Class Series 1 - Race Report - April 2016

Liam Wright's dominance of the race season continued this week up at Clacton Sailing Club.

Liam & Ian Wright - Class Series 1 2016

Pictured above: Father and Son - Liam and Ian Wright

Liam helming his Dart 18 catamaran with his father Ian acting as both crew and mentor the pair appeared to be comfortable winners in the first of the years Class Series.

Hotly Contested Event

The headline hides a more complex story however as the lead was to change three times in this hotly contested event with the pack closely bunched for much of the 3 lap race that lasted more than an hour and half.

Freshening south easterly winds and perfect blue skies welcomed the fleet of Dart catamarans as they gathered for the start.

Precise Start

Martin & Debbie Chivers - Class Series 1 2016

Pictured above: Martin and Debbie Chivers

Martin & Debbie Chivers timed their line charge to perfection as they hardened up onto the wind close to the outer distance marker of the start line precisely as the gun went in the freshening force 3 to 4 south easterly winds

The start of any race is often critical to the final outcome and this week all 5 of the Dart catamarans had positioned themselves in tight formation in the ebbing tide and all crossed within seconds of each other making an exciting spectacle.

Settling into their stride Pete Boxer & Eilish Dempsey edged past on the first upwind leg to be first to the windward buoy and tacked off onto the first of the mile long broad reaches against the ebbing tide.

Broad reaching in fresh winds

Broad reaching in fresh winds with a following swell offered the dilemma to the chasing pack of either heading low to escape the dirty wind of the boat in front or risk getting caught in a luffing contest when trying to overtake to windward. Each of the cats were in a position of both chasing and being chased from behind raising tension and making this a race to remember.

The long broad reach was followed by a tighter reach back up the coast  this time with the tide under them to start the sausage leg.

There is always increased responsibility for the lead boat to sail the right course and  Boxer & Dempsey survived the first of their mistakes as the headed back downwind prematurely towards the beach after  rounding the windward mark. The Wright boat sportingly shouted advice in time to allow them to rejoin the fleet on the second broad reach still just in front as they approached the second gybe mark.

Second Mistake

Pete & Eilish Boxer - Class Series 1 2016

Pictured above: Pete and Eilish

Boxer's second mistake cost them the lead as they had to re-round the gybe mark allowing both the Wright and Chivers boats to recover 1st and 2nd place respectively  at the end of the first lap.

Dan Brzezinski has been re-united with his regular crew Jack Dempsey again this season and were sailing their Dart 18 at full stretch. Never out of pace with the leading cats they commented later that this was their best race ever!  

Rob Mitchell had chosen to sail his Dart 16 single-handed and had his hands full controlling both the sail sheets and tiller from out on the trapeze wire but was typically revelling in the freshening  conditions.


Liam and Ian Wright went on to sail the second and third laps faultlessly to claim a well deserved victory overall. Just 2 minutes behind them once handicaps were calculated was Rob Mitchell, Pete Boxer & Eilish Dempsey slipped over the line in third place just one second in front of Martin & Debbie Chivers

Racing continues every Sunday at 1100 throughout the season up at the Holland Haven Club.  


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