Class Series 1 & 2 - Race Report - May 2018

Race 1 & 2 of Clacton Sailing Clubs Class Racing Series got underway last Sunday. To be fair the light winds were not to everyone’s taste but with 4 more races to go over the Bank Holiday weekend the high wind experts may well yet have their day.

Peter Boxer - Class Series 1 & 2 2018

Pictured above: - Pete Boxer on his winning A Class Catamaran

Commodore Martin Chivers set a classic course with A buoy laid between the Seaward and the ODM with triangle / sausage that should have given lots of reaches normally favoured by the catamarans but the strongly flooding tide effectively changed most legs into a beat to windward.

The usual fleet of Hurricane 5.9s, Dart 18 and Dart 16 cats were joined this week by an A Class adding a touch of the unknown. Finishing first would not be any guarantee once the handicaps were adjusted.

Larry Foxon and Mike Rolfe in their Hurricane 5.9 took start line honours in race 1 but failed to close the door on Pete Boxer in his single-handed A Class catamaran who squeezed in behind but to windward.

Brian Allen and Christy O'Sullivan - Class Series 1 & 2 2018

Pictured above: - Brian Allen with new crew member Christy O'Sullivan sailing the powerful Hurricane Catamaran

Anyone who knows sailing boats will recognise the A Class as nearly unbeatable upwind and so the windward overtake was only a matter of time.  Boxer acting as a trailblazer tacked off ambitiously early and headed out into the stronger tide and would go on to need to make 2 more tacks to lay the windward mark.

Larry and Mike and the rest of the fleet on the other hand hung in on Starboard tack making ground upwind close into the beach out of the tide and very nearly caught the A class.

Brian Allen and Chris O’Sullivan in the other Hurricane 5.9 was steadily clawing his way through the fleet to make the windward mark in third place and would go onto overtake Larry once the kites were up on the short downwind leg. Only later in the tacking duel would Brian slip back and have to settle for 3rd place.

Heading back inshore the helms could read the transit signals between A Buoy and the beach guiding them to set a course upwind with the expectation of crabbing back down to the buoy. Judging the tack again out to sea became critical to avoid what was becoming a trap out at the seaward as the tide by now was fairly ripping the boats downwind.

Pete Boxer revelling in the light airs would go onto claim 2 bullets making a good start to his campaign.

Rob Mitchell in his Dart 16 uncharacteristically failed to get to grips with the conditions but doggedly hung in to record 4th in both races.

Daniel Brzenzinski in the Dart 18 will surely be hoping for stronger winds later in the series to recover from having to retire from both race 1 & 2.

The fleet bunched dangerously close at the start of race 2 with the canny Rob Mitchell claiming line honours edging Larry & Mike out of pole position. Finishing positions would however be an exact duplicate of race 1

Many thanks to safety team

Saftey Crew - Class Series 1 & 2 2018

Pictured above: - Safety Team, Captain Neil Warn and crew Eilish Dempsey 

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