Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Squib East coast championships at Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club, Bridlington.
The bank holiday weekend saw 22 squibs head ‘up North’ for the East coast championships. With visitors from the Isle of Wight and Wales it felt more like a national championship than the East coasts. That shows how well run and organised the event was, it would be impossible to fault the race team and members of RYYC staff.
On the race track. Day 1 – race 1.
Race 1 was champagne sailing, other than it being about 15 degrees too cold…. The wind was in the East is there were waves to surf, the sun was out and race officer set a short course close to the harbour.
The first start was recalled with the fleet getting a little excited. However, the fleet got away cleanly next time. Dave best 797 winning the pin the Grogan’s 105 coming of the middle. By the top mark it was apparent that the left had paid 797 coming into the top mark just ahead of the Grogan’s, who had played it a bit safer and stuck a little more to the middle of the course. 105 managed to take advantage of a bad Gybe on 797 which let them through and from that point on they were never troubled sailing to a 50 boat length victory. Ian Keely on 16 had managed to also squeeze through 797 and held on the finish. With 797 dropping to 5th after hitting the mark. Gerard and Tony 800, our brilliant hosts, coming through to 3rd.
This time the fleet got away cleanly, again at the top mark Dave best 797 and the Grogan’s 105 rounded 1st and 2nd. However, the Grogan’s pulled through downwind and sailed off to another big win. Ian Keely 16 showing good speed was in second despite battling with 797 until he hit the final mark dropping him to 5th allowing Malcolm and Andy 819 to squeeze into 3rd.
DAY 2: CANCELLED - TOO MUCH SWELL – TOO MUCH WIND – TOO MUCH BEER!
Day 3: Was met with bleary eyes by all. We had to be out the harbour by 7:30am in order to have enough water to get to the race course and then we would sail 3 races over low tide until there was enough water to get back in the harbour.
With the wind having swung nearly 180 degrees over night the race course was much flatter as the wind was coming off the land, so no surf to plane down but still plenty of wind 18- 25 knots, a touch more than day 1.
The race started cleanly, 105 winning the committee boat end, which was favoured all day, Neil Fulcher 883 closely following and tacking off to the right, which was the way to go. 105 managed again to lead round the top despite some big shifts on the right hand side of the track and sail away. Spoof 811 showing turn of speed and sailing through the fleet from a poor start to take a convincing 2nd with 136 the Hogan’s returning to the podium, which was very nice for all to see.
With the Grogan’s needing a good result to seal the event up again they managed win the committee boat end of the line and head out to the right whilst covering the pack. However, the wind was due to swing South at some point during the day and it chose 5 minutes into the first beat to do so. This saw Malcolm and Andy 819 with huge a lead instantly and Phil and Howie on 72, who had been flying all weekend, ahead of the pack. At the top mark 819 lead by 20 boats lengths which soon extended to 50 as Phil the Grogan’s and Mike Probert 128 all had to double tack at the lay line, as the tide meant they could not squeeze round. On the run 72 extended from the Grogan’s and 128, as they battled ultimately creating a mistake from the Grogan’s. A misjudged double gybe from 105 meant they hit the mark. The resulting turns put them down to 5th as 797 went through. On the beat the wind now getting confused with the Southerly trying to set in the plus the wind was lighter, even at times hiking out was not possible. The Grogan’s using the shifts to their advantage to sail up to 3rd by the top mark 2nd time, rounding on 128’s transom. The Grogan’s gybe set to overtake 128 and sailed off in chase of 819, but ultimately Malc and Andy were too far ahead and took the bullet for Race 4, with the Grogan’s 2nd and sealing the event with a race to spare. 3rd went to Dave Best.
With the Grogan’s having returned to the harbour and now sitting in conditions necessary, as the wind had dropped. Race 5 was about deciding the rest of the podium. Malcolm and Andy showed the good pace they had been showing all day to win leaving them 2nd overall, however 3rd place was going to be a very close affair. I understand it the Hogan’s 136 had to resort to sailing high on the run to stop 800 overtaking them, as the point would make all the difference, these necessary tactics allowed them to hold on to the 2nd position they needed to get the final position on the podium, and a very popular result it was. The Riley’s 73 finally showing what they are all about with a 5th in the final race, in what was a tough weekend wind wise for the lightest team.
1st Nigel and Jack Grogan -105
2nd Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsey -819
3rd Chris and Mark Hogan- 136
4th Dave Best and Pete Richards - 797
5th Micky Wright and Alex Porteous – 811
With regards to equipment.
Boats: 105 winning with a race to spare in windy and wavy conditions, shows the old boats can do in in potentially unfavourable conditions.
Sails: 105 and 819 were using the new 2015 Hyde Sails, 105 the 315S and 819 using the 315Z. Also Hyde Sails had 4 out of the top 5 positions 136 (3rd) was using Batt’s.
Masts: 105 were using a Super Spar, 819 a brand new Z-spar and 136 and Canopus (?)
‘The best bay in the country bar none’ could be up for debate, however there is no debate about the race team and at staff at RYYC they probably are ‘the best race team and yacht club staff in the country!’ An extra thanks to Gerard and Tony and all the sponsors, of which there are too many to list. Every single competitor came away with a fantastic prize.