Autumn Series 2 - Race Report - October 2015

Liam Wright demonstrated his complete mastery of the changeable sailing conditions last Sunday to win the second race of the Clacton Sailing Clubs Autumn Series.

Liam Wright - Autumn Series 2 2015

Pictured above: Winner of the Race - Liam Wright

Very light offshore winds

A forecast for only very light offshore winds and a glassy flat sea state greeted the sailors and Race Officer Jeff Parrmay struggled even to know how to set an effective course as the wind direction was so unstable.

A number of the regular racers chose to sit this one out as their discard in the series, a decision they came to regret as the wind eventually freshened to produce some exciting racing.

It was good therefore to welcome Robert Banks in his Contender to the racing scene as the only monohull this week.

The fickle wind started to fill-in during the 5 minute start sequence and the westerly wind meant that the first leg would become a broad reach downwind and out to sea.

Liam Wright is first away

Liam Wright, this week sailing his Dart 18 catamaran single-handed had allowed the slowly flooding tide to help him hug the start line such that he was first away when the gun went. Almost in slow motion at first he was pursued by the other Darts that were also being sailed single handed by Daniel Brzezinski and the youngest competitor Jack Dempsey (14).

Pete Boxer & Eilish Dempsey with the kite flying on the Spitfire catamaran were fearful of going over the line early and started in last position but with the reserves of boat speed to catch up.

Wright had first to call 'starboard' and then 'water' to stay in front as the Spitfire dropped the kite and closed on him at the first buoy.

Jack Dempsey, more used to crewing for Daniel Brzezinski was instead this week helming his own Dart 18 single-handed and closely chased his old tutor around the course.

The wind continued to slowly increase such that on the first reaching leg the competitors had tentatively started to trapeze which in itself is not so easy when sailing single-handed.

Snapped tiller extension

Liam Wright suffered the first of the breakages when he snapped his tiller extension in half and had to complete the 3 lap race with a temporary repair.

The expected upwind leg back into the beach developed into a beam reach as the wind continued to back towards the southwest so that the sausage leg back out to sea from the ODM to complete the first lap saw all the cats flying hulls at high speeds in dramatic contrast to the start line conditions.

Capsize!

Boxer and Dempsey's race was over prematurely when the pair were caught by a gust of wind that capsized the Spitfire with the kite still up on the second lap. The lightweight pair needed the assistance from the rescue boat to help right the cat and although they went on to complete the course they knew their result would not count as they had received outside assistance.

Collision!!

Jack Dempsey was also unlucky as he rounded the ODM on the second lap. There is a lot to attend to whilst single-handed and between gybing and preparing to trapeze a momentary loss of concentration caused his accelerating Dart to ride up over the stern of Brzezinski's boat which eventually led to Dempsey having to retire from equipment failure.

Jack Dempsey and Daniel Brzezinski - Autumn Series 2 2015

Pictured above: Jack Dempsey and Daniel Brzezinski launching Jacks Dart 18 for the Race

Far from dispirited Jack vowed to return to racing next week as one of a new generation of aspiring youth cat sailors.

Results

Liam Wright takes first well deserved first place, followed by Daniel Brzezinski in second.

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