Red Cross Cup - Race Report - August 2019

Last Sunday members of Clacton Sailing Club raced for the long standing Red Cross Trophy, first awarded in 1964.

Martin and Debbie - Red Cross Cup

Pictured above:- Martin and Debbie Chivers - Winners of the Red Cross Cup

At 11.00 sharp with blue skies and a fresh breeze the start gun was sounded and the race began. Brian Allen and Robert Mitchell sailing their F18 catamaran led the charge closely followed by Martin and Debbie Chivers on their Dart 16 catamaran.

Attacked the line

Larry Foxon and Mike Rolfe sailing their Hurricane catamaran attacked the line on a different tack which gave them right of way, but were just unable to utilise their advantage on the first two boats.

The race was now on to complete 3 laps of a course made up of a series of triangles with a sausage in the middle.

In the lead

Brian and Robert made the first buoy in the lead with the chasing boats on their heals.

All the competitors are on different handicaps, Brian and Robert on the fastest boat knew they would have to build a commanding lead.

Wind freshening

With the wind freshening and the waves building the fast stretch to the Seaward maker took the first casualty of the race with the Hurricane going through a spectacular nosedive and then with gear failure Mike Rolfe became detached from his trapeze and made an equally spectacular dive into the sea.

The Club rescue boat was soon on the scene but with the Hurricane’s gear failure they were unable to continue the race.

Worsening conditions

Over the next 2 laps the remaining competitors sailed in worsening conditions requiring helms and crews to be very nimble to guide their craft through sizeable waves, strong wind gusts and driving rain.

On Team Chivers, Debbie was seen several time trapezing of the front on their Dart 16 as the Catamaran tried very hard to shake off its crew and cartwheel at the same time.

Last lap

With the last lap in full swing, Brian and Robert were driving hard their superfast catamaran, in now unbelievably rough conditions, to increase their lead on Team Chivers who in turn were determined to stay in winning distance on handicap everything was to play for. With just 2 legs to go a squall with gale force winds blew through the course, causing Brian and Robert to spectacularly capsize with Robert becoming adrift from their F18. The rescue boat was soon at the scene to lend a helping hand forcing their retirement.

With a gruelling last leg Team Chivers managed to finish the course and lift the trophy.👏

Special mention to Neil Warn, Stafford Glover and Michael Guttridge for keeping the club members safe in the trying conditions - Thanks Guys! 👍

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