Itchenor XODs win close battle with Royal Burnham Yacht Club
A strong team of sailors from the Royal Burnham Yacht Club visited Itchenor Sailing Club over the weekend of October 5th and 6th for a series of team races in the hosts’ XODs. The three race series started on Saturday afternoon with an hour long race around the fixed marks in Chichester Harbour in ideal wind conditions but with a tricky, strong ebb tide. The first two legs of the course saw the teams closely matched; but by the end of the second windward leg Itchenor had established a commanding lead with their three boats in the top slots. However, as the six boats turned for the long run to the finish, the Burnham boats came back and ensured close racing all the way to the line with two of their boats moving into 3rd and 4th positions. With the scoring done it was Itchenor’s race and so the hosts were ahead overnight.
The evening hospitality at Itchenor Sailing Club left none of the team members the worse for wear and there was keen anticipation for the two races planned for Sunday morning. The weather gods appeared to have conspired against the races as the wind at 10 o’clock was zero knots. Optimistically the fleets were towed down harbour in the hope that a breeze would develop nearer the sea. By 1130 a gentle breeze blew in from the South to enable the racing to begin. Over the short windward/leeward course the Burnham sailors demonstrated their experience in team racing and scored a perfect one, two, three in the second race of the series. This set up the final race as the decider.
The Itchenor team then demonstrated that they had learned the lesson that the start was critical with each of their boats covering one of the Burnham boats. These tactics saw Paul Taylor of Burnham having to restart having been sailed the wrong side of the line. Itchenor’s captain David Priscott shadowed his opposite number Stephen Herring all round the course. This ultimately allowed Alastair Shaw to move from 3rd to 1st place where he remained until the finish. As they approached the line Herring engaged Priscott in close combat to allow his colleague Steve Adams through to 2nd place. With Herring and Priscott too close to call as they finished, it was down to the contest for the last places to decide the race and the series. As the two final competitors crossed the line it was John Tattersall’s Itchenor boat that was judged to have crossed ahead of the fast closing Taylor by a matter of inches.
And so the series ended with Itchenor enjoying the closest of victories and with the hosts and visitors looking forward to the rematch at Burnham next season.
Race 1 Itchenor win 8 -13
Race 2 Burnham win 6 -15
Race 3 Itchenor win 10 – 11
Team captains Herring (152) and Priscott (132) in close combat at the start of the final race. Photograph – Guy Partington
The ladies’ race postponed from Points Week is scheduled for Sunday October 13th at 1400.
Lone Star Cup
Similarly, the single handed race postponed from Points Week is scheduled for Sunday October 20th at 1415.
Start of the Vernon Cup race to Sea View – Sunday September 29th Photograph Veronica Ferguson
After a stimulating 3 hour race from Itchenor to Bembridge the winners emerged as Alastair Shaw, Chris Froy with Liz Powell in Phoenix.
The winners are presented with the Bembridge Canvas by Philip Bown, Commodore of the Bembridge Sailing Club Photograph by Clare Blevins.
Itchenor XODs return triumphant from Cowes Week
The Itchenor Sailing Club fleet of X One Designs set off for Cowes earlier this month with the intention of coming home with two prestigious trophies – the Captain’s Cup for the overall winning boat and the Phillipson Shield for the top club. They did not disappoint.
Competition for top spot was fierce with six different race winners in the seven races. Only Lass sailed by John Tremlett with a crew drawn from fellow owners Richard Jordan, Richard Bullock and Jeremy Lear won two races – on the opening Saturday to put down a marker and critically on the last Saturday to seal the overall prize. Other Itchenor race winners were Steve Lawrence who won by over 5 minutes on Monday in Catherine, and Michael Martell who steered his Astralita to victory on Thursday.
Over the week there were solid performances from a number of the other boats – to complement Lass’s first place and Astralita’s 3rd overall, Alastair Shaw and Chris Froy’s Phoenix was 5th and Catherine 6th. Itchenor therefore demonstrated it had the strength in depth to see off a strong challenge from their traditional adversaries from Lymington by a healthy margin.
