“And now for something completely different!” The usual whole fleet racing round marks was replaced by the match racing format. It is not new to the multihullers but it is the first time in use this year. Boats raced in pairs with three points for a win, two for a tie, one for second place and a zero if capsized when the opponent finished. Unless I missed something everyone seemed to enjoy the format and the racing.
The wind was south westerly and ranged from light, to light plus a bit, as the day wore on. As a result there were not many opportunities for foils to be effective. Ten boats competed, a mix of cats and tris. A warm welcome to a new skipper Matt Ponsford who joined the fleet sailing one of Mike Cooke’s tris. It very quickly became obvious that he was no beginner as his second place in the results shows!
The multi hull fleet is very competitive and over the racing season skipper’s skills and expertise increases and their knowledge of how to handle their boat improves. We are now towards the end of the season and as a result, racing is often nip and tuck and finishes are very close. However, Mike Cooke was very much on form and with superior boat speed, won every race………
Racing one on one means there are less distractions and enables skippers to concentrate on their opponent and boat speed. There were no capsizes which is a first since I have been organising the racing!
The points for the skippers were close between in third place, Peter Fothergill, fourth place, Mike Dann, and in fifth place, Paul Edwards. Three skippers were jointly placed sixth, Rob Lyne, Simon Walley and Tony Cleal, and in spite of using usual methods there was no way to break the ties! Brian Shell and Bob Walley were not so successful in beating their competitors but Brian in particular made some good starts and Rob, whilst battling to complete tacks, chased his opponents finishing the course which is a rite of passage for multihullers.
Keeping the racing going must, at times, have looked a bit frenetic This was especially so for the finisher because the schedule order was not always followed as it depended on whether both of a pair of boats were on the bank. In just over two hours there were 45 individual races, so really exciting from a spectators point of view and plenty of variety for the skippers.
There was not enough wind to hold a speed run in the afternoon, but on the next windy day it will be a possibility after the racing has finished, so watch this space.
Grateful thanks to Mervyn Cook who as he was hors de combat was inveigled into finishing the races. He did a great job. Thanks also for the assistance with the buoys and the course setting.
A few pictures from the event can be found on the Gosport MBC Facebook Pages