Squib race report – Saturday 5th August 9 Aug 2023
Squib race report – Saturday 5th August
On a wet and blustery Saturday afternoon (aka ‘a typical summer day in 2023’…) the Squib fleet ran out of excuses not to go sailing and took to the water. Before the start Malcolm Hutchings managed to find two sunken buoys, damaging the rudder on Nenuphar and putting them out for the afternoon, while the remainder of the fleet lined up for the start. What’s the Story, with guest helm Nick Milton driving, judged their timed run to near perfection, hitting the line at full speed, with By The Lee having to make a last minute dip on the line, and these two led the way on the drag race to Rubber Ball, with WTS pulling out a small lead by the first mark, followed by BTL, and with current National Champions Jono Brown and Chris Agar nowhere in sight !
As the boats headed into the Roach BTL gained a little height while WTS went for stronger tide, and at the cross were just ahead. With WTS having pulled out a small lead, a tactical game of chess-like tacks ensued, with BTL benefitting from a couple of shifts while WTS ended up on the wrong side of headers and managed to find a hole in the wind, meaning the leading pair arrived at Roach buoy in close company with WTS just ahead. A slower hoist and a spinnaker twist on WTS allowed BTL to get across to the Wallasea shore first while WTS managed to take advantage of a couple of gusts to creep back ahead.
On this foul-tide downwind leg the fleet split, with WTS making a break for the Foulness shore and less tide, creeping along and benefitting from some healthy back eddies. As they reached the main river and the strong flood tide made its presence felt, they had a nice line to Redward and benefitted from clean air to arrive at the mark around 100m ahead of BTL. WTS tacked first, seeking to get into the flood into the Roach, while keeping a loose cover on BTL, and lined up nicely for the tack across to Crow where they were able to make a neat spinnaker hoist for the short leg to Branklet. A helpful shift enabled an early gybe, before rounding Branklet and carrying the kite back to the line on the last of the flood, closely followed by BTL. BTL decided to try dropping the kite to climb up into stronger tide, while WTS hung on and crossed the line to enable Nick to take his first win in the Squib fleet, and the ‘honour’ of filling the (questionably hygienic) Squib Jug!