Wednesday the 11th April saw the first Wednesday night yacht racing of the year on Plymouth Sound, Royal Western’s 1884 Series.
After a Spring filled with some fresh and frightening weather, the intrepid mariners were greeted by sunshine and enthusiastically gusty 10-15 knot easterly winds.
13 boats hit the sound and got their money’s worth of sailing. A short one lap – windward leeward warmed everyone up first, keeping sailors on their toes as the wind gusted and shifted. In IRC, Dan Flanagan’s Mumm 36 ‘Sunburst’ was fast out the blocks, getting into clear air and extending to grab her first win of the year, following on the big boat success was Pete Rowe’s J109 ‘Ju Kyu’ cruising into second and the nippy J97 ‘Jeopardy 2’ of Nick Barlow in 3rd.
In NHC, Adam James’s J80 ‘Joie de Vive’ was feeling fast after a successful weekend but couldn’t hold off ‘Windwhistle’ The Ballad of Martin Jones while Pete Wanstall’s Seascape 24 cruised in third.
Race 2 was forecast to be a more docile affair around the Sound but the breeze brought bigger changes in strength and direction, meaning navigating upwind became a difficult affair with 5 boats arriving at the windward mark at the same moment, and the 707 ‘Bob’ having a hair raising moment with the J109.
The race team, seeing that we are still only just passed the clocks going forward, shortened the course so that the smaller boats didn’t have to find some navigation lights! In IRC the ever resourceful team on Ju Kyu sailed to their first win, knocking Jeopardy 2 in 2nd and Keith Simmons’s 707 ‘Bob’ (with a shiny new mast) finished off the podium. In NHC Joie de Vivre was back where she likes to be in 1st while the Seascape 24 had shown her racing stripes to knock Windwhistle back into third!
Thanks to the race team and race officer Matt Owen for a cracking evening of racing.
by Andrew Sinclair