Summer Cup - Race Report - August 2015

Open handicap racing last Sunday at Clacton Sailing Club witnessed dinghies competing against catamarans in the Summer Cup.

Matt and Jack Burrell - Summer Cup 2015

Pictured above: Matt Burrell and Son Jack sailing their Dart 18

Warm southerly winds

The conditions perfectly matched the trophy name as warm southerly winds gently blew across flat seas under a seamless blue sky as the sailors prepared their boats ashore.

An ebbing tide allowed the sailors to hold position as they controlled their craft carefully luffed-up on the port-biased start line.


With just seconds to go John Summerfield in his Laser dinghy was able to call 'starboard' on the father and son team of Ian and Liam Wright who thought they had pole position in their Dart catamaran. They were forced to gybe off and were seriously disadvantaged as a consequence.

The rules of sailing can be used to advantage in a sportsmanlike way and makes strategy as well as boat handling and speed critical in tight racing fleets.
Leaving the confusion behind Matt Burrell sailing with his son Jack started clean ahead and were closely pursued by Pete Boxer and Eilish Dempsey both sailing identical catamarans.

Tacking Duel

A tacking duel developed up the first beat and Matt eventually had to bare off and duck under the sterns of Liam and Ians catamaran as they closed the windward buoy.
Liam then misjudged the strength of the tide and slipped downwind of the buoy having then to make 2 additional manoeuvrers.

John Summerfield in the mean time was sailing a perfect first beat in his Laser and was up with the cats at the windward mark and was clearly going to be a force to be reckoned with as the race developed.

Once round the first mark the boats eased off and allowed the wind and tide to carry them downwind out to the seaward and then onto the leeward marks.

A long fetch back to the windward mark followed by another downwind leg completed the 'sausage' of the course before heading back inshore for the first of 3 laps.

Tightly bunched

The fleet was still tightly bunched at this time. Liam had sailed low to over-take Matt on the third leg and would go on to over-take Pete & Eilish on the second lap.

A sea breeze was developing and freshened in the last lap to a force 3-4 finally allowing the fast boat to get into their stride as the crews went out on the trapezes.

Overall it was a long race with the first boat crossing the line in 1 hour and 25 minutes.

John Summerfield takes the trophy

John Summerfield - Summer Cup 2015

Pictured above: 'Winning smile' John Summerfield after winning the 2015 Summer Cup

John Summerfield won the trophy outright with a well deserved lead of nearly 5 minutes after the handicaps had been calculated. Liam and Ian Wright were the first cat home in second place.


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