Island Ales 7 and 8 29 April 2018
The seventh and eighth races in the Island Ales series were sailed in unseasonably cold and windy conditions last Sunday. Winds of 17 knots coupled with an air temperature of 7degrees made for some initial discomfort. During the day the wind eased briefly only to increase once again.
Eight squibs and six fast handicap dinghies braved the elements to bring the series close to its finale this Bank Holiday weekend. Because of the anticipated difficulties with wind and sea state it was decided on this occasion not to race the slow dinghy classes.
Both fleets sailed the same Olympic course on the first race.
In the Squib fleet, the Gibson brothers (Wizard) continued their winning streak by some margin beating Warren Smith's number two boat (Rhapsody) helmed by Hilary Martin. Buccaneer, guest helmed by Chris Gear was third. Viper (Craig and Emma Dymock) carrying her distinctive white sails was fourth. Freshly launched for the season were Icarus (Phil Russell), Perequin (Tamsin and Sophie Baker) and newcomers, the Osborne family, in Sequel.
In the fast fleet, Neil Griffiths led throughout in his RS400 but was unable to overcome beneficial handicaps of the Laser Radials of Harry, Tom and Charlie White now joined by Paddy Lord. Good to see newcomer Joe Cuoghi in his Laser 2000. Final podium positions were Harry, Charlie with Paddy third.
The second race was more challenging for the race officers. The wind was backing all the time to the north which made laying the windward mark difficult in an increasing west-going tide.
The Squibs were set a round the cans course with Quarr as the first "almost" windward mark. With the shift in the wind and the tide effects the leg turned into an easy fetch with few tacks. Very fast off-wind legs followed. The Gibsons showed the way with Hilary Martin in second place. That didn't last as she decided for some inexplicable reason that swimming was a good idea! The patrol boats were put to good use safely recovering her to the club, leaving Steve to return to his mooring single-handed.
The reminder of the race continued without further incident. Finishing order for the first three was Wizard, Buccaneer and Viper.
Fast dinghies had a repeat of the race one course. However the rebellious windward mark detached itself from the seabed and decided to travel westwards at 2 knots. The dinghies faced having to catch the mark to complete the course. Despite some time redress being given to Neil Griffiths, this wasn't sufficient to remove the Lasers from the counting places. On this occasion Paddy Lord won with Harry and Charlie White taking second and third with very close time margins.
This Sunday is the final Island Ales series for 2018 with a 4pm start. Looks like the weather's going to be much warmer this week!
Last updated 22:36 on 16 February 2020