Hurricane TT - Race Report - July 2017

Last weekend local sailors competed against some of the best in the country as the Hurricane Catamaran Association again visited Clacton Sailing Club as part of their Traveling Trophy Series.

Crews on the Beach - Hurricane TT 2017

The 'Hurricane'

Designed and built locally at Brightlingsea the 5.9m long Hurricane beach-launched catamarans are powerful twin-trapeze thoroughbreds and will reach speeds close to 20knots so racing off the line was fast and furious and a terrific spectacle best enjoyed from the balcony of the sailing club.

Ideal conditions

Conditions were ideal on the Saturday and Race 1 got underway in F3-4 sw crosshore winds against a strongly rising tide and building sea state. Line honours were keenly contested with local sailors perhaps pushing their luck too far: Matt Burrell with crew Dan Brzezinski were judged as over early. Rather than re-start they chose to sail the entire race course treating it as their discard. Larry Foxon and Mike Rolfe were the first to capsize and despite re-righting without assistance also chose to retire from this first race. And another local boat helmed by Brian Allen lost his crew Ian Wright overboard during their desperate attempt to avoid a capsize and also were forced to retire from this race.

 

Pictured above: Crews cross the start line

The start line of Race 2 was more orderly and some sort of pecking order began to establish itself.

Thorpe Bay sailors Julian Reichert with crew Jeremy Sandford despite chasing hard had to settle for second place in this race by the narrowest of a 4 second margin and in fact in each of the following, discarding only a 3rd place to finish second overall.

Capsize

The remaining CSC boat helmed by Liam Wright with Robert Mitchell as crew capsized as they bore away for the short reach to the wing mark and retired. They did however go onto become the highest placed locals finishing 6th overall.

Visiting boat from Canvey Island helmed by Mark Mawditt with Tiffany Carter as crew were sailing well but took a catastrophic pitch-pole on the 4th downwind leg completely turtling and required the assistance of both the rescue boats. Forced also to miss race 3 due to equipment breakages they came back strongly on day 2 finishing with few enough points to take 5th place overall.

Race 3 on the Saturday and the first of the significant windshifts that would go on to plague the rest of the event. The wind backed to the south soon after the start gun split the fleet with some taking the lift inshore but out of the flooding tide. Another Canvey Island team of Mark Wood and James Heys chose this option and made the windward mark in 2nd place and held this until the end of the 4 laps to score their highest place at the event. Overall they managed a well-deserved 3rd place.

Wind shifts

The wind shift changing the dynamics of the upwind / downwind course and meant that boats could fetch across the finish line giving the committee boat some of the best photo opportunities.

Sunday and Race 4 got underway promptly at 1030 with the residue of the falling tide and a shifting offshore wind. Local boat Larry Foxon sailing this day with his son James showed great potential by getting to the windward mark in first place ahead of the fleet. Their Hurricane is not fitted with the kite that makes the downwind leg so exciting and even though results are adjusted by handicap it must have been disappointing for them to be over-taken by the faster boats.

 

Pictured above: Teams battle it out at close quarters

Both Races 5 and 6 required the course to be re-set as the wind continued to shift and the tide started to flood.

General recall

Frustrations were obviously building after a general recall in Race 5 and there was some over-ambitious barging on the line: Datchet sailors Paul Mcroy and Graeme Staddon called for 'no water' from 3 local boats that had dropped-in to windward requiring penalty 360 turns to be taken as soon as the race began. They kept a calm head and went onto finish 4th in this race and 4th place overall.

Race Officials struggled to start the final race of the regatta until the wind finally settled into the south. Larry & James Foxon again showed signs of brilliance making the windward mark in second place but not enough to upset the overall rankings.

Despite 4 entries from the host club and the advantage of local  knowledge it was the visitors that cleaned-up with Neil Connelly and  Trevor Barden scoring decisive bullets in each of the 6 races to take  the trophy.

Visitors Andrew Bedford with crew Robert Taylor completely epitomised the essence of the sport of sailing and the Hurricane fleet in particular by finishing each race with broad smiles of satisfaction promising to return to Clacton for next year’s event as one of the best venues on the circuit.

