RCYC Cruiser Fleet Swallowtail Race- 11th May 14 May 2019
George Winder was once again in charge of the race start formalities with ‘Sprite’ as his committee boat. The line was to the east of the Burnham moorings and the NNE wind prevailed as forecast. Despite the bias on the line all boats opted to start at the north end on a close reach bound for the mouth of the river. Fortunately the mark laying for the Optimist Open Meeting had only just begun so there was no Optimist fleet to negotiate soon after the start. Concentration had to be maintained as the wind died and then picked up into a cracking sail, now a fetch to Swallowtail West. Not to be outdone precipitation laid on a demonstration of how it too could transform from light rain to heavy rain to hailstones and back again.
The tide turned to the early flood before the two faster boats (‘Otra Vez’ and ‘Lucy Lee’) arrived at the first mark so bad news for the slower boats as the flood strengthened.
The demonstration of all possible weather variations was repeated on the reach back to Burnham, as we the crew on ‘Zelda’ speculated that with us benefiting from the strengthening flood tide the top of the podium could be ours on corrected time. Dream on.
The wind duly increased considerably matched by our speed carrying full sail as we approached the Optimist Fleet. Great care has to be taken in these circumstances as pushing an Optimist sideways skewered on the bow fitting for the rest of the course can impair boat speed and could affect the result.
‘Otra Vez’ and ‘Lucy Lee’ rounded the last mark of the course, the No 15 channel marker, and enjoyed a fast reach to finish on the club line. After nearly three and half hours of racing ‘Otra Vez’ took line honours from ‘Lucy Lee’ by a margin of just 13 seconds. Meanwhile ‘Voyager’ rounded No 15 followed not very closely by ‘Zelda’. Both boats were greeted by a stiff breeze right on the nose meaning a tough battle against wind and tide had to be fought to complete the course.
After the Bistro, presentation of the trophy was made to Janice and Ian Keam-George by the Cruiser Fleet’s newest member. Steve Simpson was elected a full member by GC less than 24 hours before. Kind folk later commented that this was a nice gesture by me, actually after my long day I noticed Steve was sitting opposite Ian & Janice so it meant no-one had to move anywhere.
Thanks to all for the feedback, it seems a good time was had by all.
Result on corrected time:
1st ‘Lucy Lee’ Ian and Janice Keam-George
2nd ‘Otra Vez’ Jude and Andrew Prestwich
3rd ‘Voyager’ Simon and Sarah Sanders
4th ‘Zelda’ Chris Nolan
Cruiser Fleet Captain