4th February 2017
A strong sea breeze with 25knot gusts (with some boats reporting 30 knots+ over the deck) challenged the FSC inshore fleet again last Saturday. One, or even two reefs helped keep most boats sailing. Three boats retired, and one came out but did not start, however twenty boats successfully completed the course. A submarine in the channel provided a distraction after the start and STS Leeuwin II a distraction after the finish.
Division One saw the most drama in the seven-strong fleet with new entrant, Mark Nagle’s impressive looking Weapon of Choice, retiring early with a damaged jib tack fitting and Andrew Dawson’s Knot Dreaming retiring mid race. Dominic Di Latte’s Baci was one of the few boats to successfully fly a spinnaker, which paid off with a first and fastest on performance handicap. Eric Gath’s Stimulus Package took second despite trashing two headsails (making a lot of work for young Marcus on the foredeck). Aquila took third despite pushing their luck with spinnaker handling and undergoing a spectacular Chinese gybe on the finish line. Stimulus Package took first on IRC from Aquila with Peter Kennington’s The Cro Connection third. Rob Thomas’s Finistere was the fastest IRC boat.
Twelve boats started in Division Two with all but Colin Arcus’s Big A (retired) completing the course. Most competitors reefed down, and poled out headsails replaced spinnakers on the downwind legs. A pod of dolphins enlivened the crossing of Owen Anchorage. Jaye and John Palmer’s Nuzulu took first on performance handicap from Alan Anderson’s Zubenubi (also fastest) with Ernie Delfos’s Windswept third. The addition of Dave Kenny’s The Edge has fired up the competition in Division Two IRC but the regulars took the places. Windswept took first from Nuzulu (also fastest) with Steve Delfos’s Minke third (but only 33 seconds ahead of The Edge after handicaps were applied).
Five JAM boats headed out to race, with Myra Stanbury’s Sami withdrawing before the start. The battle for first was tight with Peter Joiner’s Sir Henry Merkin taking first and fastest from Franco Pieri’s Medusa with Ole Otness’s The Longboat third. Only twenty-eight seconds separated Sir Henry Merkin and The Longboat on the line. Stephen Kerr’s Polaris finished within the time limit despite being a much smaller boat and carrying two reefs. The Longboat was the sole IRC competitor in JAM.
Special thanks to the start crew who spent a very bumpy afternoon on Success.
Thanks also to our sponsor UK Sailmakers represented by Lawson Shaw (who presented the pennants) and Jeff Bishop.
Full results are available on the FSC Inshore results web page. Racing continues next Saturday.