Cruiser class spring series race report 4

Finally, summer arrived for race 4 on Sunday 12th May when 7 yachts started jostling for position at Upnor Line for a 10 am race start.
The wind was light easterly 6-7 knots with no increase forecast and with low water 1020 it was going to be difficult for the slower boats to punch the incoming tide in Gillingham and Long Reaches. The course set, therefore, needed to be conservative and so it was with 15S being the turning mark passing 28P and 23S on the way downstream and 18S on the way back.

So it was a beat from the start with boats crossing each other resulting in the first penalty of the season by Zephyros who failed to clear her tack in time for Chips on starboard. That sorted, the fleet fell into line by Cockham Reach being Chips-Aquilla-Toucan-Zephyros followed by Freya, Brigand and Tatterat – the trailing boats looking to their handicaps.
Chips started to pull further away into the haze once into Gillingham Reach and then round Folley onto the first mark 23 until Aquilla put in a challenge off Kingsnorth. Then the breeze picked up to 10 knots.
Zephyros having recovered her dignity started to creep up on Toucan going into the shallows on the north. Toucan stuck to the south side and was just pipped by Zephyros when they both reached 15.

About this time Tatterat and Brigand must have been close to each other until the former hit the mud a couple of times and retired gracefully over the radio!
After 15 the running order was set for most of the spinnaker run back up river until Zephyros manged to catch Aqulla to take second place at Folley which she then maintained all the way to within the last 50 metres (death reach strikes again!), which why this race report was written by Tim French.

Corrected results : Chips – Zephyros – Brigand – Aquilla – Toucan – Freya.
Everyone enjoyed a lovely morning on the water – very nice!