Hurricane Open - Race Report - July 2016

Catamarans were flying last weekend as Clacton Sailing Club hosted the Hurricane Class Association Open Meeting.

Crews on the beach - Hurricane Open 2016

Picture above: Crews gather on the beach prior to the competition

Local sailors took on the best in the country with teams travelling from as far as North Wales.

Sunshine Coast

The ‘Sunshine Coast’ did not disappoint with fabulous light to moderate winds, blue skies and the golden beaches enjoyed at their very best.

Six races were held over the weekend with Race Officer Ian Wright setting the start line from a Committee Boat anchored a short distance offshore helping to bring the spectacle close in for the crowds that gathered to watch.

Rob Mitchell with James Parsons made a bold statement of intent by clearly taking the start line honours in both the first two races on Saturday.

The starts became ever more competitive with the fleet crossing within seconds of each other.

First round the windward mark

In amongst the drama of an individual recall in the third race Larry Foxon sailing with Brian Allen tacked-off onto port to benefit from a wind shift and enjoyed the prestige of being first boat to round the windward mark.

With each race lasting an hour it would be not only a test of boat handling and strategy but of personal fitness and determination. With each successive race it became clear the championship would go to one of the visiting teams.

Sunday dawned with the promise of increased wind.

Mark Gower & Blake Rutter - Hurricane Open 2016

Picture above: Flying.....Mark Gower and Blake Rutter

Equipment failure

Andy Bedford and Robert Taylor were plagued with equipment failure and retired from 3 of races but seemed nevertheless to have enjoyed their first event at Clacton vowing to return next year.

Other local sailors Matt Burrell and Dan Brzezinski thoroughly enjoyed big fleet racing completing all 6 races with steadily increasing positions as they gained experience.

Fitted with twin trapezes and asymmetric kites these cats come under serious loads which proved too much in race 4 for John Tuckwell who had teamed-up with local lad James Stacey for the event who broke their mast under the shock load of the kite opening and were forced to retire from the event.

Snapped Mast

Grant Piggott and Andy Webb, both previous National Champions, reunited for this event and as the wind freshened in race 4 showed they still have what it takes by leading off the line gamely hanging onto their lead until finally being caught in the 3rd lap.

The windward leg was shortened for the final race which allowed 4 laps to be completed. With the leading two boats very close on points the start was everything!

Richie Hanmore & Ed Smith - Hurricane Open 2016

Picture above: Event Winners Richie and Ed

Piggott showed his experience to reach the windward in first place but was reeled-in by the second lap by John Ready and Sam Nicholls who went on to get their 3rd win of the event.

Ritchie Hanmore and Ed Smith had also scored three bullets and the final place was decided from the strongest discard.

More pictures from this exciting weekend of sailing can be found by clicking the link below

Pictures - Hurricane Open 2016


The top four places went to visiting teams

1st Ritche Hanmore and Ed Smith from Stone Sailing

2nd John Ready and Sam Nicholls

3rd Grant Piggott and Andy Webb

4th Mark Gower and Blake Rutter