Ten Blazes entered for the second event of the Blaze East Coast Championships which took place on Sunday the 20th, this time hosted by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Burnham on Crouch.
The first race was scheduled for 1050 and with only a short sail to the race area, just beyond the mornings, there was plenty of time for all to get rigged and ready to go, however, it wasn’t long until the fleet noticed that only 9 blaze competitors had turned up to the briefing and one boat was still on its road trailer with the mast down and covers on, but who and why? After some speculation amongst the fleet, one of the backwater boys received a phone call from a grumbling Alex Williams complaining of a sore rear end and some mentioning of a dodgy curry. It had nothing to do with him being spotted, steaming drunk, in the pub at 10pm the night before.
So 9 boats made it to the start line for the first race. The wind was blowing from the East at a steady 6-7 knts and it soon became apparent that tidal tactics would be the key to success. The first race saw the fleet split between the North and South shore, with Andy McIvor, current leader of the series, taking a huge lead by going South and using the last of the ebb flow to sail to victory. Ben Fullalove was looking good in second place, until he missed the start/finish line on the second lap giving Terri Crook and Ben Harden the chance to pass through into Second and Third.
For the start of the second race the tide had now turned and was starting to flood. The wind had also built slightly with a bit of help from a sunny sea breeze. This time around more of the fleet decided to take the north shore to get out of the now flooding tide. After lots of short taking Ben Harden came out on top, rounding the windward mark first and holding on to the lead for the rest of the race. Terri Crook and Andy Mcivor had a well-fought battle for 2nd and 3rd with Malcolm Hutchings also hot on their heels in 4th.
The third race was soon underway, this time the wind seemed to have dropped a little, back down to around the 6knt region. Again most of the fleet decided to take the North shore out of the tide, with exception to a few who spotted that the South shore had slightly more breeze, enough it would seem to warrant sailing in the stronger tide. A battle of short tacking saw Ben Harden round the windward mark in 1st with Andy McIvor close behind. Terri Crook and Malcolm Hutchings rounded 3rd and 4th. The second leg saw the wind become more consistent across the course meaning that North was the side of choice this time around. Resulting in more short tacking battles and several groundings in the mud. Positions however, stayed the same. This meant all was to play for in the last race.
Tide now pumping, the North Shore was the only sensible option for the 4th and final race, Andy McIvor and Malcolm Hutchings had a great start, getting off early at the pin end and getting into the shore first. The short tacking battle commenced with Andy McIvor coming out on top and rounding in 1st with Ben Harden and Terri Crook rounding 2nd and 3rd. Andy McIvor slowly pulled away downwind leaving the rest of the fleet jostling for clean air. The last upwind leg saw Ben Fullalove pass Terri Crook to finish in 3rd. Ben Harden finished 2nd and Andy McIvor finished 1st. This meant that both Ben Harden and Any McIvor had a 3rd, 2nd and two 1st. After count back Andy took to the overall win and his second East Coast Championship victory.