The first race of the season took place on Saturday March 29th. Ashley Hatton reports from Drover:
“After a morning “bimbling” four made it to the start of the afternoon race – Beaver didn’t as more “bimbling” was required.
The wind was 15-20 knots with more East in it than anything else, with a warm Spring sun.
Terrapin and Falconet were fully crewed. While Drover and Thalia sailed short handed.
Although the racing was very close, positions didn’t change throughout the race until the final few hundred yards.
All the drama was at the first windward mark and the final short beat to finish.
Terrapin and Drover scrapped it out for East Head windward mark to port –Terrapin approaching on port and Drover on starboard. It was highly risky but Terrapin went for the tack to squeeze around the mark – a whisker in front of Drover. The smallest luff from Drover, to be sure of clearing Terrapin’s stern, led to them bumping the bottom as they rounded the windward mark.
Spinnakers up for the first time as the fleet headed down to Gardner.
Meanwhile the Race Officer had to quickly reassess her windward mark for the second windward leg (with one member of the Sunbeam fleet already well aground near the windward mark this was a priority). Sure enough Flag M appeared on the rib anchored in a more appropriate area.
The rounding order at the windward mark second time – now the rib – was the same with Drover snapping at Terrapin’s heels and the other two close behind.
As the fleet headed back down Chichester Channel on a reach it was a little processional. On rounding Wear it was a beat to the finish. Drover’s efforts to break the Terrapin cover and split tacks resulting in the two boats behind closing in. Drover then fouled Falconet and duly took their penalty turns relegating them from second throughout to last within a few hundred yards of finish line!
Great fun was had by all and everyone was in good spirits and greatly enjoying the close racing. Well done to Terrapin for winning the first race of the season.
A big thank you to all the staff at the Club who we know have worked hard to be ready for the start of the season.”
Sunday saw somewhat lighter breezes and Beaver and Ilex joined Terrapin for a race. Terrapin again took first place.