News of the East Coast Championship continues with a racing report from Michael Holmes.
The East Coast Championship was held over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham on Crouch.
The eight races sailed were, for the most part held in breezy and demanding conditions but there were no complaints from the competitors and all agreed that it was a great weekend. With 17 competitors on the starting line, the standard was high and had a real international feel with Jørgen Schönherr from Denmark and Gordon Ingate from Australia among the competitors.
The first three races on the Saturday were sailed in a force 4/5 south-westerly and were dominated by Jorgen Schonherr sailing Biff GBR 744, with Tim Tavinor and Katie Cole crewing. He finished with 1st, 2nd & 1st. Len Jones in Rumours GBR 708, was hard on his heels, but he marred his day by being OCS in the first race, although he was not alone, three others were OCS as well! However, Len recovered to finish the day with a 1st & 2nd. The other constant performer was Avalanche GBR 722 Mark & Mandy Wade finishing with a 3rd, 3rd & 4th.
Sunday arrived with brilliant sunshine and strong winds with a forecast for them to strengthen further. Against this background the Race Officer flew a postponement flag to watch developments; after an hour with the wind remaining constant at force 5 southerly, we were sent afloat. The race proved to be fast and furious, but the wind did build gradually as forecast. The runs proved particularly interesting with a number of wild rolls, none more so than Hands Off, Mike Holmes and team, who went the whole way and executed a “Chinese gybe”. The race was again won by BiffJørgen Schönherr, with Martin Makey in GanadorGBR704 coming a very good 2nd, with Rumours Len Jones 3rd.
The wise decision was then taken to curtail any further racing that day. While the competitors were sailing back to their moorings, Edwin Buckley on the committee boat was logging 32Kn of wind and it felt like it too!
On Monday the wind had abated to a gentle SSW force 3 but it proved to be as tricky as the previous day’s due to many unpredictable wind shifts. Four races were scheduled to catch up on the two lost the previous day so major thanks have to go to the Race Officers, Kim Allen & Edwin Buckley, for their endurance and giving us such good courses in the difficult conditions.
If Saturday had been Biff's day, Monday was Ian Gray’s, crewed by Ian Simons & Julie Thomas-Page sailing Scorpio GBR 586. They finished with a 1st, 2nd, 8th, 4th and the 2nd should have been a first had it not been for a spinnaker problem at the last mark. Biff’s tally was 3rd, 3rd, 10th & 1st which was good enough to give them the Championship. They were concerned they had been OCS in the second race so it was not known until they came off the water that they had secured overall victory.
Other notable results on that day were from Martin Makey in Ganador GBR 704 with a 1st in the 6th race and 3rd in the 7th, also Robert Campbell in Beauty and the Beast GBR 746 1st in the 7th race.
As mentioned above Biff Jørgen Schönherr was the overall winner, second place in a count back went to Len Jones in Rumours just squeaking it with two second results versus Ian Gray in “Scorpio” with only one.
Full results are available here...
Return to Martin's report here...