Spring Series 1 & 2 - Race Report - April 2019

After the winter layoff Clacton Sailing Club catamarans ventured out again last Sunday for the first 2 races in the Spring Series.

Crew on beach - Spring Series 1 & 2

The Cats are out of the bag (again)

Somewhat miserable conditions of light winds and cold drizzle tested the determination of the 5 cats as they gathered on the start line.

Commodore and Race Officer of the day Martin Chivers must have known something was up when he started the 5-minute countdown as in the closing seconds the offshore wind started to fill in.

Start line honours

Rob 'Chopper' Mitchel sailing a borrowed Dart 16 single-handed drifted over to claim start line honours followed by Brian and Rob in The Edge F18
Broad reaching out to sea the F18 and Hurricane with Mark Venables and Ian Wright flew their kites and steadily pulled away.

Typical of the first race of the season boats and crew were in various stated of un-preparedness.

Despite having spent the winter re-rigging and tweaking his A Class Dan Brzezinski had failed to check the course and his plan to follow the Hurricane failed when the Venables/Wright cat took the dubious honours of first capsize of the year out at the outer mark.

The Boxer Dart 18 and Mitchell Dart 16 followed the faster cats knowing that handicap calculations at the end would mean that flawless sailing would mean they could still win.

Capsize

Rob Mitchell however also then took an early bath when the telescopic tiller on his boat inadvertently lived up to its name causing the Dart 16 to become the second capsize casualty taking him out of contention.

Having run downwind out to sea the course required then to beat inshore. With the wind touching Force 4 and the icy cold driving rain now horizontal perhaps it was Eilish's enthusiasm to end the race that drove helm Pete Boxer to sail a little higher than the fleet to claw back distance over the faster cats. Replicating the same technique riding the swell upwind on lap 2 put the race in the bag by a 30 second handicap margin.

Race 2 saw Brian and Rob in their new Edge F18 just ahead of the Venables/ Wright Hurricane.

Brisk Winds

Despite the now brisk winds Brian called for his crew to launch the kite forcing Mark & Ian to do the same but, just upwind of the F18 meaning they had no space to bear off when the inevitable next gust hit, and they were in for their second capsize of the day. Brian and Rob were uncontested winners of the second race.

For anyone interested in trying catamaran sailing Clacton Sailing Club at Holland Haven will be offering a free taster session on Bank Holiday Monday 6th May and a full Introduction to Sailing course on each Saturday in June. Please contact the club for details

Results

Pete Boxer and Eilish Dempsey won the first race on handicap with Brian Allen and 'Sparky' Rob Michel taking the second race.

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