Dennis Wood Sailing Report Update

Beautiful blue skies and light winds last weekend tempted Clacton Sailing Club members back onto the water for the first of the seasons racing events.

Low tides at lunchtime this weekend meant plenty of open beach space up at the Holland Haven Sailing Club and a training session on the Saturday gave crews the chance to brush off the cobwebs and tune-up ahead of the race on Sunday.

Jack Dempsey and Ben Boxer took to the water for the first time in their Topaz Tres and were joined by Daniel Brzezinski in his Mirror dinghy, Sam Ranson in 'Jet Lag' his Laser Two and Robert, Mike and James out in their RS Vision all having brought the boats to the sailing club for the first time this season.

Ben Boxer and Jack Dempsey sailing Topaz Tres.

Racing on the Sunday was the first event of the new Open Handicap Series. The Portsmouth Yardstick system allows most classes of sailing boats to compete on equal terms with individual times adjusted at the end to allow the boat that was sailed most competitively to win. This then does not mean the first boat over the line is necessarily the winner and a small dinghy can outwit the faster catamarans to take the trophy at the end of the season.

Sam and Jack launched the Laser Two as the 10 minute gun went off and hardly had time to familiarise themselves with his new boat before crossing the line and heading off on the first upwind beat. The outgoing tide was running quite strongly and acting in the same direction as the South Easterly winds meaning even the reach out to sea turned into a beat against the current. Husband and wife team Debbie and Martin sailing their Dart 18 catamaran stayed inshore where the current is less powerful and played the light winds to advantage and had taken the lead by the seaward gybe buoy only to be overtaken by Pete and Eilish also sailing a Dart 18 in a fickle tacking duel on the next lap.

Sam Ransom single handed his Laser Two.

Overall results after a full hours racing and handicap adjustment meant Pete & Eilish won by just 29 seconds ahead of Martin and Debbie. Sam and Jack were delighted to come in third overall in their first race together and as first monohull and cadet sailors must be in contention for some awards at the end of the season.

Martin and Debbie Chivers being closely chased. 

Open Handicap Racing will be held every two weeks from now on to coincide with the lunchtime low tides interspersed with social sailing weekends.
Rescue boat cover remained on the water to support the recreational sailing that continued long into the afternoon as the winds freshened after the racing had finished. Everyone agreed it was a great start to the year.

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