Curly Wurly, Ian Luscombe. 2nd Soundbite, Robin Butterworth. 3rd Imelda, Robert Boalch. 4th Slipknot, Daryl Conyers.
Autumn Saturday Series Race 4
This Saturday, quite a change from the last week’s poor visibility, was supposed to have sunshine and light winds. Well we certainly were faced with lighter winds, this time from South West and blowing at between 3 to 8 knots with a Neap Tide just about high water. We didn’t have sunshine though and a dull grey sky with a light mist faced the sailors who came out for this week’s race.
Race Officer Elaine O’Flaherty set a fairly short two lap course starting with a beat out to Melampus and a reach over to F Buoy before returning under spinnaker down to South Mallard and West Mallard for the first lap. The second lap would also start beating to Melampus but this time reaching over to Dunstone Rock before finishing through the Mallards.
10 boats started on time and were led out initially by Robert Boalch’s Imelda with Daryl Conyer’s Slipknot and Ian Luscombe’s Curly Wurly in close pursuit. These were followed by Aquaessence Mischief and Soundbite and all boats favoured the starboard tack which some were able to hold all the way to Melampus where Curly Wurly just crept into the lead with Imelda just edging Slipknot out of second spot as they rounded.
The reach over to F Buoy was a procession with boats finding it difficult to overtake and several having to tack over to make the buoy. From here though the fleet separated considerably as some with Asymmetric Spinnakers sailed out into the centre of the Sound whilst others kept much closer to the east side of the Sound. Quite a division which made it very interesting to see which would reach South Mallard first.
Curly Wurly did make the buoy ahead of Imelda, both from the centre of the Sound with Slipknot and then Mischief coming down close to the coast. Mischief having overtaken Aquaessence and Red Run on this leg.
The second lap proceeded in similar vein with the only changes being Red Run overtaking Aquaessence and Soundbite overtaking Seascape 24.
During this lap the sun did try hard to come out and duly lit the Sound up once the racers had all finished their course. This may have been a fairly short race but an interesting one to watch with plenty of close racing taking place at a steady if unremarkable, pace.
ORC. 1st Curly Wurly, Ian Luscombe. 2nd Soundbite, Robin Butterworth. 3rd Slipknot, Daryl Conyers. 4th Mischief, Ashley Crawford.
NHC. 1st Imelda, Robert Boalch. 2nd Curly Wurly, Ian Luscombe. 3rd Slipknot, Daryl Conyers. 4th Jos of Avon, Mike Nuttall.
Saturday Autumn Series Race 6
This was the final race for this Autumn Series and we did have wind from the North West of between 10 to 16 knots with an ebbing Neap Tide some 2 hours before low water. Plenty of other yachts and dinghies out in the Sound to contend with and many wind shifts as an added complication.
None of this put off the 12 boats who came out to compete for points in this race which would settle the series positions.
Race Officer Paddy O’Connor set a two lap course which would give all boats time after completion to return to Yachthaven Quay for the BBQ and Prize Giving arranged by our Marvellous Sponsors for the end of this seasons races.
The course that was set started with a spinnaker run out to Duke Rock Buoy with a blustery North West wind giving them a fast and straightforward start before beating over to New Ground Buoy. As boats rounded they all took the Port Tack which took them almost to the end of the Breakwater before tacking down to New Ground. Here they found wind shifts that necessitated several tacks before they could round the buoy before reaching back down to the Mallards. Not straightforward either for some tried spinnakers with only varying success. Positions changed several times during these two legs with only Curly Wurly making a clear lead. As they approached West Mallard we saw Curly Wurly leave the Buoy to Port instead of to Starboard and then realising they had rounded incorrectly they had to reverse and go back to round correctly before passing South Mallard also to Starboard. It certainly reduced their lead somewhat but meant they could continue correctly.
Reaching down to the Mallards we had a close race between Imelda and Mischief with Seascape 24 and Soundbite close behind.
The second lap with a run out to F Buoy was no problem but the beat, this time to Yachthaven Buoy, again set problems with wind shifts but the final reach back to the Mallards really set up the fight between Imelda and Mischief with Seascape 24, Soundbite and Aquaessence all very close together.
Curly Wurly took Line Honours with Imelda just holding off Mischief for second and third places with Seascape, Soundbite and Aquaessence so close that all five passed the winning post within 2 minutes of each other. A fine ending with all boats home in excellent time ready for the final party at Yachthaven Quay.
ORC. 1st Curly Wurly, Ian Luscombe. 2nd Soundbite, Robin Butterworth 3rd Slipknot, Daryl Conyers. 4th Mischief, Ashley Crawford.
NHC. 1st Curly Wurly, Ian Luscombe. 2nd Soundbite, Robin Butterworth. 3rd Jos of Avon, Mike Nuttall.
Autumn Saturday Series Race 5
The weather forecast for this week included notification of Gale Brian coming in with winds in the range of 40 to 50 knots for the average with gusts possibly up to 70 knots. The Race Team decided that in fairness to all concerned that they would send out notification of a cancellation on the Thursday evening so that skippers could advise their crew’s accordingly.
As it turned out the weather was quite severe and the race cancellation justified. For small boats and even the biggest the winds would have been too wild for even the most intrepid.
Hopefully the last race of the series will duly take place next Saturday the 28th October when we hope for better weather to round off the seasons sailing.
ORC. 1st Curly Wurly, Ian Luscombe. 2nd Soundbite, Robin Butterworth. 3rd Slipknot, Daryl Conyers. 4th Mischief, Ashley Crawford.
NHFC. 1st Imelda, Robert Boalch. 2nd Curly Wurly, Ian Luscombe. 3rd Soundbite, Robin Butterworth. 4th Slipknot, Daryl Conyers.