Coronation Cup - Race Report - June 2016

Catamaran sailors gathered at Clacton Sailing Club last Sunday for the Coronation Cup with the promise of some close racing.

Crews on the beach - Coronation Cup 2016

Picture above: Crews gather on the beach prior to the race

Amongst the regulars Rob Mitchell has developed something of a reputation on his Dart 16 and was tipped as the man to beat in these condition with warm force 3-4 south westerlies blowing accross deceptively flat seas.

As it was Pete Boxer & Eilish Dempsey in their Dart 18 would go on to take the trophy but by only the narowest of margins after an hour and a half race.

Return of seaward bouy

The return of the permanent CSC yellow Seaward buoy allowed a more complex 4 mark course to be set this week adding the risk of disorientation to the crews concerns.

Cross onshore winds

Cross onshore ssw winds meant that the start line had a distinct port bias and most boats gathered around the Outer Distance Marker and attempted to manouver into a dominant position before the start.

In the last seconds before the gun Boxer & Dempsey tightly gybed around to sit to windward of the fleet appearing to target Rob Mitchell who was forced then to tack off out to sea to escape the dirty wind leaving much of the fleet to beat along the coast out of the effects of the weakly ebbing tide.

Lack of clean wind for Hurricane

Larry Foxon and Mike Rolff in the Hurricane attempted to start on starboard from a position close inshore and could have caught the rest out but suffered from lack of clean wind and had their work cut out to catch up.

They say races can be won or lost on the start line which is specially true amongst this tight fleet of friends who, having competed together over many seasons, produce close racing results and where small advantages or errors can make all the difference.

New to the cat scene this year Mark Venables with son George on their Dart 16 made a clean start hard on the tail of Rob Mitchell to get away in 3rd place off the line.

Freeing off at the windward mark for the long downwind run the fleet was hit by a squal with strong winds and driving rain.

Peter Boxer and Eilish Dempsey - Coronation Cup 2016

Picture above: Pete Boxer and Eilish Dempsey on thier Dart 18 Catamaran

Surfing swells

Catamarans sail the downwind legs as a series of broard reaches to keep the apparent wind flowing over the sails with the helms making constant adjustments to make the most of surfing swells or stronger wind gusts to sail as low as possible.

Mark & George Venables are obviously developing their cat handling skills as they reached the downwind buoy still in 3rd place behind Dart 16 maestro Rob Mitchell and keeping the other Dart 18 and even the Hurricane at bay.

Heading upwind to 'Big Yellow' the Hurricane started to stretch it's legs with both Larry and Mike now out on the wire they out paced Team Venables to climb up the rankings.  
Back downwind again to complete the sausage and then back upwind to the start line for the first of 3 laps.

The Hurricane would eventually pass Rob Mitchell and finally Pete Boxer on the run to be first boat accross the line but adjusted to 4th place overall on handicap

Capsize

Daniel Brzezinski sailing his Dart 18 with all the responsibility of the single handed racer found himself temporarily headed for the wrong bouy. 

Mistakes in these conditions can be quickly punshed and whilst making the necessary course adjustment he came in from the trapeze wire just as a gust hit and capsized the 18' boat.

With true sportsmanship he refused offers of support from the rescue boat and went on to right the boat and complete the race finishing a creditable 5th place learning valuable lessons in the process.

Brian Allen has also made the jump from his Laser dinghy to catamaran sailing this week and sucessfully raced his new Dart 16 single-handed. Having only started saiing last season this fast paced progress is typical when caught up in the excitement of the weekly racing fun at Clacton Sailing Club  

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