Well deserved celebrations took place when the crews returned home to Itchenor on Saturday evening, somewhat tired but content that their objectives of a fourth consecutive Captain’s Cup win and a hat trick of Phillipson Shield victories had been achieved.
The Red Arrows salute the X Class at Cowes 2013 – photo Alastair Ashford
Reflections of Cowes
Richard Jordan – A Cowes classic, loads of wind, no wind, random race management and good race management, container vessels, rocks, cruise ships, sun and rain. Weird wacky but strangely appealing.
Neil Hart – I really enjoyed Cowes this year. The conditions were varied , challenging but fair and the standard of competition very high indeed.
Three particular memories. Sailing in fog followed by rain down by East Bramble, very spooky. Looking over my shoulder and seeing a huge container ship bearing down on us. And the consummate skill and determination of John Tremlett wearing down and then eventually winning over some of the top sailors in the country. And he always asked how us mere mortals got on!
Tony Monks – An advantage sailing with Lord P is that when he asked the Harbour Master afloat if there was a mooring closer to the west end of the trot, he not only motored off to find one for us but then towed us from one extreme end of the line to the other. Not a bad start to the week.
Having deliberately sailed inside of the RYS inner distance mark to stem the tide, then sailed backwards through the the line to start somewhat late, Lord P declared it was now all or bust. We went further than anyone else inshore into Osborne Bay and rounded the windward mark in our best position all week. Experience counts.
Roger Yeoman – Cowes Week and Cowes Classics Week Didn’t do them-what was I thinking!
Alastair Ashford – Many congratulations to the whole of the Lass team..great result. Team Foxglove had a good week and a few good results, Rick and Jackie were excellent in the middle of the boat and kept a twitchy helm on track, but the last race was hugely disappointing (I could use other words!) after a great start, I guess the moral of the story is “if racing in shipping lanes, watch out for shipping!”
Tony Probert – It was a great week with only one day cancelled. Only downside was Race Officers not taking note of Merchant ships and Ferry timings at the starts. Also the organisers giving us a Committee boat start after another fleet having their 2nd start. And on the Fri giving us a fig 8 course – v dangerous. Evenings were great fun. Alan Perry’s commentary on Wed was most entertaining except that I planned to do the start I did to get out of the tide and had NOT forgotten I was on the wrong side of the inner distance mark ! A technique others will adopt one day ! For those who haven’t seen it go to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes 2013 web site -Multimedia/Live replays/Highlight picture/ trawl down to Wed 7/8 starts and trawl across to 2 hr 46 mins.
David Palmer – Classic week: “So different to Cowes Week. Nice courses, no Black Groups in the way, and a Committee that listens. A pity that this year was seriously challenged by the windless heat wave, with two out of four days abandoned.”
Cowes Week: “Cowes Week should be a celebration of all that is best about XOD racing – a huge fleet, wonderful competition, long and interesting Solent courses, and the rolling Rock Concert that is Cowes Week ashore. Alas, the Race Committee does its best to spoil it. A running start, a shared starting line, endless delays while waiting for other classes, and finally a race straight through the shipping lane perfectly timed to meet a container ship. Must do better.”
Alan Perry – How unlucky Astralita was to break their gooseneck on day 1, whilst having a big lead. But what great sportsmanship from John Tremlett who approached them afterwards and asked if there was anything he could do to help them, well done John!
