26th March race report

Early PM: Barnwell 6 Roger Heasman and Robin Spiller’s Streakers and Adam Hilton’s Bosun, crewed by Cilla Gilbert and Brian Pollard, all took to the water on another Sunday of mad March winds, this time a bunch of easterlies, laid on by the wind gods just in case the sailors had learnt how to cope with the previous week’s vicious westerlies. In compensation the sky was blue and the sun warming. All three helms opted for small sails.

In the moments before the start the Bosun was leading towards the line; too early! It had to turn back and Roger Heasman’s Streaker was over first. But in the beat to Dam Green buoy the first evidence of what became a feature of the race was demonstrated – the Bosun, beautifully balanced with its small Otter sails, could sail a lot closer to the wind than the Streakers with their Wave sails. The result was that the Bosun made up all that it had lost by starting so precipitately and rounded Dam Green in the lead. There was then demonstrated a second feature of the race – the Streakers could run and reach a lot faster than the Bosun. Roger Heasman was past the convivial crew in the Bosun well before the next buoy at Inlet and Robin Spiller followed suit before the end of the lap, at which point Robin took over the lead, Roger having gone the wrong side of the finishing line buoy.

Lap 2 saw the Bosun briefly lead Robin’s Streaker but by lap 3 Robin was well ahead. By Lap 4 the winds had increased and were gusting in all directions. This, together with the distortion of wind direction caused by the surrounding hills (the run from Middle to Pinky became a reach and then almost a beat before the buoy was rounded) was making sailing very difficult particularly for the Streakers. The lap saw capsizes by both Streakers, one at the beginning and another towards the end, the wind rapidly drifting Robin’s boat away from him. This gave the Bosun time to sail past and take the win.

Results: 1st. Adam Hilton, Cilla Gilbert and Brian Pollard (Bosun) Robin Spiller (Streaker Wave), rtd; Roger Heasman (Streaker Wave) dsq

Thanks were given to Nathan Pollard and Geoff Floyd, Officers of the Day, to Sue Murray and Bob Sampson (safety boat) and to Mandy Pollard (photography).

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