Sunday April 17th saw an entry of 11, but owing to sickness, ten R6m sailors convened at the Broads RYC Filby water for the Shearwater Trophy. It was good to see some familiar faces supporting the event and, importantly, some new faces to the Broads venue – namely Peter Shepherd, Paul Risdale, Keith Bell and Peter Jackson representing Abington Park.
After a couple of years of mixed winds, this year we were greeted with an early rain shower and a force 2 to 3 westerly breeze. The race team over seeing this one-fleet race comprised race officer Tom Wilkinson, David Grint and scorer Valerie Zammit.
Initially the westerly wind made setting a good course an easy task. However, in an half hour period immediately prior to the scheduled start of racing, the course had to be changed significantly twice to cope with the wind veering to the North West.
Eventually the course was set with a good first beat up the broad to the windward mark rounded to port to a splitter mark taken to port with a run to a leeward buoy taken to port near the control area, followed by a second beat to windward, run to leeward, third beat to windward, then a short starboard reach to the finish line. Once set this course remained albeit with a couple of slight tweaks to the start line and windward marks to maintain everyone’s attention.
Broad’s Vinnie Zammit along with Terry Burton, both sailing Ravenna’s, had some good tactical racing through out the early races, often sharing first and second places. Mike Ewart from Abingdon Park, also sailing a Ravenna picked up 3 third places during the morning.
Interestingly the Ravenna design made up half of this years fleet with Broads Bernie Guest and Two Islands David Green completing the Ravenna fleet and finding themselves facing a mid field challenge from Abingdon Park’s Peter Shepherd, sailing a Romanza.
The top three skippers in the morning’s eight races were Vinnie taking four wins over Terry’s three, closely followed by Mike Ewart’s one second and three third places. Other good showings were David Green with a win and a second place and Bernie Guest with two seconds and a third.
Throughout the morning racing was often very close, with the wind often providing good sailing for the Ravenna fleet, particularly at the windward and splitter buoys, where good tactical skill, in rounding, reaped rewards.
During a welcome lunch and a chance to warm up from the chilly northerly breeze, Val generated interest by posting interim results sheets. It was not surprising to find the top three were Vinnie, Terry and Mike Ewart, closely followed by Bernie Guest, David Green and Peter Shepherd, making the afternoon ‘all to sail for’.
During the afternoon a couple of wins for Broad’s Bernie Guest’s Ravenna, along with Peter Shepherd’s Romanza picking up a third and fourth, added pressure on the morning’s top three.
Race 12 saw the unfortunate incidence of some boat damage to Keith Bell’s Revival, picking up three small holes just below the gunwales, resulting in a rapidly rising waterline. Fortunately the good spirit of the other skippers, in allowing time for a break for tape repairs to be effected, enabled Keith to continue and complete a full days sailing.
With 18 races completed a well deserved win went to Terry with 27 points. In fact there was little change from the top three’s interim lunchtime positions – with Vinnie second with 42 points and Mike Ewart in third with 47 points.
The final result made it clear how close the mid fleet positions had become with only 7 points separating Mike Ewart, Dave Green, Bernie Guest.
Report and Results Courtesy of David Grint.