In the words of Lou Reed, ‘what a perfect day’ wall to wall sunshine, south westerly winds to force 3 and cream teas to end proceedings, it doesn’t get much better than this.
28 boats of all types took to the water on the day from Toppers to Foiling Moths, Hawk 20’s to Contessa 32’s.
Aboard Imogen it was clear that the day was going to be busy, and for the race team this would be a first go at a pursuit race. With huge thanks to Ian Green and the rest of the ‘team’ we were prepared and armed with the all-important flip boards counting down the minutes as the time ticked by. First to go were 2 intrepid cadets in Toppers, the course having been set as a Port Trapezoid with what we considered a long first beat, however post-match debrief highlighted that next time a much bigger course would ease our workload considerably.
The first keelboats soon began circling with the single handed Hawk 20 looking determined! More and more reached the race area and most got away correctly in line with the sailing instructions, only a few required some ‘encouragement’. Before long we were sitting back for a rest and a pasty with only the Foiling Moths still to arrive. In truth they were probably tucking into super light pasties as well given the handicap placed upon them.
Whilst watching the race unfold and marking down each boats rounding’s we also took the opportunity to furnish Nick Spicer and Terry Curtis with paper and pens to do the same at the windward mark such that a comparison could be made back in the chart room to ensure correlation of laps. This would prove a very smart move.
After what felt like an age the Moths of Alex Adams and Sam Barker arrived rapidly and buzzed the tower at incredible speed, the game was on and the hare was about to be released. 1 hour and 21 minutes after the Toppers were started the Moths screamed over the line together averaging 15-16 knots upwind they carved through and around the fleet with complete ease.
It didn’t take long for the Moths to rack up the laps and thus resign more and more of the fleet to the minor placings, the gap between Alex and Sam also slowly increasing as Sam still learning the art of flying cleanly, gave us some spectacular views of high speed wipe-outs and front crawl worthy of the Olympic games.
As the clock ticked away to the conclusion of the event Nick and Terry reminded us of the need to get to the top of the course to finish the leaders, I can only apologise the fleet for the ensuing wake trailing from Imogen and Idler at full speed right up the middle of the beat, impressive stuff though !
Rob Smith in the Contender was our target boat having sailed extremely well he was just pipped by the Moth of Alex Adams at the death, we then proceeded to drive down through the fleet marking positions…. This needs some more work to perfect hence the need for a cross check with Nick and Terry. Back in the clubhouse the results were eagerly awaited by Stuart Barnes in order to present the family trophy. Much checking and cross checking it was confirmed that despite an already ridiculous handicap the Moth of Alex Adams had indeed caught the tortoise completing 7 laps to win the event with Rob Smith second and Sam Barker in third. A slight error was made with the keelboats which when resolved showed Jono Pank in the Contessa 32 winning from Neil Stroud in the GibSea. First Cadets were Olly Fellows and Will Adler in the rapid 29er.
Roll on next year and even more boats afloat to support these great cup events!!