Thanks to Jerry Colman for the report, full results are here. It’s worth noting that between last weekend’s MS&CC regatta and the concurrent Port Erin youth regatta, which was comfortably won by James Arnold, there were over 30 dinghies racing around the island last Saturday. Don’t forget to like MS&CC’s and 7th Wave’s Facebook pages.
The Manx Sailing and Cruising Club welcomed 23 entries to their annual dinghy racing regatta including fleets of Lasers, RS 200s, RS Fevas, RS Teras and handicap boats. Racing took place on Saturday and Sunday, with three races planned for each day.
Saturday brought light and shifty breezes and a delayed start while race officer Keith Poole waited for the breeze to settle which it eventually did from the SE at 1 to 8 knots. The flukey conditions split the fleet into four bunches according to the skills (or luck) of the wind searchers, with Dave and Emily Batchelor in their RS 200 showing their skills were no lucky chance with a very competent performance and Phil Hardisty crewed by Ciara Kaneen close behind in their RS200. The wind shifted left, right, up and down so after two races and more delays Keith called it a day with the Batchelors having won both races.
Sunday brought strong NW winds together with welcome sunshine and challenging choppy conditions. Wind speeds up to around 25 knots saw the crews fully hiked out upwind – downwind too for the asymmetric dinghies. The roar of the wind was punctuated by occasional sharp slaps as Laser sails hit the water hard, capsizing downwind as the helms fought to maintain control. The Fevas and RS 200s were very impressive flying at their kites in the squally conditions, storming along in clouds of spray right on the edge between control and disaster, with quite a few going over at the gybe marks only to struggle back up and race on if they could.
James Kelly and Anna Harding were especially impressive in their RS200, taking two wins and staying upright throughout, but the experience in the Laser fleet allowed the single-handers to get back into the reckoning. Mike Pridham in his Laser, always confident in a blow, began to haul back some points from Simon Pressley after a difficult day on Saturday with a 3-2-3 to Simon’s 8-8-4.
Meanwhile the Batchelors, comfortably in the lead after taking a second in Sunday’s first race, retired after multiple capsizes in the second and didn’t finish the third race, sailed in the strongest winds of the day. By the end the fleet was down to 13 boats crewed by the toughest of the sailors, ranging in age from just 10 years old up to 63. Despite planning to run four races on Sunday it was clear that the crews had endured enough.
In the final reckoning the honours just went to Phil Hardisty and Ciara Kaneen (RS200) with Mike Pridham sailing a Laser Radial into second and James Kelly and Anna Harding (RS200) finishing third.