Chris Darling – Phoenix’s Amazing Day
I think I will remember the last race of Cowes 2013 for some time! It began inauspiciously with Bramblemet stuck resolutely on 3.7kts. However eventually the breeze built and off we sailed. Our first incident was during the pre-start when a rapid gybe caused the boom to collide with Christopher just as he translated the course text message. There was quite a lot of tomato ketchup visible and it actually looked quite bad, but I cheerily assured him all was well, to put his cap on tight and not to complain. In the normal way we carefully assessed the tide, wind, line angle, tactics etc and decided to start on starboard about 25% of the line down from the Squadron. However with 3 minutes to go we revised our plan in favour of a bold and daring port tack start. Whilst inwardly not 100% convinced of the merits of this new strategy – the chance to port tack 80 XODs in front of The Royal Squadron YC spectators was a chance not be missed. It would be something to tell the grandchildren. As the gun went we sheeted in hard, sat out, held our breath…..and duly passed well behind probably 79 boats. Oops…
Certainly the XOD fleet tacking westward down the Solent into the bright sunshine was a beautiful sight to behold, and the frenzied Port / Starboard shouts also quite amusing from the safe distance of our position behind the melee. Closing on the windward mark, we were err.. nearly last, but we could see the main fleet had all held onto the Gurnard shore and we felt that big gains could be made by gybing early and keeping away from the fray. And fray there certainly was!
Our helm / tactician/ engineer Alastair (enjoying his 50th Cowes Week) was ever alert and wryly commented that he could see a very large ship somewhere off the forts. With his usual navigational skill he instantly computed that it would arrive in the fleet precisely as we crossed over to the Williams Shipping buoy. Would it be our salvation or our nemesis? Bravely, hearts in mouth we held on as the monster grew nearer. The Kuala Lumpur Express – what a romantic name! It was quite interesting to observe the white faces of some of the XOD crews silhouetted against the thrusting steel cliffs- especially those from Itchenor. But we popped out into the whirlpool wake behind the vast stern piled high with containers and it seemed – good news! We had gained 50 or so places. Then it was a succession of quick beats with us closing in on a top ten place.
Hardening up for the last beat the wind freshened and we sat out like badgers, hoping to get into the chocolates, but alas the wind did not quite shift in our favour and we settled for a commendable 11th, which secured 5th place overall. The reach home in the sunshine and near deserted Solent was hugely enjoyable, and Christopher and I enjoyed our beer and sandwiches in our mother ship, timing our arrival at Itchenor as planned to perfection so to ensure that Alastair had completed the boat pack up. A big cheer and couple of beers to celebrate with the thoroughly well deserved and popular winners from Lass rounded off a perfect day!
You may wish to see recording of the starts and finishes. See the excruciation start on Wednesday and Lord P’s antics about 3 hours in …
Malcolm Ogilvie -This year was the first time Vixen and crew of Spencer Wigley, Nick Davison and Malcolm Ogilvy had participated in Cowes Classics Week. We all enjoyed the experience immensely and much preferred the more relaxed less intense experience compared to the main Cowes Week we attended in 2011. As relatively new ISC members we especially appreciated the the way we were made so welcome by other XOD crews and the inclusive social arrangements which provided the opportunity to get to know fellow members better.
The logistics of getting the boat, crew and luggage for a week to Cowes and back were a challenge. We really appreciated the assistance kindly provided by Jim & Graine Hartley with their motor cruiser and would certainly be encouraged to go again if more formal ‘convoy’ arrangements to be accompanied by a cruiser were organised in advance.
Merlin ghosts home on a magical Wednesday evening – photo David Priscott
This series was held over the Bank Holiday Weekend May 25 – 27 and although the sun shone throughout the wind played tricks in the early part of the weekend.
Saturday afternoon’s race was held in a light and variable – mostly North Westerly – and with a strong ebb tide. A simple windward/leeward course on paper of an inflatable mark to windward near the “goalposts” and then to East Head proved a real challenge because of the tide. Two Xs mastered the conditions and a close race between Phoenix X186 and Harmony X132 resulted in a two boat length victory for Phoenix. The rest of the fleet was spread far and wide with some competing boats lapped by the first two.
Sunday morning promised little more wind despite the direction change to the West. Once again some boats mastered the conditions, this time with a flood tide to contend with. The course was changed to give the fleet a shorter challenge and at the finish it was again Phoenix first to cross a significant way ahead of the second and third boats Felix and Chartreuse. This season’s star boat to date, Lass, was 5th improving on the disappointing 11th on Saturday afternoon.
