EIGHT boats and their intrepid crews turned out for the recent Frostbite racing, with the fleet consisting of seven Enterprises and one laser.
The course was a large triangle with two marks by the swing bridge and one by Coates Marine, with the boats starting down the harbour for the first time this season, into the northerly breeze blowing between 5 to 15 knots.
Race officer Pete Brown started the boats off, with Simon Cook and Andy Martland (Enterprise – Alice) taking the lead off the start with Neil Williamson and Jed Wilson (Enterprise), Andy Monaghan (Laser), and Bill Uppington and Jonny Bell (Enterprise – “Brocante”) in close pursuit.
The other four Enterprises all followed in tight formation.
By the first mark (East side bridge) Neil managed to slip ahead of Simon & Andy with Bill & Jonny and Andy Monaghan now joined by and Pete Jones & Graham Johnson (Enterprise – Sundowner), all following line astern.
In the downwind leg to the second mark, Simon & Andy closed on Neil & Jed and by the top mark had taken the lead back.
Further back in the field, Keith Gowland & Nigel Jarvis had a “moment” and capsized their Enterprise – leading Keith to discover that his dry suit had not been fully zipped up! The boat was pulled to the pontoon and bailed out. Undaunted, if a little damp, the brave crew carried on racing.
During the second lap, the lead was hotly contested, with Neil & Jed nipping past Simon & Andy just before the first mark but being passed again on the downwind leg. Fourth and fifth position changed with Bill & Jonny falling into a hole in the wind which allowed Pete & Graham to sail past. Further back in the field, the gusts were causing issues for Nat and Paul, while Graham and Nial Collinson continued to make steady progress.
The wind picked up for the third lap with Simon displaying helming skill to stay ahead of Neil to the first mark and opened up a lead that he never looked like surrendering. By now the lead boats were lapping some of the slower boats, at the top mark Nat and Paul had an impressive set of rolls nearly resulting in a capsize. They continued on to finish the race.
Results after handicap: 1 Simon Cook and Andy Martland (Enterprise – Alice), 2 Neil Williamson and Jed Wilson (Enterprise), 3 Pete Jones and Graham Johnson (Enterprise – Sundowner), 4 Andy Monaghan (Laser), 5 William Uppington and Johnnie Bell (Enterprise – Brocante), 6 Nat Drake and Paul Linley (Enterprise), 7 Graham and Niall Collinson (Enterprise), 8 Keith Gowland and Nigel Jarvis (Enterprise).
Many thanks to Julie Harrison and Andy Hargreaves (safety boat) and Pete Brown (race officer). The next race is this Sunday.
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