Cadet Helm Trophy 1 & Holiday Cup 1 - Race Report - April 2015

Despite a wet forecast nothing could dampen the enthusiasm for last Sundays racing at Clacton Sailing Club

Dart Catamarans and Laser reaching - James Rolfe on Laser - Cadet Helm & Holiday Cup 2015

Pictured above: Close racing, sailors jostle for position

Cold northerly force 4 winds with gusts of force 5

Sunday saw the first of the Cadet Helm Series and Holiday Cup event, cold northerly force 4 winds with gusts of force 5 together with persistent rain tested the character of the Cadets as they gathered to rig their boats.

A simple 'triangle sausage' course was set with a fetch to windward, run to leeward and then fast reaching legs into the start buoy and back out to sea.

William Stacey on Topper - Cadet Helm & Holiday Cup 2015

Pictured above: William Stacey in his Topper Dinghy

Success would be down to boat speed and handling through the manoeuvrers rather than close tactics that sometime separate the fleet and the racers tuned their boats accordingly.

Rain clears as the boats jostled at the start line

The rain cleared as the boats jostled at the start line and the flooding tide allowed the competitors to edge close without risk of going over early.
With seconds to go a Starboard / Port crossing incident between Pete Boxer and John Summerfield disadvantaged them both at the pin end of the line with the entire fleet sailing clear.

James Stacey taking the helm of a Dart 18 catamaran for the first time had teamed-up with experienced local sailor Ian Wright as his crew racing in the Cadet Helm fleet and were first off the line. They were rapidly over-hauled by Martin & Debbie Chivers also in their Dart 18 who had hit the line at speed seconds later and the fast cats were joined by Larry Foxon and Mike Rolfe in their Dart 16.

It was an impressive sight as the cats raced the first leg with the crews flat out on the trapeze wires.

Fast reaching legs into the beach and then back out to sea

The fast reaching legs into the beach and then back out to sea had the added spice of an obstacle course with a floating dredging pipe anchored this week in such a position to have the effect of squeezing the boats into a head-on collision course. The rules of sailing control the right of way in such scenarios but with some of the cats being sailed on the edge of control it was an exciting part of the 2 lap course.

James Rolfe gets into his stride

James Rolfe soon got into his stride in his Laser using his height advantage to leverage the dinghy upwind to the first buoy. The run downwind in the deepening swell was more challenging for him with these Olympic Class boats famously technical to sail well offwind. He later admitted to 4 capsizes and drew praise indeed from the rescue boat crew that was standing by but never needed as James righted himself to eventually finish the 2 lap course as second placed Cadet.

James Rolfe on Laser - Cadet Helm & Holiday Cup 2015

Pictured above: Looking good - James Rolfe in his olympic class Laser dinghy

Deserving Cadets

The younger Cadets really deserved their chocolate bar consolation prizes with William Stacey taking a clubs Topper dinghy around the course single-handed into third place and brother and Lucy Boxer helming a club Topaz for the first time with her older brother Danny as crew.

James Stacey & Cadets - Cadet Helm & Holiday Cup 2015

Results: Cadet Helm: 1st James Stacey, 2nd James Rolfe, 3rd William Stacey

Holiday Cup: 1st Martin & Debbie Chivers, 2nd Larry Foxon & Mike Rolfe, 3rd John Summerfield

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