Hold tight, it is a double race report from the Saturday multi-series...
On what turned out to be an absolutely splendid day, five Victorys emerged from the harbour entrance to a flukey 3-5kt breeze from the SE. The plan was to complete two races in the 1st Saturday series for the final points in the Helmsman Cup. Due to too much wind at the start of the season only one other race had been sailed in this series, meaning there was everything to play for today!
Z77, Z71, Z70, Z68 and Z53 gathered in the sunshine to workout what the course was going to be and who was going to be gate boat. Class Captain, Liz, on Z70 set the course from Suffolk Sails to - Gleeds (p), Vail Williams (p) finishing at Suffolk Sails.
After a speedy start(!) the fleet split with Z70 and Z77 heading off to the channel, Z71, Z53 and Z68 banged right but then Z68 decided to head off to the channel with the promise of more tide. The wind was shifty, the tide was confused and places were changing all the way up to Gleeds.
Z68 rounded first followed by Z71, Z77, Z70 and Z53. A reach to VW had everything to play for, 71 and 77 caught up with 68 as we all gybe around the mark. A slow leg from VW to SS meant that 68, 77 and 71 spread out looking for the breeze. Closing into SS, 71 felt the need to change it up- you don’t win a race by following the boat in front- deciding to test 77 and 68 with a couple of gybes which snuck them ahead and into the lead.
The results from the first race-
After the first race the wind seemed to ease and shift to the south, a new course was set starting at Suffolk Sails, RNC&RAYC (p), KB (p), Portsmouth Sailing Club (p), RNC&RAYC (p), finishing at Suffolk Sails.
Once we got away the wind decided to return to what it originally was and the first leg to RA was nearly a reach. Z70, being gate boat again, got a tactical advantage as the wind shifted, they were heading perfectly for RA. Z71 and Z77 tacked once clear of the start and chased Z70 down, Z77 went low along the wall with Z53, Z68 and Z71 stayed high on Z70’s stern. Rounding RA, Z71 and Z77 had just snuck ahead but it was still very close between the fleet as Z70 and Z68 tacked around the windward mark together.
It was now a reach to KB and a gybe to head for PSC, the wind shifted once again and Z71 attempted to hold the kite once they had rounded PSC (heading back for RA). The kite was swiftly dropped, during the drop the fleet to closed in on them. Now fighting to round RA for the last time, Z77 tried everything they could to overtake Z71.
Coming into RA, Z71 rounded first and got their kite set for the reach to the finish (the wind had shifted once again!) close behind them Z77 followed and then Z68, Z70 and Z53. It was now a drag race to the finish, albeit fairly slowly considering the wind speed…
1st Z71 Tim, Joppers and Zoe
2nd Z77 Hugh and Kim
3rd Z68 John and Bill
4th Z70 Liz, MC and Chris
5th Z53 Ron, Chris and Rosie
Once again the sun shone on the Victory Class for a great afternoon of racing!
Thank you again to Class Captain Liz for driving Rosina and being gate boat, i think you can hang your buoy up for the season now.
I must say Z71 had a secret weapon, owner Gareth Penn was busy with childcare duties so our friend Tim Carter stepped in to helm with Z70s usual crew James Jopling (Joppers). Thanks boys for getting Z71 racing and winning the Helmsman Cup.
Next race is Tuesday 21st May for the fifth race in the Tuesday Shield (1st Tuesday)
See you on the water !