By the afternoon a sea breeze had set in to give the fleet a cracking race up and down the Rookwood reach to dispel the frustrations of the first two races. Lassrevelled in these conditions to finish just ahead of Phoenix with a close battle for 3rd and 4th between Felix and Chartreuse.
Neck and neck – a close finish between Lass and Phoenix photo – David Priscott
The final race was on Monday morning and the weather gods smiled. A clear blue sky and a force 3 SSW allowed another windward/leeward in the Rookwood Reach this time with windward leg against the tide. The lead changed hands as the race evolved with the early leaders Felix, Chartreuse, Astralita and Princess Jalina eventually overhauled by Phoenix and Lass.
The final results show that Phoenix and Lass win a Hutcheson Cup each with the Stocker fleet prize going to Harmony and the Pilsey prize toThalia.
Competitors experienced a range of weather conditions over the bank holiday weekend. Saturday saw winds averaging 25 knots and very lumpy seas particularly with wind over tide. Sunday morning was cloudy with a moderate breeze and in the afternoon the sun broke through and encouraged a sea breeze to provide the best sailing of the weekend. Monday morning dawned with a mist on the water and no wind. A gentle sea breeze filled in about 1100 to provide gentle but challenging conditions in the strong ebb tide.
So to the racing: It was Lass in top spot in each race. A number of other boats challenged, some even getting ahead of her for a while. Among the challengers it was good to see Alastair Ashford on a brief visit from Antigua showing that despite the good life he has lost little of his touch in sailing Foxglove to series of good results.
Falconet scored an excellent 2nd in Saturday’s first race with Ron Parker on the stick. Foxglove then scored two 2nds and a 3rd while Thora after a couple of 5th places improved with a 3rd and then two 2nd places. With Lass taking the Felix Bowl it was Thora taking 2nd position ahead of Foxglove as a result of the tie breaker. The Stocker prize goes to Harmony and the Pilsey fleet winner wasWhisper.
April Fool’s Mug
During April we ran a 14 race series for the April Fool’s Mug. The scoring is by the High Points system so that, as the fleet size increases, the points at stake for each race increase. Also only the best four races count to accommodate those boats who have to make the journey back from Bembridge or are at the back of Haines’s shed. So in theory the series is not decode until the last race. However, Lass with 14 straight first place finishes was always favourite for the trophy. Beaver showed well particularly in the early races and deservedly won the Stocker prize. A total of 18 boats competed in this series with Thora andPrincess Jalina taking 2nd and 3rd slots respectively. Veronique was awarded the Pilsey fleet prize.
After a weekend of sailing in cold (5°C) NEs mainly Force 4-5 the “Too” Early Start Series has produced a winner and the April Fool’s Trophy (hear hear, I hear you say) has started.
The Easter Weekend saw 8 of the 10 boats afloat compete with wins for 80, 152 and 160 with Sunday having the best of the weather with bright sunshine.
Saturday afternoon’s race saw the best get caught out by the challenges of the Gallon Reach on a falling Spring tide with the wind falling to Force 1-2 at the finish which resulted in the “Q” flag being used by the PRO when 4 of the 6 boats had to be towed in. Well done to 116 for being the 1st Pilsey boat to compete this year.
Congratulations to Lass for winning the ESS and to Beaver for winning the Stocker Fleet prize for this series.
We are delighted to announce that Dr Marjory Greig has accepted the role of Divisional Scorer. Marj will primarily use Sailwave to record our results. We thank her for taking on this important role
XODs are emerging from the boatsheds looking resplendent in their new coats of varnish and are taking their places on the Itchenor Reach moorings.
We welcome two additional members of the division. Merlin (X160) has already arrived and is on the mooring ready to go in the hands of new members of the Itchenor X team – Roger Yeoman and Michael Moss. We hear that David Palmer is returning to active sailing at Itchenor with Princess Jalina (X188) formerly known as Extra when campaigned by Bill Warren.