20:01 on 25 Aug 2021
On Wednesday the 18th and Thursday the 19th August the last two races of the Cruiser Evening Series took place. The evening races are generally the best attended events and always provide close racing and the chance for some liquid refreshment and chat afterwards.
On the Wednesday their were eight contestants including three Hawks, the Sonatas were all missing following the completion of a windy and bumpy Nationals at Cowes earlier in the week. The OOD was on Gannet and the course involved a beat from ODM to the finish, a close reach to Sand Spit, a run back to ODM and a second beat to the finish. It was a gate start with the OOD providing an informal countdown helping all the competitors get organised on starboard prior to the stampede across the line.
Enigma was OOD and they got racing off promptly starting at the ODM beating to Hengistbury Head buoy before a run back to the ODM and a reach to the finish. It was windy and pretty wavy with noticeably more waves offshore.
Most boats tacked early with some going close into the beach at Hengistbury Head to beat the tide and make use of the flat water.
It was tight at the windward mark with at least two boats having to make crash tacks at the last minute as the tide pushed them away from the buoy but all got round nervously looking at who would be brave enough to use a spinnaker on the run. At first no one did which was a relief for most although Tomahawk did for a while before dowsing it for technical reasons.
The rain/ drizzle was harder down the run making spotting ODM hard with the lead boats relying on GPS to find it. After the gybe it was a real drag race to the finish led by Imagikation pursued by Gannet fighting off advances from the fast moving Woolley Knickers and Resolution close behind who had a close tussle all the way to the line. Fortunately the weather had lightened slightly so the timekeeper Ray Thornton was able to separate the finishers.
The larger boats all did this as soon as the gate opened but the Hawks held back a tad starting together some way from the ODM. Boats split the beat with some of those coming in from the left over standing the mark, which would be telling later on. After the beat their was much jostling for places on the long close reach to Sand Spit prior to a gybe and the organised chaos of getting spinnakers flying for the run. At the ODM Gannet sneaked past Tomahawk and Rondo to chase Imagikation the Evolution up the beat losing out to them on handicap by 17 seconds, ruing the time they had lost overstanding the mark on the first beat.
Overall a good race won by Imagikation with Gannet second and Jester third.
It took place in cloudy but dry weather with wind in the mid high teens keeping going to the end of the race, flat water and a nice motor back up the harbour with nav lights in use on most boats. Dusk had just held off long enough for the timekeeper, Phil Whiston, to identify boats at the finish but most had kept their own finish times just in case.
On the 19th the weather was not the August norm and was verging on the chilly with light rain and wind up to and over 20 knots. With the Sonatas still nursing bruised and battered bodies eight boats attended with two less Hawks but two extra Evolutions being Woolley Knickers and Resolution the latter with one of the new part owners Nigel Summers and his son on board racing her for the first time.
This time Imagikation was not far enough ahead to beat Gannet for the win on handicap but this was irrelevant as the race was won by Jester who had stormed up the beat and along the reach in a good fashion using the stronger winds and her ability to smash waves aside to good advantage.
Overall a great albeit short series won by Jester who finished on equal points to Gannet but did better in the last race with Imagikation third. A great end to the evening races with much lively banter in the Club afterwards, talk of upgrading boats and commitments to taking part in 2022.
Sunday saw the annual Pursuit Race for the Cruisers and it was a real pursuit with LouLou storming through the fleet on the last two legs to take the trophy. With 5 boats finishing within 3 minutes of each other.
CSC Sonata Nationals - Cowes (part 2)
Our previous report covered Sunday and Monday.
Tuesday morning dawned with about 15 knots of wind, again with windward / leeward courses east of the Brambles Bank. Close racing between the lift keelers, with Phoebe scoring 3 points, Fiddlers 7 and Blu V 8.
Wednesday saw similar conditions, Westerly winds with gusts and shifts. Unfortunately Fiddlers Elbow had to retire from the final two races as her skipper Jon Arnell had damaged his back and was unable to continue. Phoebe and Blu V battled the final two races with one win each.
The sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed that Roadrunner never left her mooring.Racing Team Yeabsley/ Butler got their hands on a fin keeled Sonata for the event and came a creditable 6 th overall out of 31, in what was a competitive fleet.
Unfortunately In the conditions the lift keel Sonatas were unable to compete upwind with the fin keelers and overall Phoebe finished 25th, Fiddlers 28th and BluV 29th.
The Island Sailing Club very kindly rewarded the Christchurch lift keeler by presenting daily prizes and an overall trophy: 1st Phoebe ( Owen Kerr) 2nd Fiddlers Elbow( Jim Lawrence) 3rd Blu V ( Luke Ridout.) The social side was well organised too so all in all a very good regatta.
Sunday's Dinghy Harbour Cruise and Picnic
Fun and games on the beach for the dinghy sailors who cruised down to Mudeford Spit for a picnic followed by beach cricket and boules.
Last updated 20:05 on 25 August 2021