Autumn Leaf 2 - Race Report - October 2016

Racing continued last Sunday at Holland Haven with the second event in the Clacton Sailing Clubs Autumn Leaf race series.

Sailors Gather - Autumn Leaf 2

Six Dart catamarans and two Laser dinghies jostled on the start line in the light NW winds.

New Crew for Robert Mitchell

Rob Mitchell sailing this week with his daughter Victoria was first away setting out on the broad reach towards the first mark.

The chasing fleet opted to either take the faster course slightly upwind of the direct line or fall off lower but with the expectation that the last of the ebbing tide would carry them back upwind.

Brian Allen demonstrates real talent

Heading off downwind on the next leg Brian Allen demonstrated real talent by sailing lower than the other cats making the buoy without having to gybe whilst keeping right of way over the crossing port tackers.

Dan Brzezinski sailing his Dart 18 single-handed had recovered from a bad start and was working his way through the fleet at this time but the 16's were so bunched together this was proving difficult.


Within two boat lengths of the seaward buoy Boxer was able to claim 'water' rights over the 2 boats immediately downwind and held off both Brian Allen and Rob and Victoria Mitchell to cut inside into the lead as the boats hardened-up onto a fetch inshore.

Mini Race

Mark and George Venables enjoyed a mini-race against Rob and Cathy Mitchell with both family teams racing identical Dart 16's and were never far off the pace of the leaders giving the impression of being ready to take advantage of any slight mistake.

Larry Foxon and Mike Rolfe, more used to racing a Hurricane catamaran together this week opted to both race Lasers and switched places repeatedly during the race. Despite a capsize Larry pipped Mike on the finish line.

During the second lap the wind increased and veered to the north at the same time as the tide turned meaning the experience gained in the first lap was misleading.

Brzezinski sails clear

Brzezinski broke through the pack to sail clear and looked elegant trapezing single-handed on the 18 as he led the fleet home to cross the line first.

The final beat towards the finish line was most interesting and again highlighted different sailing styles: Rob & Victoria Mitchell and Brian Allen both seemed to be out-pointing the Boxer & Dempsey Dart 16 and perhaps tempted Brian to tack early for the line.

Photo finish

Although appearing to be in the lead he was forced to pinch and allowed Boxer/Dempsey boat to over-take to windward literally on the line for a photo finish.

Once the handicaps were taken into account, Pete Boxer & Eilish Dempsey still sailing on a borrowed Dart 16 catamaran continued their run of good fortune and take first, Dan Brzezinski takes second place with Rob and Victoria in third.


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