Snow Globe – 20.11.21 – and a tough battle for the 32 entries 23 Nov 2021
Saturday saw the second instalment of the 2021 RCYC Snow Globe with 32 boats involved. At the briefing, it was announced that whoever came 10th in the second race of the day would be writing the report. As I had come 18th & 16th the previous week I was feeling pretty confident that someone else would be writing this report but I had a cracking day and along with my 10th I also got an 8th! So here goes the report….
Light winds and strong tides gave the race team a challenge with course setting but there were no complaints from the fleet. Places were swapped around the course as folk tried to either get in shore away from the strong tide (avoiding the mud) or remember to not over-stand the windward mark!
The first race of the day and it looked like Blaze National Champion (Ben Harden) was going to take the win having pulled ahead of the Blazes of Malcolm Hutchings and Nic Tolhurst and the RS200s. However a costly error in finishing (forgetting to finish inside the outer distance mark!) meant that as well as Malcolm getting ahead, the RS200 combos of Arthur Brown/Scarlett Anderson and Francesca Smith/Lucy Ellery were able to take full advantage taking 1st and 3rd respectively with Malcolm taking 2nd.
Race two was a slightly shorter affair being shortened after the second mark to ensure racing was completed before the Dragons started their end of season regatta. This time it was Paul Buckley who got a fantastic start in his Blaze and led to the first mark. Unfortunately he was unable to hold onto it as Nic and Ben were snapping at his heels and managed to reel him in just before rounding the mark. This was the order of finishing once handicaps had been applied with the Laser (Adam Prior) and Solo (Chris Roberts) separating them from the next group of Blazes.
Away from the front of the fleet, there was still plenty of action. At the first mark of race 1, I’m sure Paul Buckley was rather surprised to find an RS200 spinnaker pole coming through his wing. Thankfully no damage and both boats were quickly uncoupled and back on their way. It’s also worth mentioning that a number of boats were clearly not listening at the briefing (including some who might have been involved in setting the course – you know who you are!) as the need to go through the gate on each windward leg was forgotten by some. Another mention should go to those lasers who chose the north shore rather than follow the masses on the south shore. Adam Prior did fantastically out of this. Others who couldn’t commit to either shore faced the full strength of the tide and suffered from their indecision. It was also great to see some new faces in the fleet with Andy Carley having his first outing in his blaze and Bryan Haynes seeing what the fuss was about with the blazes and trying out Nick Milton’s old boat. In total there were 17 blazes, 9 lasers (full and radial rig) along with 4 RS200s, a Solo and an RS Aero out today. Can the blazes keep these numbers up or will next week see the Lasers become the dominant class or could another class come and show them all how it’s done? Tbh it doesn’t really matter what boats are being sailed as long as there is great racing and I’m sure everyone taking part in the Snow Globe would agree that this is proving to be a fantastic series!