Bullitt 2 sneaks in to claim Sunday race

THE Whitby boats escaped the bay this weekend to compete for the prestigious Riva Trophy.

The competition consists of four long distance races, usually to Hartlepool, but occasionally Scarborough.

This weekend was a race to Hartlepool on the Saturday and a return race on the Sunday.

The omens did not look promising with glorious forecasts for those wanting to top up their suntan, but the dearth of wind in the forecast made the 24 nautical miles to Hartlepool look a very long way.

It didn’t put off the 11 competitors who got away after a competitive start.

Samaki got the best start, reaching the only turning mark in the bay with a good lead, making the most of the very light northerly. Icon and No Compromise were in hot pursuit, with the two Sonatas, Bullitt 2 and Monty revelling in the light conditions.

The boats headed further north, attempting to get out of the bay and into the strong, ebbing, spring tide-a significant factor in getting any speed towards Hartlepool.

It was over two hours before the first buoy en route (off Boulby). No Compromise and Icon had crept past Samaki with Ace also holding onto this group.

The wind veered considerably allowing spinnakers to be sported and eventually it increased to provide excellent motive power as speeds crept up. By the next buoy off Saltburn the boats were doing a good five to six knots.

After negotiating a busy Tees Bay, they had to change the sides of their spinnakers causing some trouble for both Icon and Ace, whose kites wrapped tightly round their forestays and jammed solid.

No Compromise led the fleet in, but Icon ended up crossing the line, with her spinnaker still up and Samaki made up ground, establishing some breathing space from the chasing Ace.

The bunch of seven followed shortly after, with the Sonatas in good positions, proving victors over the bigger boats. Result: 1 Bullitt 2 - Matt Robinson; 2 Monty - Sean Adams; 3 Icon- Neil and Lorraine Williamson.

The forecast was no better for the Sunday, but a light northerly provided enough motive power to start the race.

No Compromise and Icon continued the battle from the previous day, but Bullitt 2 and Mint Imperial were up with the leaders. After the first turning mark off Seaton Carew, the fleet started the struggle to escape from Tees Bay.

They were on a hard beat with the tide trying to push them northwards. Most boats tried to stay as deep as they could in Tees Bay, but they had a hard fight against the tide.

No Compromise led them round and headed for Saltburn with Icon chasing, but Mint Imperial was keeping up a good pace. As boats approached the buoy off Saltburn, the wind veered as it had the previous day, but instead of helping, it put them dead into wind and they would be continuously tacking for the next 18 miles.

No Compromise and Icon revelled in these tough conditions, the wind getting up to force four at times.

Third spot changed several times - Mint Imperial relinquished it to Samaki; Samaki swapped several times with Cold Steel, then Bullitt 2 came up and took it off both of them.

The race officer decided the extra eight miles from Boulby would take too long and curtailed events at the Boulby buoy, much to the appreciation of most competitors.

Result: 1 Bullitt 2 - Matt Robinson; 2 Icon - Neil and Lorraine Williamson; 3 - No Compromise - Derek Frank.