SAILING BRADING HAVEN YC
THERE were blustery conditions for the four fast and four slow handicap boats which competed in rounds four and five of the club’s summer series on Sunday.
First off was the fast fleet of two Solos, a Wayfarer and the Laser of Simon Cooper, who once again led the fleet around the course, placing a minute and a half ahead of the Wayfarer of Duncan Bates. Richard Coleman struggled in the conditions while Peter Hudson again had to retire with gear failure. Coleman, however, had done enough to take silver on handicap from Bates.
The second race was a tighter affair with Coleman deploying cunning tactics against Cooper. However, this battle left the field clear for Bates to take the advantage, sailing clear to take the final gun ahead of Cooper and with Coleman this time snatching the silver from Cooper on handicap.
Both races of the slow handicap, made up entirely of Scows, saw the lead being constantly challenged between the closely matching skills of Oliver Morgan, Graham Sutton, Chris Wilkinson and David Earee.
However, both races suffered from gear failure retirements due to the challenging conditions, Earee in race one and Sutton in race two, leaving Morgan to taste the sweet taste of success from Wilkinson and Sutton in the first race. Wilkinson rose to the challenge in round two asserting himself to balance the score leaving Morgan in his wake.
Only the keenest of the keen turned up on Saturday morning in the WSW Force 5, gusting to six, for the second race in The Solent series, which was transferred to the river.
Joy Mowle and Tim Lee both sailed their Picos with training sails and Roger P-E and Alan Toms reefed their Scows. In the handicap class, Joy and Tim crossed the start together but Joy rounded the first mark in front and, with Tim capsizing, he was unable to catch her.
However, Joy then became entangled in weed in Mill Creek but had sufficient time to free herself and cross the line in first.
The Scows were evenly matched at the start with the lead changing hands, but in the end, Roger began to pull away and took the win.
The wind was marginally lighter for Sunday’s fourth race in the June series and Joy looked to have the all-Pico handicap race sewn up.
At the end of the first round, she had a good lead over Rachael Parsloe, with Tim and Dan Lee being somewhat delayed after capsizing close to the shore.
However, Joy misread the course, giving Rachael the opportunity to gain a significant lead, as she corrected her error. Rachael’s vision of a first place faded, when she capsized in Kings Manor reach, allowing Joy to regain all she had lost and to finish first, with Rachael second and Tim and Dan third.
In the Scows, Chris Parsloe was the leading boat around the first mark but in the end Graeme Bowen took victory with Roger second. Chris completed the podium places.
Entries were light for action at the club, thanks to the high winds.
It was too windy on Saturday for the few who appeared at the club for the scheduled race, while on Sunday, despite brighter weather with a lighter wind, only two Redwings felt brave enough to give it a go.
They had an excellent race though. Matt Alexander in Harlequin, crewed by Rosie Gosling, gained the upper hand from the first mark and never allowed Tom Scott and James Spalding in Siskin the opportunity to get in front.
However, they enjoyed the sail and much appreciated the effort made by the race officers.
Although not used, it was good to see Cochrane back in position after its trip to Bognor Regis.
There had been a weather window on Wednesday, which had allowed Mike Sam to go down with Tony Attrill and Marc Thwaites in Frolic to recover and re-lay the mark on the way back to Bembridge.
In on-shore news, Rupert Perry, David Macfarlane and Jo Hulford-Funnell (BHYC) passed the safety boat course, which was run at the club over the weekend.
The long daylight hours and a moderate breeze enabled long courses to the mainland shore to be set for all but the slow handicap on Wednesday evening.
Mike Martin continued his recent run of good form by leading home the cats, likewise Mark Harrison in the medium handicap.
Graham Deegan and Judith French saw their huge lead at the end of the first round rapidly whittled down by James Downer and Jon Price but they were just able to hold on for victory by the narrow margin of eight seconds.
Steve Cole’s RS800 was unable to take advantage of the long reaching legs in the fast fleet, victory going to Keith Hayden’s RS700.
The slow class struggled to understand their 21-buoy course, with several competitors going astray.
No such problems though for Kate and Thomas Gibbs who took victory on corrected time in their Pico, followed by young Sam Scragg, and Mike Peddar.
ROYAL VICTORIA YC
Spray was flying in the sunshine at the club’s first round of the Wightlink series on Sunday.
The Oppies were back up to strength and again it was a clean sweep for the White boys, Harry, Charlie and Tom, but only after a little argy-bargy on the water on the start line with all five wanting the inside spot.
However the attraction of swimming after the race meant thoughts of protest were soon forgotten.
George Downer took the win in the fast group in his full rig Laser, holding off Tom Griffiths on handicap, with Derek Stroud third in his Solo.
The Squibs were laid a thorough test of their navigation skills, although the Downers had another convincing win in Panther III.
The Eddis’s in Scarab 2 worked their way up to an impressive second, given this was only their second race of the season, which dropped the Evans boys down to third in Outlaw. All this was galling for the Whitefords in Kestrel, who had been looking good for a podium until the final beat.