September Super Bowl - Race Report - September 2019

Clacton Sailing Club made the most of the fine weather and held all 4 races of the September Super Bowl Series over two consecutive Sundays

Crews on beach - September Super Bowl 2019

Races 1 & 2 - Sunday 15th September

The usual fleet of catamarans were joined by some of the clubs monohulls on the start line and in the light and shifty wind conditions Ian Wright demonstrated complete mastery of his old Laser dinghy to score a 1st and 2nd place to top the leader board.

Ian was joined by Alan Griffiths in his Laser and Robert Banks in his classic Contender.

Highly manoeuvrable dinghies

In these conditions the highly manoeuvrable dinghies could tack quickly and take advantage of the wind shifts. Despite the obvious advantage of the cats straight line speed a race ‘around the cans’ is all about VMG or velocity made good towards the upwind or downwind buoys.

The westerly cross-off wind had a bias inshore and on each windward leg Ian would tack off as soon as he hit the boundary line to gain the lift. In a candid interview afterwards Ian explained all he did was to make ‘perfect starts, tack on each wind shift and play the advantage of the tide to minimise the distance sailed’ Obviously his years spent racing Toppers on this beach and at International level as a junior were not wasted.

Tussle of their own

The cats meanwhile were having a tussle of their own. Brian Allen and Rob Mitchell showed good teamwork in the F18 and set the pace over the water to finishing 2nd on corrected time. They were chased hard in race one by Stafford Glover and Glenn Burrows who are known to be demons in the light stuff and managed 3rd after some adventurous efforts to fly their kite upwind. Disappointedly equipment failure put them out of race 2.

Larry Foxon and Mike Rolfe in the second Hurricane and Rob Mitchell sailing his Dart 16 were never out of contention in mid fleet.

Over early

Race 2 and Ian Wrights words came back to haunt him as he was caught ‘over-early’ on the start line and had to restart leaving an opening for Pete Boxer in his A Class to claim first place.

The cross-off wind of race one had backed to cross-on for the second race meaning the sausage leg of the course gave everyone the exhilaration of a broad reach inshore.

Perhaps too tight for the asymmetric kites of the F18 or Hurricanes to be flown effectively Boxer was able to get one hull flying downwind in the A Class giving him just enough of a boost to pip Ian into second place on corrected time. Brian and Rob claimed 3rd place

Good racing amongst friends is an excellent way to improve sailing skills.

Races 3 & 4 - Sunday 22nd September

The concluding two races of the Clacton Sailing Club September Superbowl series were held in glorious sunshine although the fresh winds forecasted did not arrive until the afternoon which disappointed some of the heavy wind specialist.

A Class catamarans dominate

The day was dominated by the two single-handed A Class catamarans with Pete Boxer taking first in both races and the series overall followed closely in each race by Dan Brzezinski sailing his identical Australian Tool.

Under the Race Management of Mike and Sue Suffield this week who set a challenging course in the light Sou’easterly winds and flooding tide adjusting the laps and even the course in race 2 so each race lasted longer than an hour.

Colourful Kites

Boats of similar speeds settled down into races within the race: Brian Allen and Rob Mitchell in their F18 fighting against Mark & George Venables in their Hurricane SX easily distinguishable as both cats flew their colourful kites in the off wind legs.  The two boats traded places with each helm searching the best route through the vague wind shifts of the long races. Mark & George were consistent with 4th place in each whilst Brian & Rob taking a 5th and 3rd and 2nd place overall in the series.

In the dinghies Larry Foxon and Alan Griffiths in their Lasers competing on handicap against Pete & Helen Lyall in their Wanderer who would finish as first dinghy on the day.  Alans results from last week were enough to give him 3rd overall in the series.

But it was the two A Class cats that stole the show with Pete & Dan fresh back from the World Championships and out to prove why these are the fastest and most sophisticated single-handed racing dinghies around.

Whilst most other classes are one-design the 18’ A-Class is in constant development and built from 100% carbon fibre has an all up minimum weight of 75Kg and is as a result highly responsive and dynamic even in the light winds. Easy to sail but hard to sail well these boats carry a punishing handicap making their success even more impressive.


September Super Bowl Results


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