O’ ye of little Faith
So even though we advertised the sea breeze which we knew would come, you unbelievers who didn’t attend missed out on a blast of a weekend. The easterly made it to 18 miles an hour (at least) by the second race of the first day. The South Westerly made it up to 15 miles per hour then supplemented by the – yes you’ve guessed it- sea breeze swung round to the south and cranked up to a recorded 21 miles per hour. We were flying around.
So, to the nine believers who came and flew around the cans at blatting speed, well done and thank you. For all you non-believers – Have faith next time!
So we awoke on Saturday expectant of the sea breeze to find it already building at 10am. By the time we were on the water it was a good 10- 12 mile easterly and building all the time. Race 1 was led all the way by David Ball (1923) with Chris Tillyer (1953), Kevin Kirby (2020), Gary Sverdloff (1963) and me (Steve Healy 1921) hot on his heels, we however could not bring him to heel and it was 1st for David Ball, 2nd Chris Tillyer 3rd Gary Sverdloff and 4th for me.
Race 2 saw the breeze picking up to close to 18 miles an hour and the fleet swapping sides of the course as the port tackers won the day on the last race, however this time it was the starboard tackers that won the advantage with not much chance of catching them. 1st over the line was Howard Hawkes (1267) followed by Jim Bowie (2021) then Kevin Kirby and David Ball.
Race 3 saw the breeze drop a little although not much and some fantastic sailing was had by all contestants. The usual suspects were joined by George Love (2019) in his new boat with the Race officer making the course much longer there were a lot of challenges at the front with Kevin, Chris, Myself, George and David all changing places although it was David Ball who won the race with Chris Tillyer 2nd, George Love 3rd and me 4th.
Race 4. So the forecast was 13 miles per hour SW and we set off safe in the knowledge that usually the forecast is under by at least 5 miles per hour, sure enough by the start of race 1 it was up to 15-16 albeit a bit flaky in places. I tacked off on Port really early which paid off massively as I rounded the weather mark with almost a whole leg between me and the next boat which was Howard Hawkes – I think – This carried on for the next two laps, however the god of wind took my luck back by dropping me in a hole where I watched Howard Hawkes and George love sail straight over me with Kevin Kirby far too close for comfort. So George nailed it with his first ever TT win in 20 years of sailing in them, Gary Sverdloff(1963) 2nd, Kevin Kirby 3rd and yours truly 4th and yes I was seeing the pattern by then!
Race 5 with the wind up to 20 miles an hour plus gusts it was traveller trimming conditions! Once again the usual suspects were vying for position at the front, ending up with Chris Tillyer and me vying for the top slot, an early port tack by me put me in front on the last beat and I managed to hold my nerve for the first slot- a first ever for me as well – Gary Sverdloff got the second slot with Kevin Kirby 3rd and Chris Tillyer 4th.
George Love and I both achieved first place for the first time in a Traveller/TT race. George has been waiting a long time (20 years) and this win is a testament to George’s skill and the quality of the new White formula boats. Thorpe Bay provided Six prizes, 3 for the top 3, 2 for George and I for winning our first ever race at one of these events and for Stefan Smith for his determination and dedication to racing.
My thanks go to the Race Officer, Race Committee, Support boat crews, all the people behind the scenes and to everyone who came to the event.
Thorpe Bay Yacht Club
Full Series Results available here