The current dinghy race series is for three trophies:
- Russell memorial trophy (overall handicap winner, PY basis)
- Laser Shield (highest placed single hander, PY basis)
- Mirror Shield (personal handicap winner)
It’s a series of sixteen races, with the usual discards. Only six have been scheduled so far and races 3 & 4 were abandoned due to insufficient support. This means the series is still wide open; new entrants have a chance to steal some silverware.
Monday’s races were reasonably well supported, with seven boats on the start line. I would prefer to see entrants in double figures, but we’ll get there eventually. After all, across the four races run in the series, we had baker’s dozen entries, including two cadet novices. Welcome to the racing fleet, Archie Willis and Robert Anderson.
Monday’s courses offered a variety of challenges, with the day’s winds favouring fast reaches, ideal for the single handers. The first race went out to the river via buoys 7 and 8; thanks to Martyn and Sarah Porter and Sarah Alewijnse we had plenty of SB cover. This was fortunate as we had a number of incidents in the fresh and gusty breeze, though all of the boats involved managed to sort themselves out.
The second race was more of a navigational challenge, sailing between 3 and 2 with a higher than forecast tide completely covering the marshes. The ensuing groundings showed that it takes seamanship to win at Tollesbury, not just boat speed and race tactics.
In contrast, Tuesday’s Queen’s Race had twice as many SB crew on the water as race entrants! At least it offered the opportunity for your Dinghy Captain to hone his OOD skills running a pukka timed pursuit on strict PY basis. Will Porter was nicely in the lead with hopes of a tight finish, but a tactical error on the beat allowed Scott Edwards to overtake and win by a fair margin.