SELDOM has the yacht-racing season got off to such an idyllic start.
On Saturday, the sun was shining for the Early Bird Trophy, with a gentle easterly breeze and flat sea.
Ten boats were keen to experience such conditions and an enthusiastic, but clean start saw a close bunch on the short beat to the mark just off the west pier.
Antix had her nose in front, but the smaller BOB was not far behind and was mixing it well with the larger boats.
Icon and No Compromise started a battle that would continue throughout the race, as did the two Sonatas, Bullitt 2 and Skywalker. After some rusty sail handling, spinnakers sprouted for the run westwards.
The wind dropped off as the fleet approached Sandsend and Antix continued to lead with Icon having the better of No Compromise. Antix was first on the initial circuit, but BOB was leading her on handicap as they started their smaller circuits just off the piers.
Icon just kept her nose in front of No Compromise and Bullitt 2 pulled back her deficit to overtake Skywalker.
Cold Steel and Monty decided they’d had enough of the gorgeous day and returned early.
Antix held a considerable lead as she received the finishing signal and Icon beat No Compromise, by a short distance.
However, BOB was not far behind and the handicap would give her the honours. Skywalker overtook Bullitt 2 to take the final place on the podium once the results were calculated.
Result: 1 BOB: Andy Martland and Bill Uppington, 2 Antix: John Allen, 3 Skywalker: Pete Brown.
First Race, Spring Series
THE weather held for the race on Sunday, the first in the spring series.
Again, 10 boats came out to race and again they were eager to start with Icon jumping the gun and No Compromise getting well out of position. Antix made the best legitimate start, but it was a close bunched fleet at the first turning point.
In class A, Antix pulled out a considerable lead and Cold Steel held second place as Icon and No Compromise tried to catch up after their premature starts.
Bullitt 2 was leading class B, but BOB was hard on her heels with Monty, Nemesis, Masquerade and Cavalier all closely bunched.
Antix pulled out an unassailable lead, but Cold Steel, No Compromise and Icon all crossed the line within 13 seconds at the end of the first lap. Bullitt 2 and BOB continued their tussle with BOB getting the better of it on the beat.
After another leg back down to Sandsend, Antix extended her lead and No Compromise had her nose in front of Icon with Cold Steel not far behind.
Class B’s race was curtailed at the end of the second lap with Bob maintaining her lead over Bullitt 2. Although Cavalier led Masquerade, Monty and Nemesis, application of the handicap would see a Sonata 1st 2nd and 3rd.
Class A did another circuit with no change in position and Antix built up her lead, but again the handicap would give second and third to the Sigmas.
Results, Class A: 1 Antix: John Allen, 2 Icon: Neil and Lorraine Williamson, 3 Cold Steel: Nigel Jarvis and Colin Dey; Class B 1 BOB: Andy Martland and Bill Uppington, 2nd Bullitt 2: Matt Robinson, 3 Monty: Shaun Adams.