Race Reports 6th and 7th May 2023

Saturday 6th May

Wayfarer Race Report

Coronation safely completed, the race got off an hour late into a grey and drizzly S to ESE F3 pretty variable, with falling tide.  The four boats closely contested the start.  Ubique, as is their want, set the early pace.  Here the question was whether to stay N and avoid the wind shadow of St Mary’s or stay more mid river.  As the wind shifted more E the latter proved profitable with Loose Knots, emerging in the lead and going stunningly well to windward building a stinking, sorry stonking, (mystery obligatory word now used) lead by 26. Muffin Oblique and Hound trailed in the wake.  This stayed the same up and down Pinup twice. If anything, Knots was drawing away.  The author, trailing badly, reassured himself that at least Champagne would be on offer.  27 to home proved that fate remains capricious. Rounding 27, spinaker up, Knots ran into a sustained gust now ssw forcing them into Hoo Island.  Muffin pounced heading straight up river. The two battled up through a very flukey heartbreak  but Muffin prevailed.  At the back as the wind died  and then set more E, Hound was able to draw ahead of Ubique, to claim the dubious honour of writing  up the race.  I look for an appropriate football cliche, but for Knots and Ubique, against the run of play.



Dragon Race Report

The last two years I have written most of the race reports.  The Dragon Fleet have now decided (at the AGM) the 3rd placed boat will write the race report, Suti came 3rd so its me again!

5 Boats entered Taniwha, Suti, OCD, Gandalf and Whistle.  A nice breeze for the Dragons but forecast from the South.  Edwin choose course 24, which took us all the way to Buoy 12 with an up river start. ~ 15 miles.

At the 5 minute gun looking around we noticed OCD still on their mooring, messing around with spinnakers.  With barely a second to spare before the 4-minute gun they cast off and were adrift with no sails. Prior to the start Whistle and Suti were in good wind opting for a start on the South shore but at the start the wind changed giving the advantage to the boats in the middle of the river namely Taniwaha, OCD and Gandalf making the windward mark way before Whistle and lastly Suti.

All the way down to buoy 12 via MYA4 and a short beat to Buoy 18 saw Taniwha keep a healthy lead followed by OCD and Gandalf.  Whistle sailed really well eating into their lead down Long Reach with Suti making steady progress.  Adjacent to buoy 16 Taniwha had an issue with their spinnaker dropping them out of the lead. Whistle caught OCD which saw them tussle for the lead to get around Buoy 12 first, followed by Gandalf.  Suti had a good leg and with Taniwaha sorting out their Spinnaker found themselves rounding the mark at the same time.

All really close now going around Buoy 16 on the way home.  Whistle, Suti and Taniwha opted to round the mark and head towards the North shore with OCD and Gandalf keeping to the South shore out of the tide along Long Reach.  The initial gain seemed to be the North soon became apparent the South Shore was the best option cutting across the tide near Buoy 22 on the way to our next mark which was MYA1.  OCD took a commanding lead with Whistle staying ahead of Gandalf who were 150m ahead of Suti with Taniwha close behind.  Just Buoy 26 and the MCC self-finishing line to go.  No catching OCD but Suti managed to overhaul Gandalf.

A different race with the challenge of a lot of reaching and deciding on which part of the river to sail against the tide.

Congratulation’s go to OCD (for their just off the mooring in time, WIN), 2nd Whistle , 3rd Suti, 4th Gandalf and 5th an unlucky Taniwha.

The first series is really open with only two races to go.  Looking forward to next week and possibly bubbles for 4 weeks in a row!




Squib Race Report

After enjoying the King’s Coronation and of course Coronation Chicken at the club it was time for a sail. With a SE of 15-20 knots, HW 14.14 Legend and Sandy Cheeks set out for a sail. Course Mark 23 (S) and return. Sandy Cheeks was 3 up with Andrew, Sandra and Michelle while Legend had Roger and Stan. At the start Legend let SC get a flyer and they headed off down river. Boat speed was very even with Legend catching on SC. As they approached Hoo SC started to concentrate and pull away. Round on Gillingham Reach SC set the pole ready for a spinnaker hoist and to see what Legend did. As they neared Folly Point SC hoisted their spinnaker on a close reach and then rounded Folly Point and squared off heading for 23. Legend followed and went in for some spinnaker practice. By 23 Stan had it flying well. Then as they turned for home SC lead the way. As they approached the mooring Legend had closed the gap with the wind dying and the rain increasing. It was looking good for Legend however the wind filled in to allow SC to take line honours. We missed you all and hope you had a great coronation weekend.



Sunday 7th May

Cruiser Race Report: Race 2

An enthusiastic Cruiser-Racer Fleet followed course 6 on another light air episode heading off to mark 16 via 25 to 23 then returning up river to finish at 29 via a couple of loops round MYC4 and MYA1 along the way. All on a rising tide.

Wind being westerly resulted in a downwind direction from the club line with competitors heading for shallow water from the off. The majority choose the south side of the river except Zephyros who contoured round the long way close to Wilsonian and Hoo just clearing the island with some close spinnaker work which paid off with a big gain on the fleet.

Mercury, closely at this stage followed by Zephyros, were first into Gillingham Reach with the rest of the fleet significantly behind, a result of probably less breeze on that south side, however, things started to change and by Folly the fleet was beginning to bunch up, slightly!

After 25 most headed for the shallows of Mussel bank, with the exception of Countdown who opted for the south side next hugging Bishop Marsh, the former turning out the better option. The fleet was well spread by the time of rounding 16 with Mercury well ahead. By this stage competitors would be doing some serious mental arithmetic working out positions particularly as YTC handicaps ranged between 764 for the quickest to 1113 for the smaller boats taking part.

Through the water, order for leading yachts of Mercury, Zephyros, The Works and Countdown remained for the return up river until Gillingham Reach when The Works pulled up a place for second position.

Final handicap positions under YTC were Mercury, Zephyros, The Works, Countdown, Tatterat and Freya – line honours also being with Mercury. The three finishers under IRC were Mercury, Countdown and The Works. Elapsed times ranged from 3:03:54 to 4:38:28. Well done Mercury for another win also to Tatterat for completing the course in a falling breeze.

There were 8 yachts racing this week across IRC, NHC and YTC. For those not fully up with discussion on changes to yacht rating systems the RYA has adopted YTC as possible replacement for NHC as a fixed handicap system accessible to all without needing to invest in an IRC Certificate. The Cruiser-Racer class at MYC is trialling YTC.

Our thanks again to Joe & Venessa Bolton for manning the starter box.