Racing Reports – weekend 20th & 21st May

Sailing News

Dragon Race Report

Arriving at the Club we thought it may be another light wind day on the water. Wrong, Sheppey was already showing 20knots from the north so the shelter of the Club was misleading.
Only three dragons made it to the start of the windward/leeward racing. Whistle, Taniwha and Suti.  James and Sarah wisely decided it may be too much for two up on Molly.
The course was laid in Pinup reach, adjacent to the forts. The flood tide was running strong with beautiful flat water, 18knots of wind and sunshine. Bliss.
Race one saw Whistle lead for the first two rounds then having to pull out with a broken runner leaving Suti and Taniwha to battle it out. Taniwha were leading until the last leeward mark, then managed to put the spinnaker under the bow letting Suti edge up inside. Suti now In control, squeezed Taniwha and tacked for the line to win. Great match racing!
Race Two – again match racing – squeezing each other on the line. As there were only two Dragons we started with the Sonatas. Suti got to the windward mark first, then hitting it and completing the 360° penalty turn. It all came down to little mistakes. Taniwha held on to win race 2.
Race Three – the old boys in Taniwha were knackered and did not start. Well done team Suti.
A really good days sailing – our thanks to the race team who turned things around really quickly and efficiently.
Honours to Suti for overall for the day and Taniwha for Club race result.

Howard Patterson, Taniwha


Sonata Race Report

For the final race of the Early Spring series we were met by a brisk Northerly to challenge the Race officials and participants.
All boats sensibly rigged the No2 – although we rather optimistically hanked on the Genoa before very quickly thinking better of it. It was definitely No 2 weather for even the heavy weight crews amongst us.
The course was set between the dolphin at 24 and the entrance to South Yarnet Creek which led the fleet into some unknown waters – more of that in Race 2.

The keen-eyed among you may have observed that, for the first race, Course A had been displayed by the Committee boat. Consequently, there would be no spreader mark. This raised the question: Which mark was designated as our windward mark? Thankfully, clarification was provided over the radio. However, one wonders what the Dragons, who had started ahead of us thought they were doing.
Judging the last tack to the windward mark proved crucial and we were helped by some lifts to scrape round once but needed a short tack to get us round the next.

In Race 2, we found ourselves sailing very close to the South shore where in a surprising 2 metres of water we hit something fairly solid. Perhaps a wreck, as it stopped us dead. All over to the leeward side with just the jib drawing we managed to extricate ourselves only to drop into another trap! Even more weight to leeward – stanchion bases well under water by now – we got out. We had a look at the damage after the race on the Di which revealed a loss of paint extending six inches up the keel, fortunately with the keel joint remaining intact!

Race 3 saw us closely pursued by Skipper showcasing great upwind speed. We had the advantage with the spinnaker work as we only ever drop into the cockpit bag now unless we are short-handed or unsure what side the next hoist will be. The course necessitated a windward drop at the leeward mark as the spinny should always be hoisted from the port side when you are on a starboard tack rounding the mark. Windward drops are not something we have done too much in the past so a little nervous. However in some ways it’s even easier than the normal leeward drop – good to know.

Advantages of the cockpit drop – quicker hoists, later drops, very unlikely to get a twist, crew jobs split more evenly and no crew up at the pointy end of the boat for a long period of time packing a spinnaker into a little bag!
Disadvantages – it’s better to hoist from the leeward side rather than try windward hoists which can very easily go wrong – so you need to work out which side it’s needed before you drop. You can damage the spinnaker (have you seen ours!!!) where it’s being pulled down into the hatch – so make sure all sharp edges are taped up so it all runs smoothly. If you need any help working all this out please come and chat to us or the White Noise gang as they are the experts!

All in all some great sailing over the 3 races, congratulations and many thanks to the Race Committee boat in running a very efficient afternoon of races in some blustery yet great sailing conditions.

Sunday 21st May

Cruiser Race Report: Race 4

Drumgold hard on the wind

The final race of the spring series was contested over course 21 with 5 starters each of NHC and YTC and two yachts in IRC. Start was down river from the club line against a patchy but fresh gusting north north easterly – the first race in the series with actual wind!

With no Mercury transom to follow the fleet started on port. It soon became an advantage to head over the shallow water against the south bank where the tide was less although the wind fluky. Countdown, The Works and Zephyros squeezed round the corner first and headed to Hoo point leaving Toucan, Freya and Tatterat pushing against tide further out in the river.

After contouring along the island all boats cut close to Folly then divided with Countdown and Zephyros heading for the back eddie off Garnett and The Works followed by the rest of the fleet staying on the opposite side all converging on the first mark, no 23. Each boat thought they made the right decision but things changed when Countdown just turned right into Long reach returning later to round 23 and dropping to third place before starting the next leg to 15 port, West Bullock and 13 starboard then back up river with the flooding tide.

Final race 4 positions saw Zephyros with line honours after The Works went back to 27 putting Countdown in second and The Works 3rd.

Final series positions, as published on the website are first place Countdown IRC and Zephyros first placed in NHC and YTC.

Out thanks for this weeks starter Philip Clarabet, thankyou Philip!

Our particular thanks go to fleet captain Simon Clegg for organising an early season very successful event, well done Simon!

Tim French