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Match Racing in Omegas and Sunbursts on Saturday 28th November 2015

posted Dec 14, 2015, 11:24 AM by Admin hycnz
Match Racing in Omegas and Sunbursts on Saturday 28th November 2015

Initially the interest was huge and over twelve teams showed an interest in competing in the event. I enthusiastically printed out a sheet with every combination of Round Robin draws from 3 teams to seven teams inclusive. However on the day only six teams showed and we divided them into two pools of three, with the top scorer in each pool, to go into a best of three races final.

Eric King had kindly agreed to use his launch, Sea Jealousy, as the Committee Boat, with Nigel Watkins as Race Officer, ably assisted by Denise Ellis and Phil Heibner on flags and scoring. In Pool 1 sailing the Omegas first were Steve and Jonathan Boulter, Gill Moore and Darcy, and Andrew DeWit and Andrew August (CCYC). In the Sunbursts were Gary Swain and Rob, Niall and his Dad, Rob Malone, and Greg and Mark Jones (not related). The scene was set for some interesting racing with a gentle tide to start with and unknown competition.

We had a Safety Boat for each Pool, having borrowed the Sea Cadet IRB. With both of these launched Darcy and I happily pushed off in our Omega to have a bit of practice before the racing started. I couldn't understand why the boat felt so light and skiddy, until we went for the first tack and I realized we had no centerboard down! Darcy had never been dinghy sailing before and is used to the keel be a fixed item. He was a very quick learner and we did all the necessary moves and even practiced taking penalty turns. Our first race was a surprise as we entered the box from the starboard side, we couldn't see the Boulters at all. They only showed up on the start line just before the start so were black flagged. The next race against the two Andrews started with much more excitement, with both boats entering the box on the gun. We managed to get them on starboard, they bore away and we chased just enough to keep them downwind and downtide. By this time the tide was starting to run quite strongly. On the first beat we covered them but kept out of the tide too and increased our lead. With such short races it was all over very quickly and we had two wins under our belt.

Slipping into the Safety Boat we discovered that the engine on the Sea Cadet boat had failed, so we were down to only one Rescue Boat so nothing to spare for umpiring. The wind had started to pipe up, and we had to attend to one capsized Omega, then a waterlogged Sunburst, before the next race could get underway. By this time the Sunbursts were really struggling to make against the tide, so Nigel wisely shortened the beat. The two Andrews won against the Boulters, whilst the Sunbursts had some frustrating racing with each team having one win and one loss, so everything to race for in the Omegas.

Swopping into the Sunburst was a huge shock for Darcy, who had to crawl around on his knees to escape getting battered by the boom. We had been lucky to have two starboard entries in the first round , which meant two port entries in the second. This proved a huge advantage as making against the tide on the starboard side, was well nigh impossible. There were also problems with the rudder on the other Sunburst. Sailing the Cube close into the Club and slipway meant we could stay out of the tide, and even keep up with the Omegas, who stayed further out in the tide.

The Omega battle in Pool 2 was a close run event with Gary and Rob third, Greg and Mark second and Niall and Rob in top place. This led to the final with the best of three races sailed between Niall and Rob versus Gill and Darcy, in the Omegas. We started on the port side first, which was still a huge advantage, as by now the top mark was nearly a fetch on port tack, with only one small hitch on starboard needed. We won the start, and were about three boat lengths to windward of Rob and Niall, but starting to really struggle in the heavier wind. After two tacks they rounded the top mark just inside and ahead of us. All over rover, as we followed them round the course losing more ground on the second beat. Never mind starboard entry on the next race! Ha ha! We failed to clear the Committee Boat, hit it (very gently, thanks Rob for fending us off) and by the time we had recovered we had missed our entry time. Double black flag if there had been an umpire. We got across the line 10seconds late and headed straight for the port side of the course, and Niall kindly let us in. Only afterwards did I discover he had been getting the boat upright after a capsize. He laid the port ODM on port and squeezed us out so we had to dip to leeward. We tacked out of dirty wind and out of the tide as our only option. We lost ground up the beat and followed at the top mark again! Sorry Niall and Rob that we didn't give you a proper run for your money. Next time maybe!

Final results:- 
1st Niall and Rob Malone
2nd Gill Moore and Darcy
3rd Greg and Mark Jones
4th = AndrewDeWit and Andrew August, Gary Swain and Rob, Steve and Jonathan Boulter

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