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Sailing News

Wednesday 2oth May

Three Y's came to the line on Wednesday with a moderate North Westerly wind. The course was set 'B' '4' 'GATE' 'HE' '2' '8' and we started with a scrum with the X's on the start line, from the off we were separated. Puffin chose to stay on starboard tack heading West and Blandina and Anthea headed out in to the middle for the last of the ebb tide where they stayed very close to each other. On approaching 'B' no positions changed and Puffin rounded followed by Blandina and Anthea. On the downwind leg nothing changed. The reach though the gate to 'HE' proved hard for Blandina, leaving Anthea to sneak past, only to let Blandina get mark room. The downwind leg followed by the reach to the finish was Anthea's downfall, she couldn't shake Blandina off and was covered tack for tack and knot for knot. The finishing order was Puffin, Blandina, Anthea.

Saturday 16th May – Needles Race

The wind had moderated from its early morning briskness and had settled in to a F3-4 from the WNW occasionally W. The tide was still ebbing strongly at the start of the race, but the sun shone, the water glistened and all was well with the world. Five YOD’s came out to play, and Blandina led the way followed by Puffin, Diatom and Genista, with Pimpernel following. The leading three gradually pulled away with Blandina, helmed by Dave Hirst, pulling out a good lead. Puffin stayed on too far to the Island side after Warden, and Diatom, sailing high and fast nibbled away at Blandina’s lead, finally catching her at the turning mark, Shingle Elbow. A fast spinnaker hoist pulled Diatom ahead, enabling her to gybe on to Port and head for Hatherwood point. Puffin powered past Blandina, with Genista a little way behind. Getting in to the Island shore, the flood tide had established itself, letting the fleet sail straight to Fort Albert. Diatom headed the fleet all the way back to claim the cup, with Puffin, Blandina, Genista and Pimpernel finishing in that order.

Sunday 17th May – Sunday Series

An hour before the start, it looked flat and uninteresting, but by the start, the breeze had picked up to F2-3 from the WSW on a beautiful sunny morning. The course was Black Rock, 2, #, 4 three times round, the first two buoys to starboard, the last two to port. At the start Diatom was OCS and had to return which left Genista, with James Huddleston at the helm, to lead off ahead of Puffin, Blandina, Anthea and Pimpernel. After Black Rock there was a divergence as the leading two plus Anthea stayed in while Blandina and Diatom headed out to see if there was the last of the flood in the middle. Happily there was, and Blandina reached 2 in the lead, dropping her spinnaker. Genista and Puffin were having a ding dong battle and Anthea was ahead of Diatom at the mark with Pimpernel at the rear. With the ebb tide building inshore, spinnakers were able to fly from 2 to #, where Diatom got water on Anthea to get to 4th. Blandina gybed at the mark, which proved a wrong move as the boats inshore kept out of the foul tide and she went from 1st to 5th. Puffin got past Genista to win as the race was shortened after one round. Diatom came 3rd and Blandina just pipped Anthea for 4th on the buoy. Pimpernel finished at the rear.

Wednesday 6th May

With the wind gusting up to 50 knots at the end of the pier, the YOD’s hid in the harbour while the racing was abandoned.

Sunday 10th May

The wind was Southerly F2-3 with the tide flooding on a bright May morning. The course was Black Rock -2 - # -2- # three times round, all marks to starboard. Six Y’s came to the line, and Puffin and Genista got to the pier first, followed by Diatom and Blandina. Anthea, maybe slowed down by the cargo of G&T’s that persuaded Alan Seward to come crewing, was fifth, while Pimpernel, despite Tony having two watches, started late. The reach to 2 saw no change in the order, but there were a few alarms at the buoy as the XOD’s coming in on port gybe had to avoid the starboard tack Y’s. On the beat to # there was no change in the order, then followed a short spinnaker run back to 2. On the second beat, Diatom tacked at the buoy, followed by Blandina, and found a distinct advantage, reaching # ahead of Puffin and Genista. However, confusion set in and she started to go back to 2 rather than go through the line, losing the two places gained. On lap 2 the order remained the same until the second beat from 2 to #, where Blandina and Diatom tacked at the mark while Puffin and Genista stayed on. Puffin was too far ahead to be caught, but Blandina got into second, with Genista just keeping Diatom out of third. The course was shortened at this point and the top 4 finished followed by Anthea and Pimpernel.

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