John Bedford Trophy - Race Report

Race Report for John Bedford Trophy held at Clacton Sailing Club on Sunday 15th June 2014

Martin and Debbie Chivers win the John Bedford Trophy 2014

A deceptively simple course was set last Sunday at Clacton Sailing Club for The John Bedford Trophy race which attracted a good turn-out of both catamarans and dinghies

Moderate North-Westerly winds

With moderate NW'ly winds and the flooding Spring tide both acting in the same direction the Race Officer set an unorthodox downwind start which required the sailors to time their approach to the start with precision or risk being 'over-early'.

Line charge perfection

Whilst some boats had to turn back to re-cross the line Martin & Debbie Chivers timed their line charge to perfection in the RS500 and headed off on a wild broach reach to the first downwind buoy just ahead of the pack. A fleet of Dart catamarans, Topaz and Topper dinghies followed on across the start line in various states of control as some stronger gusts came through soon after the start.

Numerous capsizes

James Stacey and James Foxon in their RS500 who have shown such promise this season were experimenting with the crew taking the mainsheet 'skiff style' from out on the wire. Coordination problems between crew and helm caused them to capsize twice on the first leg. With their Va Va Voom dampened they eventually retired from the race.

The Topper fleet was enjoying a mini race within the race with father and son Robert and Toby Mitchel competing against each other in the single handers.

Daniel Brezinski managed to complete the race after 3 capsizes in his Topper keeping Neil Warn on the rescue boat on high alert throughout.

Neil Warn provide safety cover 15th June 2013

Above Picture: Neil Warn provides much needed saftey boat cover

Fully Airborne !?!

The first down wind leg was followed by a beam reach out to sea. Debbie was heard to scream as the RS with the additional pull from the asymmetric fairly took off as it headed into the deepening swell. Martin was heard to (exaggerate) that their boat was fully airborne at one stage ! It was certain that following their excellent start they were to become un-catchable as they then tacked into the wind to begin the slog back upwind into the strong tide.


The race was over two laps and the winners completed in just 30 minutes whilst the slowest Toppers took over one hour with the effect of the tide far more painful on the slower boats. It was a measure of both stamina and determination that Zak Kurtulis completed in his Topper for a well deserved 3rd place. Pete Boxer was 2nd in a Topaz Uno and Martin & Debbie first overall on handicap in their RS500.

The Racing format changes next week as the sailing club opens at sunrise for their annual Summer Solstice Sail scheduled to start before 5am.


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