Island Ales 6 22 April 2018
RVYC's Island Ales sixth race had plenty of wind and a fleet of sailing boats keen to make their mark at the beginning of the season.
The wind took a few scalps; a plucky Sam Osborne in an RS Tera lost control on a gybe and didn't make the start. First-time racer, Joe Cuoghi, made the start in his Laser 2000, but only after a number of capsizes, one of which was right in the middle of the line just as the rest of the fleet were starting. Unlucky Luke Sheridan in his 4.7 also didn't recover from a spectacular gybe, and Mark Irons in his RS100 nearly managed to complete the race before the conditions beat him.
The eight-strong Squib fleet had a very boisterous start; plenty of shouting and early- season adrenaline caused the start line to be breached by at least half the fleet before the gun leading to a general recall. The Gibson brothers led the charge on the second start. followed by Hilary Martin and Steve Warren-Smith – until they broached at the leeward mark. Frantic pumping out kept them in third place, but they let through the fiercely competitive team of Martin and Ann Harrison. The White brothers (Tom and Charlie) and Paddy Lord raced very competently to come fourth.
The fast handicap fleet's highlight was the strong performance of Neil Griffiths and Mark Turner in the RS400, the white knuckle reaching of Dave Vrba and Jane Bellingham in their Laser 2000 (shame they didn't manage to finish), the great downwind sailing of Harry White, the knife-edge planing of Matt Bamber and the determination of Will Baker in the Lasers. There also seemed to be private competition to see who could capsize the most spectacularly between the Commodore (and Chris Andrews) and Gregor Arthur with the ever-patient crew of Graham Bellingham (Gregor won). Star of the slow handicap fleet were the Charlottes - Andrews and Osborne, who sailed (and swam) brilliantly to be the only finisher in the fleet.
Kept extremely busy were the RIB team of Rob Fraser and Angie White, and James Humphreys and Ken May – with special thanks to Rob Andrews who collected and towed back various abandoned boats and ferried their exhausted competitors. Another great day on the Solent.
Last updated 22:36 on 16 February 2020