Report by Aaron Goodman-Simpson. Results at sailwave.com.
The third race in the 2017 MYC Cruiser Class Spring Series took place on Sunday 7th May. Despite the race officers asking for warm weather and fair winds, the fleet was met by a slightly chilly north westerly of circa 9-12knots.
To keep crews warm and busy, Offshore 1 (Fleet) set a multiple leg course starting at buoy 28. The Class 1 Fleet all got away relatively cleanly, despite an interesting rule contravention being incurred by Valhalla (on Hellaby?), which led to an early decision to retire.
The rest of the fleet crossed tacks in the fading flood as Full Tilt (Arcona 400) used her longer length to good effect to be first round buoy 32, followed by Reefer x (X-99) and Hellaby (quarter tonner).
Hellaby was now up to 2nd on the water due to a faster spinnaker set, with both boats moving eventually to the north shore in an attempt to get out of the worst of the tide. Meanwhile Full Tilt started ominously to ease away from the chasing fleet.
Further back the chasing Class 1 pack led by Valkyrie all followed suit as the fleet reached down to buoy 26, prior to each boat dropping its kite coming onto a port two sail fetch up to buoy 23. This leg was more productive for Reefer x as the X-99 managed to sail over Hellaby; due to simple waterline length.
Thereafter boats raised their spinnakers again to sail down river to the bottom mark at buoy 18, before turning back up river against the new ebbing tide. Buoys Autumn and no. 20 provided a very short downwind dogleg across the river, before resuming back upwind to buoy 31.
Spinnakers were raised again at buoy 30 at the start of a second circuit, with Reefer x managing an amusing attempt to gybe its spinnaker “through” the foretriangle. After much scratching of heads and “a-pulling” the spinnaker was dropped in the hope that no one saw this fiasco. Suspect that it was not missed by the rest of the fleet!
After the 2nd circuit the fleet beat back up to buoy 32 for a committee boat finish. With Full Tilt having stretched its legs to a comfortable on the water finish, the chasing fleet had to deal with an increasingly fickle wind and increasing ebb tide.
Valkyrie made a good closing stab at attempting to undercut Hellaby by splitting sides with the quartet tonner. It did not quite work according to Joe Bolton in the bar afterwards.
The Class 2 fleet sailed a shorter circuit with four boats out racing, with the evergreen Suntrek giving Petite Fluer a real battle around the course, leaving Tender Touch and Quiet Air to chase and do battle with each other.
Alas an increasingly fickle wind by buoy 32 and a strong adverse tide, led to the last two Class 2 boats retiring.