Hurricane 5.9 Open - Race Report - June 2018

Clacton Sailing Club welcomed the return of the Hurricane fleet this weekend and was blessed with fabulous F3-4 NE and glorious east coast sunshine. With open water sailing possible at any state of the tide and launching from soft golden sands the word has spread about this little gem of a club and 17 boats signed-up this year for some exhilarating racing.

Crews on beach - Hurricane Open 2018

Race 1:

The ebbing tide spiced-up the classic up/downwind course and tempted 374 Mark Wood and James Hays to be the first victim with an Over-Early in race 1. Sportingly re-starting they would go onto recover to finish 10th.

Hurricane 001 looking pretty good in her 30th anniversary year with custodians Mark Gower and Blake Rutter onboard. Blake decided to test the water temperature when his trap wire failed on the first beat and made a good impression of a water-skier whilst refusing to let go of the sheets. They would retire from this race to make repairs ashore.

411 with local boys Rob Mitchell and George Venables would also retire from this first race to fix a problem with the kite sheets.

And then on the last lap father and son Larry and James Foxon capsized and pulled-out of day one sailing with the crew nursing some wire bruises.

Nice to see 436 Mark Mawditt & Tiff Carter and 454 John Donovan & Nigel Hingston score a 3rd and 4th respectively which would become their highest placings of the event
Also 360 Darren and TA Wood finding early form with 6th place in this first race

But it was Lloyd Turner & Harry Lucas and Julian Reichert & Jeremy Sandford after the 4 laps who settled into 1st and 2nd to set something of a pattern for the event.

Race 2:

A clean getaway this time. Interesting to see who in the fleet tacked to Port to beat out to sea to benefit from the now ripping tide. 001 pulled this trick off but 044 Ben Peter & Dan Thurston and another local team 409 Stafford Glover & Glen Burrows were in a world of pain when 411 Rob & George called Starboard on them.

137 Greg Reed who teamed-up with local boy Stelios Tabis were first to the windward mark and would surely be pleased to hang onto 4th place by the end of this race as their highest individual placing.

487 Nick and Charlie Elmore feature for the first time with a well-deserved 2nd overall edging Lloyd & Harry into 3rd with Julian & Jeremy to take their first bullet.

Another 4 lap race and the crews were starting to feel the burn from the kite halyards. The down-wind gate was again splitting the fleet with local team 420 Brian Allen & Ian Wright gybing inshore and risking the port tack approach to harden-up to head back upwind out to sea to maximize the tidal advantage.

Race 3:

001 showed there’s life in the old dog yet with a typical moment of brilliance and an audacious, second-perfect start taken at full stretch gave Mark & Blake what looked like a 2-boat length advantage off the line. They would go on to hold 2nd until the final reach for the line when 374 Mark Wood and James Hays, having worked their way up from 4th at the windward mark, eclipsed the old boat to finish 2nd as their highest placing in this shake-up race.

In an exciting finish and refusing to drop their kites 3 Hurricanes stormed the line with Mark & Tiff edging out to take 4th and a photo-finish failing to split club mates Nick & Charlie from Julian & Jeremy who sportingly agreed to share 5th place.

Lloyd & Harry would take their second bullet making them race board leaders at the end of day 1.

Start Line - Hurricane Open 2018

Saturday night and Sunday morning :

Time for some good grub and grog up at the clubhouse. The cake baking contest coincided nicely with a couple of birthdays and another excuse for Tequila if one was needed.

Sunday dawned and the NE wind gods smiled on the happy campers. The early start from the Galley Crew sending everyone out with a cooked breakfast. Race Control and the Rescue Boys had set a duplicate course with perhaps a shorter start line and a tighter leeward gate now that everyone was in the groove.

Race 4:

The General Recall disappointed some who might have thought their sail numbers were obscured.

The re-start proved just as competitive with a very tight line. 001 took the individual recall with dignity and climbed back to finish 11th.

Sadly 411 had to sit this one out with Andy Webb providing first aid on the beach to an aged traveler car and nursing Rob & George back in time to join the last 2 races.

Larry Foxon teamed-up with replacement crew Mike Rolfe to get some day 2 points on the board taking coaching advice from the youngest sailor in the club, 6-year-old Milo, simply to not capsize!

Greg and Stelios for the second time made it to the windward mark ahead of the fleet proving this event was never going to be a walk-over for the eventual winners.

The race was shortened to 3 laps when Matt Burrell and Dan Brzezinski hit the inshore gate mark dragging it out of station.

Julian and Lloyd settling for the 1,2 that would go on to finally shape the event rankings.

Race 5:

The Race Officers could identify sail number this time and called ‘over-early’ on 360, 374 and 137

Pleased to see 431 Andy Bedford & Rob Taylor make their mark on the event claiming the windward mark on the first lap and holding onto 5th

In mid-fleet 118 Paul McKay and Graeme Staddon were getting into their stride recording a 6th as a personal event best.

The race was shortened to 3 laps as the gate buoys were again misbehaving themselves.

Most racers chose to hang onto their kites to make the most of the reach to the finish line photo opportunity, gunning the line, with many still under control

Race 6:

It’s always good to end on a high point. The wind it did blow and the sun it did shine and race 6 was the highlight for many.

An excellent clean start from the fleet as a whole with 001 again clear out ahead. Their event was sadly dogged with erratic fortunes and they were forced to retire following a capsize close to the beach.

But there was no denying the form of the top boats who were in a class of their own with the top 4 places in this final race taken by the top event boats,

that said the remainder of the fleet enjoyed tight racing amongst themselves not least the 5 Clacton boats: Whilst Brian and Ian should be very pleased with themselves finishing a creditable 6th overall Matt & Dan can take comfort in pipping them in this last race to be the highest ranked Clacton team in race 6

Overall:

Winners - Hurricane Open 2018

Congratulations to Julian Reichert & Jeremy Sandford as this year’s champs. With first and second place split by a single point everyone agreed it was a cracking event.