It was very full-on with 3 back-to-back races on both the Saturday and Sunday with just one discard allowed.

The 'Hurricane'

Designed and built locally at Brightlingsea the 5.9m long Hurricane beach-launched catamarans are powerful twin-trapeze thoroughbreds and will reach speeds close to 20knots so racing off the line was fast and furious and a terrific spectacle best enjoyed from the balcony of the sailing club.

Ideal conditions

Conditions were ideal on the Saturday and Race 1 got underway in F3-4 sw crosshore winds against a strongly rising tide and building sea state. Line honours were keenly contested with local sailors perhaps pushing their luck too far: Matt Burrell with crew Dan Brzezinski were judged as over early. Rather than re-start they chose to sail the entire race course treating it as their discard. Larry Foxon and Mike Rolfe were the first to capsize and despite re-righting without assistance also chose to retire from this first race. And another local boat helmed by Brian Allen lost his crew Ian Wright overboard during their desperate attempt to avoid a capsize and also were forced to retire from this race.

Start line - Hurricane TT 2017

Pictured above: Crews cross the start line

The start line of Race 2 was more orderly and some sort of pecking order began to establish itself.

Thorpe Bay sailors Julian Reichert with crew Jeremy Sandford despite chasing hard had to settle for second place in this race by the narrowest of a 4 second margin and in fact in each of the following, discarding only a 3rd place to finish second overall.

Capsize

The remaining CSC boat helmed by Liam Wright with Robert Mitchell as crew capsized as they bore away for the short reach to the wing mark and retired. They did however go onto become the highest placed locals finishing 6th overall.

Visiting boat from Canvey Island helmed by Mark Mawditt with Tiffany Carter as crew were sailing well but took a catastrophic pitch-pole on the 4th downwind leg completely turtling and required the assistance of both the rescue boats. Forced also to miss race 3 due to equipment breakages they came back strongly on day 2 finishing with few enough points to take 5th place overall.

Race 3 on the Saturday and the first of the significant windshifts that would go on to plague the rest of the event. The wind backed to the south soon after the start gun split the fleet with some taking the lift inshore but out of the flooding tide. Another Canvey Island team of Mark Wood and James Heys chose this option and made the windward mark in 2nd place and held this until the end of the 4 laps to score their highest place at the event. Overall they managed a well-deserved 3rd place.

Wind shifts

The wind shift changing the dynamics of the upwind / downwind course and meant that boats could fetch across the finish line giving the committee boat some of the best photo opportunities.

Sunday and Race 4 got underway promptly at 1030 with the residue of the falling tide and a shifting offshore wind. Local boat Larry Foxon sailing this day with his son James showed great potential by getting to the windward mark in first place ahead of the fleet. Their Hurricane is not fitted with the kite that makes the downwind leg so exciting and even though results are adjusted by handicap it must have been disappointing for them to be over-taken by the faster boats.

Kites down - Hurricane TT 2017

Pictured above: Teams battle it out at close quarters

Both Races 5 and 6 required the course to be re-set as the wind continued to shift and the tide started to flood.

General recall

Frustrations were obviously building after a general recall in Race 5 and there was some over-ambitious barging on the line: Datchet sailors Paul Mcroy and Graeme Staddon called for 'no water' from 3 local boats that had dropped-in to windward requiring penalty 360 turns to be taken as soon as the race began. They kept a calm head and went onto finish 4th in this race and 4th place overall.

Race Officials struggled to start the final race of the regatta until the wind finally settled into the south. Larry & James Foxon again showed signs of brilliance making the windward mark in second place but not enough to upset the overall rankings.

Results

Despite 4 entries from the host club and the advantage of local  knowledge it was the visitors that cleaned-up with Neil Connelly and  Trevor Barden scoring decisive bullets in each of the 6 races to take  the trophy.

Visitors Andrew Bedford with crew Robert Taylor completely epitomised the essence of the sport of sailing and the Hurricane fleet in particular by finishing each race with broad smiles of satisfaction promising to return to Clacton for next year’s event as one of the best venues on the circuit.

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