Cold Steel has mettle in double honours

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Eight boats came out for one of Whitby Yacht Club’s races which would finish in a different port, in this case, Scarborough.

This race was the first of four races for the prestigious and historic Riva Cup.

The forecast was for light, if not non-existent winds, but a light breeze greeted the fleet allowing the race officer to get them on their way on time at 9.30oam.

They rapidly made the bell buoy with Cold Steel and Icon leading and a close bunch of Samaki, Masquerade, Monsoon, Lady Hamilton, Serenade of Parkstone and B&B made up the chasing group.

The boats then hardened up to sail as close to the wind as they could with the wind coming directly from their destination.

To make things even more difficult, the spring tide was ebbing at quite a rate, all against the yachts’ progress.

And then the weather gods threw in a few more obstructions to progress with the wind being like a Swiss cheese, with numerous holes, shifts of wind up to about 450 , intermittent rain showers and although the wind was from the south-east, it felt like it was coming from the North Pole.

The lead changed frequently as the wind shifted and the fleet split between the inshore guys, trying to hide from the tide and the offshore guys, hoping for a more reliable wind.

The offshore group had picked the right tactic and Masquerade led the fleet for a considerable time before the faster, but more handicapped Cold Steel took the lead and took line honours.

Monsoon had also worked hard offshore and managed to take the final podium position.

Result: 1st Masquerade, David Miller, 2nd Cold Steel, Dey, Gowland & Jarvis, 3rd Monsoon, Paul & Janet Linley.

The crews and skippers were all hoping for a faster passage back to Whitby and this looked extremely probable as the boats, now joined by a late arrival, Sigmaris, manoeuvred in a fresh wind in Scarborough South Bay.

Scarborough Yacht Club gave our boats a starting sequence. Icon made a good start but rapidly fell in to a wind hole under Scarborough Castle and the other boats instantly avoided falling in to the same trap.

Cold Steel took the lead and the trailers were led by Samaki, Masquerade and Monsoon. The wind was from the west allowing the boats to sail with slightly eased sheets, but they’d have to harden up as they curved around the coast and, once clear of the Scarborough cliffs, it became clear that wind was blowing a good force five, gusting six.

Icon finally escaped the trap, took up a position closer to the front. As the boats approached Robin Hoods Bay, a rain squall crept out over the sea and, not only did it bring heavy rain, the wind piped up causing boats to reef and the fleet stretched out.

Cold Steel was still leading Icon, and Samaki developed a comfortable lead over Masquerade and Monsoon, but Lady Hamilton was not far back and Sigmaris was charging.

By now, the boats were beating in to a strong westerly wind which kicked up a choppy sea with the wind against the tide.

Boats had to tack to get round the bell buoy before fast reaching back in to their home bay, but they still had to hard beat to the finish line against a never reducing wind.

Cold Steel picked up her second line honours of the weekend and Icon followed her closely home.

Samaki had stretched out a safe lead over the chasing bunch.

Result: 1st Cold Steel, 2nd Icon, Neil & Lorraine Williamson, 3rd Samaki, Nigel Robinson.