Squib Racing 24th September

Saturday 24th Sept
Race 7 Harvest Series
Wind was Northerly
Course 86
So with a patchwork of wind the class set off on a fetch up to Wilsonian. Legend (Lg) guest crew Steve – The Bosun, made the best of it in the channel taking advantage of the ebb tide folded by Sandy Cheeks (SC) and Winsome (WS) with Black Mark (BM) in against St Mary’s Island. As the fleet headed for Hoo Ness landing platform SC hoisted our spinnaker to get abreast of Lg with the rest of the fleet deciding not to fly them. So Lg lead as they rounded and headed for 26, with SC, BM, WS following. We then had a good tussle LG and SC and at 26 positions were unchanged as they were at 24 and 23. By 23 LG had a couple of boat lengths lead on SC and then several boat lengths lead on BM then WS. Spinnakers hoisted at 23 and headed for 24. Lg went for the shallows at Darnet Fort and SC took the direct route and punched the tide. Lg lost out we think it was they either didn’t get shallow enough or the wind increased reducing the tide effect. So at 24 we were neck and neck (isn’t one design racing great). SC did a good drop and round leading to 25. At 25 with spinnaker all prepared and pole set SC did a great hoist and set, to pull out a few boat lengths on Lg with BM and WS following. At the next mark 26 SC did a good drop and headed for 27. We felt that we had created a comfortable lead but knew Lg would be after us. At 27 we then debated how much to get in to Hoo Island and avoid the tide or head direct for home. At the Hoo platforms Lg was closing in. BM and WS were following. At the Hoo platform Lg got tucked right in and enjoyed a lovely lift up as SC headed the direct route to home. As SC approached the 30a area the wind headed us forcing us to tack up the shore in lighter wind. Lg came flying across to take the lead and then tack up the shallows. SC then went back out to find the wind while Lg stayed in. SC found the wind and some lovely lifts to take Legend on a port and starboard and role over the top of her. All we had to do was get home past the mooring. Lg not one to give in fought back and sailed past SC. With nothing between them Lg protected her wind and slowly luffed SC out into the channel, still unable to shake SC off. Then a dozen lengths out from the line as we moved onto a broad reach and an increasing breeze SC hoisted their Spinnaker to sail past Lg to take line honours.
It is great to see places changing during the race which is one of the strengths of one design.
1st Sandy Cheeks
2nd Legend
3rd Black Mark
4th Winsome