Coronation Cup - Race Report - June 2015

Clacton Sailing Club held the Coronation Cup open handicap race last weekend with a mixed fleet of catamarans and dinghies.

Sam Ransom - Coronation Cup 2015

Pictured above: Sam Ranson in his Laser 2 Dinghy

light and variable winds

The light and variable winds made for some close racing as the competitors finessed their boats around the 4 buoy course. Intense concentration was required as the strongly ebbing Spring tide complicated the tactics and significantly punished errors.

catamarans crossed the line in tight succession

As observed in previous reports the starts are becoming ever more critical as skills improve and the 3 Dart catamarans crossed the line in tight succession.

Ian and Liam Wright had manoeuvred themselves into the upwind slot close to the Outer Distance Mark and crossed the line first but were soon overtaken to leeward by Pete and Ben Boxer in the first of the many lead changes that would take place in the 80 minute race.

Larry Foxon and Mike Rolfe sailing in their Dart 16 notably made a well timed start keeping up with the faster Dart 18's on the first beat where as James Parsons and James Stacey had everything to do after a poor start in the Hurricane cat.

Closely matched

The Dinghies would eventually suffer more from the testing conditions but James Rolfe in his Laser 1 and Sam Ranson in his Laser 2 got away cleanly and seemed closely matched.

The strength of the developing tidal flow was visible as the water flowed past the first buoy as the fleet eased off onto what was set as a reach to the seaward mark.  
The effect of the current dragging the boats downwind mean that this leg however also became in effect an upwind leg.  

Caught by the tide

The Boxer boat headed out to sea before tacking once to lay the mark, still in the lead. To avoid a procession of following boats the Wright and Foxon cats tacked off to port with the plan to close the buoy with right of way on starboard. Unable to make a quick tack in the light winds Liam Wright was caught by the tide and had to make additional tacks where as Larry Foxon continued to sail well and was able to lay the mark as intended.  

Rounding the seaward all the boats freed off and enjoyed a short broad reach down tide and assisted by a rolling swell to the 3 buoy before starting a long reach against the tide back to the original windward mark. The Parson / Stacey Hurricane could finally get into it's stride and over-hauled the slower Darts taking the lead as they rounded the 4th  mark. The Wright boat slipped past the Boxers in a tight duel and appeared to crab sideways past the buoy as Spring tide was now in full flow and were soon to open up a good margin.  

In these conditions it could be considered that the chasing boats have the advantage and both Boxer and Foxon decided to gybe very early on the penultimate leg having seen the Wrights cat drift downwind  and both were able to make significant gains in the closing minutes of the race as the wind backed to north easterly in a rain squall.  

Rear commodore presents trophy to coronation cup winners

Pictured above: Larry and Mike take the trophy home

Overall first place was awarded to very well deserving Larry Foxon and Mike Rolfe.  

Special mention

Special mention is due to Sam Ranson who showed great strength of character completing the light wind course in just over 2 hours in his Laser. 

Sam will represent the Sea Cadets this summer in America as part of an international exchange programme and is a worthy ambassador of Clacton Sailing Club  


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