Squib Last Chance Regatta 18 Oct 2015
After the Squib Inland Championship was cancelled a couple of weeks earlier due to lack of wind, the class was out in force. Fifteen boats made the event, with four travelling entrants.
The conditions were perfect. A northerly breeze of 12/14 knots allowing close racing the full length of the Roach. The format was the usual four quick Windward/Leeward races on the Saturday, and one non-discardable Round the Cans race on the Sunday.
Race One got underway against the tide, all boats making a clean start with the exception of the Grogans in Helmut Shöing II who were left doing turns after squeezing in too late at the committee boat end and infringing Phil and Howie. Duncan and Alex in Suprise were clear leaders at the top mark with Robert and Marc in Humphrey following. Earlier during the beat, Malcolm and Andy in Lady Penelope had hit the bottom dropping them from 3rd to 5th, and Micky and Chris had had to do turns, which had allowed the Grogans, Phil and Howie in Guy Fawkes, plus Simon in Brutus to come into the mix.
On the next beat, with Phil on the charge, he managed to go up the wrong side of the river with the Grogans, but also run aground in spectacular fashion, which halted his chance of good result in race one. The Grogans, realising their side of the bank was the wrong one, crossed over to find out they had been overtaken by both Lady Penelope and Brutus, who were on the opposite shore. They managed to overtake Brutus, but Malc and Andy did a brilliant job of reeling in both Duncan and Robert to take the win in race one, Duncan was 2nd, and after Robert retired, the Grogans somehow managed to come 3rd.
Race Two. This time it was a clean start, with the Grogans winning the committee boat end and tacking for the bank, allowing them to sail away for the win – although this did not stop them hitting the ground heavily on the second beat. Behind, the racing was close, Malc and Andy making good use of the their superior tacking skill and local knowledge to take 2nd with Micky finding his form for 3rd.
Race Three. Malc and Andy won the committee boat end, however they were very down on speed, and the Grogans who were to leeward sailed out and waited for the inevitable tack into the bank. As this happened, the drag race to the shore ensued with the Grogans having the lead up the first 2/3rds of the beat – however as the Roach turns eastward, both Malc and Andy in Lady Penelope and Duncan in Surprise used their local knowledge to get inside the Grogans and overtake. Then some inside/outside tacking duels resulted in the Grogans being first to the lay-line for the windward mark, and from there they held onto the win. Malc and Andy were 2nd, while Micky in Spoof got through to take another 3rd.
Race Four. With the tide now turning, it was always going to be an interesting race. Malc and Andy won the start, leaving the Grogans dead and buried. Phil and Howie also got a fantastic start and raced Malc up the bank, unfortunately for Malc and Andy they had failed to notice the shorter beat for the final race and sailed past the windward mark, dropping them to 5th, one place in front of the Grogans. On the downwind leg, Phil and Howie extended their lead and sailed off to the horizon to win the race.
Back in the pack Robert and Micky were busy battling for 2nd and 3rd, whilst Malc and the Grogans were side by side sailing out to the side of the run. The Grogans gybed on to starboard, with Malc and Andy failing to realise soon enough and infringing the Grogans. Malc and Andy subsequently retired, however with them coming 3rd and the Grogans 4th, it was irrelevant as these were their worst scores of the day, so they would be their discards as the race on Sunday was non-discardable. Robert was 2nd and Micky 3rd AGAIN!
Day Two Race Five ‘Round the Cans’. After a 40 min postponement due to lack of wind the fleet started. The course was from the RCYC line, with a reach to the Roach, up and down the Roach twice, and a reach home. Malc and Jackie won the start, with most of the fleet leaving it too late in the light wind to get to the shore and out of the tide. At the first mark it was Malcy followed by the Grogans, then Phil on their tail as after changing banks earlier than most, he had made good gains. On the run things remained the same but only just, Phil nearly sailed clear round the Grogans to break the overlap. On the beat, Malc sailed away up the shore in the light breeze, but as the river opened up, the Grogans used the lee bow effect in the middle of the river to make a big gain and come right back up to Malc.
Lady Penelope held on down the run by only half a boat-length, the Grogans tacked away immediately and looked good to make the mark. Although initially it looked possible and would have put them ahead, they realised it wasn't going to happen and tacked off toward the bank out of the tide. Unluckily for the Grogans, Malc and Jackie kept going and sailed into a huge lift, which allowed them to reach the mark without tacking, so pretty much sealing the regatta, as with the tide flooding and a reach to the line the options had run out for the Grogans to make a pass. So 1st went to Malc and Jackie, showing that marriage has not slowed them down. 2nd went to the Grogans, with Duncan and Alex 3rd.