Race Report Sunday 17th July Goodwin Pursuit Race - Patrick Palmer
Published 16:39 on 21 Jul 2022
Race Officer: Paul Craft, Campanologist: Jerry Robinson. Safety boats: Aaron + Philip Dedman, Dave Rees + P.Palmer, Master of the beaches: Niall.
Wind: f2-3. S/E
The race works by the fleet being handicapped by start time; slower boats/sailors having a head start, with their speedier comrades starting later at intervals and pursuing (geddit?) the ones that left before them. So, slowest Pico started promptly at midday, the fastest cats at around 12:30 (was it?). it lasts for 100 minutes from the first boat's start time, and if the handicapping has been done correctly the fleet should be in the same position on the course when 13:40 strikes on the chronometer. It really is that simple. The complexity lies in being able to know exactly how each sailor and their boat will perform in the conditions and R.O: Paul made a pretty good fist of it with, for once, the end result being in genuine doubt until the very end.
From the pos of the safety boat we were able to witness the leading Fevas of Noah/Nova, and (was it?) George/?, make excellent progress around the course invoking quite a lot of "they're never going to be caught" type commentary, which proved to be off the mark but not by much, and then the inexorable progress by Lasers (Caleb & Chris Halfknight) with the Spitfire (Josh/Chloe) impudently crashing the mono's monopoly. Why did the Fevas not fly their spinnakers? Bit baffling but bravely they led until about min#75 when the two lasers showed how early predictions were piffle and the Fevas efforts in vain as they were overtaken around Mk3 lap 2. At this point the Spitfire was not particularly a serious contender, and the steady f2 was not exactly in their favour although they seemed to have a good combo of light crew, good sail area (esp with Isometric) and good tactics.
Elsewhere, the Dart 18 of Debs/Barry showing promise but it was a toothless threat, and there appeared to be a Bahia doing well but I can find no ref to them on the sign-on sheet and they didn't trouble the scorers in the end.
With 10 minutes to go the leading 5 boats were just about on the same leg (finishing lap 2, starting lap 3) and whilst it was clear that the fevas were out of the running, would Josh/Chloe be able to overhaul the lasers? Lest I extend myself to build this up to be a crescendo nay paroxysm of climactic narrative, let's skip straight to: NO! they couldn't, but it was very close as the Spitfire was flying down the last leg but alas also running out of time, with Caleb winning, Chris H. hanging on to 2nd and the multi-hullers grabbing 3rd. The fevas followed up in the order stated above.
But ho! What's this did Caleb really win? He didn't sign-on and under the rules should be disqualified and led through the streets in chains being pelted with ordure and rotten fruit. But the twinkly eyed race officer decreed that the result stands AS LONG AS Caleb makes a sizeable and provable donation to RNLI before Sunday 24th July. What a quandary for the Cooper lad: will he be bereft of cash or glory come our next meeting?
There was a particular concentration of the rest of the fleet around Mk3/Mk4 of lap2 which again proved that Paul's planning was pretty good so well done him. And of course the rest of your Race Management Team. Some of the pleasure for the safety boats was going around the rest of the fleet explaining things like it's 100 mins from the start of the first boat, not each individual boat (how would that work) and recovering the only capsize (was this the Topaz?). But most of it was watching a pretty exciting race.
It wasn't just Caleb who didn't sign-on there were a few others try to remember to do this.
Next week is the long-missed Absent Friends Trophy, and r8/9 of summer series 2. Forecast is excellent SW f3-4 sunny and I'm not even lying to be fair like.