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Home / News / Race Report for 28/29/31 May - Patrick Palmer
Home / News / Race Report for 28/29/31 May - Patrick Palmer

Race Report for 28/29/31 May - Patrick Palmer

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Published 06:58 on 2 Jun 2023

Report: Sunday 28th Monday 29th May Wednesday 31st 2023:

WSC Team racing event plus Mike Holdstock Trophy and final race in Spring Series and second mid-week race

Sunday saw the inaugural WSC Team racing competition which was a whole lot of fun, extremely tactical (on land) and extremely time consuming (on water). But there were 32 competitors, sailing 16 boats, in two shifts, 8 teams, with very gusty North Easterly winds and a cast of characters spanning the generations add to the mix the need to reflect on-water results to determine the subsequent tie, and the consequent requirement to tie marker tape around the masts of the relevant teams, and then having to switch boats from the first 16 sailors to the next, then it's a bleeding miracle/tribute to the organisational brilliance of Andy Ruffer & co that the event ran so smoothly.

The format was simple; Team A v Team B (Race course East) Team C v Team D (Race Course West) in R1, Winner of A v B (A) plays Winner of C v D (C), Losers (B v C) (No, not losers, never say losers) in R2.

Team E v F, G v H in r3, and then winners race each other as do the losers in r4.

Winners from each shift then supposed to race each other for the grand finale but this didn't happen due to wind increasing along with time elapsing so in the end we had two groups of winners Team A, comprising Tom Rawlings, Amelia Rose, Martin Read & Darren Reeves, & Team D Marcus Kimmins, Theodore Valantin, Hannah Ruffer, Bob Hewitt.

We sailed 6 x picos, 2 x Fusions and even big lummoxes like your author, Darren, Duncan & John C., were able to cope, in fact prosper, especially given that a little extra weight/leverage came in handy during the big gusts. Compare this to the smaller lighter sailors who were gamely hanging on, then you ended up with something approaching a spectacle perhaps a bifocal.

Andy's briefing was very thorough and full of good tactical tips the only one of which that I saw in operation was when Caleb sailed below me in order to prevent me from turning down-wind, which turned out to actually be stopping me from sailing the wrong course! Alas he got bored so I ended up completing the wrong course and helping us lose

This was a great event with a lot of enthusiastic hard work by the organisers and willing helpful participation by the very mixed fleet. They intend running another one over August bank holiday so, in the words of Fred Pontin, "book early". But have slightly more fun than if you're going to Pontins.

Monday's return to hum-drum 'ordinary' series racing preceded by a trophy race was spiced up by North Easterlies gusting 30 knots which made some of us wish for reinforced gussets in our neoprene pantaloons, especially downwind, ahem.

In the Mike Holdstock Trophy (Mike was a leading club member famous for his exploits in discovering the highest navigable point of the Orinoco whilst dressed exclusively in evening attire) a rather reduced fleet of 3 x D18, 3 x Lasers (two with Radial rigs) made up the starting fleet. Luca & his pint-sized crew put their noses out to sea but wisely returned to dry land. Conditions should have suited a two-up D18 but grrr that Caleb managed to squeak the trophy win by employing those unfair techniques such as "better than competence" "coping more than admirably with high winds" and "being better than the others". Matt Cooper did more than distinguish himself with a solo performance on his D18 whilst Gilbert & Georges (and it's important here that you don't confuse our Mr Knox & Gallic Georges (sorry don't know your surname) with the British avant garde art duo of similar names) gave us an artistic display that had critics nodding in approval, observing a penchant for avoiding conformity to the norms and preferring to capsize, numerous times, get separated (both of them) from their boat, need repatriation and still get a result! One might think that being ferried to their Marie Celeste by patrol boat would constitute "assistance" and lead to "disqualification" however

In the final Spring series race only the three D18's troubled the scorers and the high wind sailing was pretty exhilarating with Matt continuing to put on a good singlehanded show, narrowly allowing me and Tony to pip him at the finish. Gilbert & Georges' demonstration of modern artistic technique continued and whilst critics reappraised their performance as "derivative" "stale" and "mystifyingly incomprehensible" they at least gained admiration for dogged persistence.

Congratulations are due to John Cooper, Theodore Valentin & Gilbert Knox for their respective Handicap Cats, Monos & D18 triumphs in the Spring Series, which has been long and rewarding of consistent appearance but you can only beat those who turn-up.also a lot of North Easterlies and not much warm weather too.

I can report a rather similar mid-week race from Wednesday 31stMay too very similar conditions to Monday's, Rod/Sarah winning at a relative canter after taking a little time to warm-up, Matt repeating his solo heroics, Debbie crewing magnificently for me and Vicky Feeley doing likewise for Dave Goodwin.

So now we look ahead at this forthcoming Summer Series races 1&2 which will follow-on from the Isted trophy race, this Sunday 4th June. Who, or what is 'Isted'? I dare say that we'll have an answer by next week but what we can promise you is top of the range race management because the scheduled Race Officer (me) is unable to make it but instead a combination of Jerry Robinson & Barry Peters will be looking after you.

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