Butlins Trophy and Jubilee Rose Bowl - Race Report - May 2016

Sailing conditions last weekend ranged between glorious to the truly epic as Clacton Sailing Club held two historic races.

Matt Burrell - Butlins Trophy 2016

Picture above: Matt Burrell sailing Hurricane SX single handed

Butlins Trophy Race

The Butlins Trophy was first held on the Sunday in light onshore winds under fabulous blue skies and calm waters.

John Summerfield sporting a new sail on his Solo dinghy would eventually claim the race win on handicap followed by Matt Burrell and then Larry Foxon in their Hurricanes.

A mixed fleet of catamarans and dinghies headed up the coast to the Walings buoy moored at Frinton with Larry Foxon and Pete Boxer getting away to a second-perfect start in the Hurricane 5.9.

The fleet slowly appeared to stretch out on the broad reach with the pair of Hurricanes ahead of two Dart 18's followed by two Dart 16's with the dinghies close behind all apparently in accordance with handicap order.

Most impressively Matt Burrell sailing his Hurricane 5.9SX single-handed hoisted the big asymmetric kite and became a distinctive trail blazer for the others to follow.

Struggling to snuff the kite and control the 3 sails on his own he lost ground however at the Walings buoy allowing the ebbing tide to carry him past and for the chasing boats to close the gap.

John Summerfield - Butlins Cup 2016

Picture above:John summerfield sailing his Solo Dinghy

With the boat classes nicely paired mini-races developed with Rob Mitchell showing his experience to finish ahead of Mark & George Venables in the Dart 16's and Martin & Debbie Chivers to finish ahead of Daniel Brzezinski in the Dart 18's. Brian Allan in the Laser 2 was destined never to catch John Summerfield who demonstrated his increasing mastery of his Solo this year.

Jubilee Rose Bowl Race

The forecasted stronger winds blew in for the Bank Holiday Monday and The Jubilee Rose Bowl race was fiercely contested in very different conditions.

Force 4-5 southerlies and building seas under ominous grey skies meant that only 4 experienced catamaran teams headed out towards the start line supported by both of the Clacton Sailing Clubs rescue boats.

After a tough 3 lap race lasting nearly an hour Husband and wife team  Martin and Debbie Chivers retained their undisputed reputation of 'high wind experts'  and went on to secure a well deserved win overall.

Dan Brzezinski and Pete Boxer in training for the Dart 18 Nationals later this month had teamed-up for the race and gave chase to the Chivers boat both deciding to beat close to the shore to escape the tide.

Ian Wright sailing with Brian Allan adopted the strategy of sailing their Dart 18 slightly lower but noticeably faster upwind but then had to tack out to sea earlier.

Without any dagger boards the Dart 18 can be difficult to tack in waves and at various times each boat suffered knock-back manoeuvrers.

Freeing off onto the reaching legs the real force of the conditions was felt for the first time.

Daniel Brzezinski & Peter Boxer - Jubilee Rose Bowl 2016

Picture above:Daniel Brzezinski and Peter Boxer sailing their Dart 18 Catamaran

The crews had to trapeze from a position as far aft as possible to counter the ever present risk of pitch pole when racing these 18' cats in rolling swells.

Larry Foxon and Mike Rolfe sailing the bigger Hurricane catamaran with powerful square top rig chose to retire early from the race but continued to enjoy exciting free sailing.

Ian Wright proved again that a race is not over till the end as he finally caught the Brzezinski Dart on the last leg of the race

Throwing caution to the wind both helms gunned their cats down the swell lines oblivious to the risks as they closed on the finish line and it was perhaps sheer determination that allowed Wright to fight off the challenge to finish ahead by just seconds in this truly most epic of races.

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