Qantro lands first pursuit series win

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Double D was the first of 12 boats away in a patchy Westerly breeze for the second race of Whitby Yacht Club’s pursuit series.

She immediately encountered a gusty patch making progress along the first short beat hard work.

Bugs Bunny was second away, was soon gaining. Lady Hamilton and Serenade of Parkstone were one minute later starting but were a bit shy of the line giving Sky Walker, a further minute back, an early opportunity to gain places.

Bugs Bunny used their spinnaker on the short run to the bell buoy pass Double D into lead.

By this time Qantro was starting and was soon into her stride, quickly passing Serenade of Parkstone.

B&B meanwhile was struggling with some of their new gear and retired.

Masquerade then Samaki were next away, and started a battle between them which would last the duration of the race. A short gap then to Cold Steel starting then a longer gap before the quickest boats, Icon and finally Antix were away.

Bugs Bunny, was now well on her way up the beat to Sandsend. Sky Walker was up to 2nd, but the larger Qantro was already bearing down on them, and passed Sky Walker as they approached the Sandsend mark.

A run back to the Bell buoy gave Bugs Bunny some breathing space as she made use of her spinnaker while most of her pursuers were more cautious.

Further back Cold Steel were using their spinnaker too to gain places. Icon and Antix launched theirs too but the handicap finally seemed to have caught up with them as they struggled to bridge the gap to the fleet.

Serenade of Parkstone was struggling too and became the second retirement.

Zig-zagging around S and H marks to the end of lap one, Bugs Bunny still led but the rabbit was about to be caught.

A reach back to S at the start of lap two gave Qantro the chance to stretch her legs and the lead was hers.

Her joy quickly changed to concern though, as Samaki, Masquerade and Double D were all approaching the same mark from the other direction as they completed lap one. Qantro was forced to take a wide line and Bugs Bunny was back in.

The race would end on the next beat towards Sandsend. Qantro pulled back infront, but Bugs Bunny had another trick up her sleeve, putting in a series of short tacks, each of which Qantro had to respond to for fear that her opponent would find the patch of breeze she required.

It was a dangerous game however as Sky Walker and Cold Steel tacked inshore and gained significantly.

As the clock ticked down Sky Walker grabbed 2nd, and Cold Steel was hot on her heels, just edging Bugs Bunny off the podium, but Qantro had done enough and took her first win.

Result: 1st Qantro – N Drake, 2nd Sky Walker – P Brown, 3rd Cold Steel

Eight of the fleet returned to the bay after lunch for the next race of the Spring series. The wind was still from the west so it would be a beat to Sandsend and a run back.

A competitive start saw most of the fleet contesting the pin end of the line.

Icon and Qantro had other ideas and went from the beach end, but found it impossible to weave their way through the right-off way pack and had to tack. Antix established herself at the front, tacking close to shore to stay out of the tide.

Icon found her way through into 2nd, Sky Walker, leading class B, was also hugging the beach.

Qantro decided clear air would be more beneficial than avoiding the tide and tacked.

At the mark Antix had a short lead over Icon who surprisingly had Qantro for company with Cold Steel 4th.

The usual 1, 2, 3 was re-established on the run back as Qantro decided not to fly her spinnaker and dropped down.

Sky Walker did use her spinnaker to good effect to hold off the larger Masquerade and Lady Hamilton.

Lap two was a repeat of lap one. Antix and Icon again hugged the shore and made swift progress.

Cold Steel tried tacking out hoping to make-up lost ground but found this was a mistake as Qantro re-passed them to be third around the windward mark again.

Masquerade had a good leg, rounding close behind Sky Walker. At this point Double D decided that they would require engine power to make the bridge and retired.

Antix was far enough infront of Icon to take the win. Cold Steel again used her spinnaker to take third ahead of Qantro, although a few tricky moments during the drop almost allowed her rival to snatch it back.

Sky Walker held off Masquerade for line honours in Class B, and an easy handicap win, with Lady Hamilton coming home 3rd. Result: Class A – 1st Antix, 2nd Icon, 3rd Cold Steel Class B – 1st Sky Walker, 2nd Masquerade, 3rd Lady Hamilton.