Haslett Mug - Race Report - April 2016

Clacton Sailing Clubs season got underway last Sunday with the Haslett Mug open handicap race with a good turn out of both regulars and newcomers out on the water to enjoy the beautiful conditions.

Brian Allen - Haslett Mug 2016

Pictured above: Brian Allen and His Laser Two Dinghy

Father and son team Ian and Liam Wright led from the start in their Dart 18 catamaran with Liam at the helm and went onto to claim overall first prize after the handicaps were calculated.

Promising Wind and Ebbing Tide

Promising winds had tempted Derek Cheek as the Commodore and Race Officer for the day to set a long course but the onshore southerlies died away in the final minutes before the start. An ebbing tide helped to split the fleet up the first beat and was a real test of concentration and judgement.

RS200 Dinghy Suprises Catamaran Fleet

Mike & Sue Suffield - Haslett Mug 2016

Pictured above: Mike and Sue Suffield and thier RS200 Dinghy

Mike and Sue Suffield in their first race after re-joining the club gave a perfect demonstration of good teamwork and their extensive race experience. Roll tacking their RS200 they surprised many of the catamaran sailors with impressive distance made good to windward in the testing conditions. Once sailing free they were able to hoist their spinnaker and pick up further speed by surfing down the light swells.

Despite the course being shortened to 2 laps for the cats and just one for the monohulls Mike and Sue went onto claim a well deserved second place overall even after sailing an unnecessary second lap.

Collisions and Penalties

The two other Dart 18 cats in the race each had stories to tell. Martin & Debbie Chivers struggled to keep up with the Wright team and lost more ground when they had to make a 360 penalty turn after touching the ODM mark on the second lap but managed 3rd place when the times were adjusted. They in turn were chased by Pete Boxer & Eilish Dempsey who were late off the start line after having to return to the beach for minor repairs after a collision just as the starting sequence had begun.

Hurricane 5.9SX Struggles

Matt Burrell had teamed-up with Dan Brzezinski for the day on the big Hurricane 5.9SX catamaran but seemed initially to struggle upwind. Later they would discover the large square head mainsail had been over-sheeted and hooked to windward acting as a brake. Only when they rounded the windward mark and could hoist the asymmetric kite did they really take off and start to claw back early places lost to some of the  slower boats. They were unable to improve on 4th place overall however.

Larry Foxon retired early in the race in his Laser One. Those that remained were rewarded as the wind backed to the east and slowly increased to steady force 2-3 and allowed 2 full laps of the big course to be completed in about 1 and a half hours.

Congratulations to Brian Allan sailing single-handed in his 'Laser Two' dinghy who managed to complete his first race after only starting to sail at Clacton last year.

Newcomers to the sport of sailing are always welcome at the club, just pop along any Sunday to find out more

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