With day one being a day of sightseeing and sampling the delights of Whitstable as the wind screamed down the beach it was with great anticipation that the fleet woke for day 2. Some a little hazy after the first night Leaky and Wattsy attempt to mix competitive cards with interesting cocktails!
With local fleet Oracle Barnsie confidently announcing it would be a lovely force 4 it was a slightly reluctant fleet that launched into the Whitstable washing machine and a healthy 20-25 knots.
PRO Handy Howard gave the fleet an early hurry up with the first aborted start sequence. Many of the favourites need to buy him a beer for being given a second chance to make the start!
Race 1 got away with the fleet charging off to the left led by 791 "P&B" (Jasper Barnham & Oli Wells) and the supposedly rusty 796 "Harken" (Nick Craig & Tobytastic Lewis) and the new partnership in 772 "Team Trunky" (Kathy Sherratt/Josh Wilce) proving lightweights/girls can be fast in third.
Down the first run and the fleet got a bit carried away enjoying the fast and furious rodeo through the Whitstable chop to overstand the gybe point. First to capitalize were 797 "Griptec" (Mark Watts/Chris Bishop) bringing them back from the dead after finding one of the soon to be common Whitstable Sea Snakes on the first beat.
The next beat saw a close group of 6 boats charging upwind trading places. "P&B" kept their nose clean to lead from Harken who were rapidly remembering how to sail a B14. 785 "Demelza" (Peter Knight/James Wilkinson) showed great pace in the breeze to hang on to third. The final beat was to change things up. "Griptec" pulled back into third and closed right up to the lead pair that went around the top mark in close formation. The final run was all about the layline back in to the finish with the 2 leaders slightly overcooking it leading to a close 3 way blast to the line. In the end they crossed line astern with P&B taking a well deserved win from Harken and Griptec.
Race 2 and with the breeze building slightly it was Griptec that stormed out of the Pin and led to the top mark. Harken chasing in hard in what was to be a 2 horse race. P&B were the best of the rest as the fleet strung out in the bouncy upwind conditions. Griptec held off the brains trust of Harken until the end of the third beat but a bad call at the windward mark saw Harken steal the lead and hold that through to another close finish. P&B sailed well for a solid third.
Race 3 and with the wind undecided as to whether it wanted to build or fade it was a breezy start into a course littered with snakes. P&B and Seavolution (Mark Barnes/Char Jones) decided to have their own little pin end party ending in both missing the line. Harken led out to the left from the fleet with Griptec rolling the dice out right and coming back to a surprising lead. Once again it was these 2 that led the fleet round for the first 2 laps in a nip tuck battle, Harken taking the lead on lap 2. Lap 3 and with a big hole at the bottom of the course Seavolution came back into the mix to threaten in third. Half way up the last beat Griptec broke left hooked into a shift to close right back to Harken at the top mark. Down the last run they split again with Griptec/English Braids hooking into breeze and applying the pressure. At the finish Harken held on to a well deserved win and took the day out in style. Griptec 2nd overall for the day and Seavolution starting to find their form in 3rd.
With the fleet looking pretty broken the PRO made the call to not try for a 4th race and to send the fleet back for much earned beer.
Now enough about the leaders... what other fun and games happened on the race course...
- Oli "I do this for a living" Wells for his precision kite halyard sheave installation!
- Spectacular synchronized capsizing from Simon&Steve and their partners Leaky&Gerry pre start to keep the race team amused!
- Scrapheap challenge, nearly returning to the scrap heap with multiple breakages proving that 2 lanky giants are too much for aging B14 wings! Topped off with Iain showing his incredible strength to snap the rudder stock in two.. Impressive!
- Crispy and Guy sailing Das Boot who were enjoying the seaside immensely and often seen having a little swim around the boat.
- Alicia and Luke for their tenacity.. second time out in the boat and finished all 3 races. Top effort!
The fleet retire now to the BBQ, beer and boat fettling ready for a less breezy but I expect more mentally taxing day 3 as the fleet do their best to outsmart the boys in Harken.
Results after Day 2:
|1||796||Nick Craig||Tobytastic Lewis||Frensham Burghfield||2||1||1||4|
|2||797||Mark Watts||Chris Bishop||Weston||3||2||2||7|
|3||795||Mark Barnes||Charlotte Jones||Whitstable Yacht Club||5||4||3||12|
|4||785||Peter Knight||James Wilkinson||Restronguet SC||4||5||4||13|
|5||791||Jasper Barnham||Oli Wells||Snettisham Beach||1||3||DNF||22|
|6||772||Kathy Sherratt||Josh Wilce||Weston||6||7||9||22|
|7||764||Tony Blackmore||Naomi Pound||Starcross YC||10||10||5||25|
|8||728||Iain Horlock||Alex Horlock||Exe Sailing Club||7||6||DNC||31|
|9||784||Steve Barnes||Simon Reynolds||Whitstable Yacht Club||8||9||DNF||35|
|10||77||Alicia Clifford||Luke Graham||14||12||10||36|
|11||762||Crispin Taylor||Guy Harrill||Starcross YC||13||DNF||6||37|
|12||768||James Gardner||Anne Gardner||HISC||12||8||DNC||38|
|13||749||Will Rand||Querine Van Meurs||Lymington Town||11||11||DNC||40|
|14||770||Simon Hadley||Nikki Hadley||Whitstable Yacht Club||DNC||DNC||7||43|
|15||786||Geraldine Fermor||Leaky Fermor||DNC||DNC||8||44|
|16||681||Liam Willis||Abby Keightley‑Hanson||Lymington Town||9||DNF||DNC||45|
|17||707||Amir Shamsuddin||Adam Kitchen||King George SC||15||DNF||DNF||51|