Sidmouth Shield

Sunday 18th August saw the conclusion to the popular Sidmouth Shield.
The main protagonist, Richard Bentley, was on duty. Had he done enough on previous outings to secure this coveted trophy?

Race 1

The duty team arrived to the club to a light wind from the SW and rain which meant limited visibility out to sea.

Once checking the radar to see that the rain was passing, rigging began temporarily held up by a flat battery in Barracuda, thanks to Ross for his assistance fixing this.
The wind had now switched to a NW direction forcing to switch to a committee boat start.

The first start was away with Martin and Connor in the Lark choosing to start on Port tack. The rest of the fleet starting on starboard heading up the middle of the course, while Sean in his Pico decided to head close in shore.

Ross and Richard in the Blazes were first to the windward mark closely followed by the Lark and the 200 of Lauren and Abi.
The 200 raised its spinnaker but a fault with the spinnaker launch block forced a retirement to fix it.
The Lark also suffered gear failure on the next leg when the rudder decided it did not want to be attached anymore.
An impressive sail by Connor and Martin, sailing rudderless all the way back to the beach.

The first lap saw some very close racing with Jack, despite a bad start, and Chris having a good battle right to the end of the race. The RS100 of Andy was going well with the spinnaker on the third leg of the course.
The D-Zeros were also having a good battle, with James leading to the windward mark but Callum pulling ahead downwind. Ross looked sure to have won the race but had hit the start pin forcing retirement.

First place went to Richard, second place was Jack and in third was Chris.  Well done to Josie and Josh who had yet another good battle on the water, doing well to navigate a large course for a Topper and Tera. This time with Josh only slightly ahead on corrected time.

Race 2

Just after the start of the second race the clouds had cleared to bring in strong breeze of around 15knts with some very large gusts.
The RS100 of Andy showed a good first beat but an unfortunate death roll forced him to retire to the beach. The change in conditions made for an exhilarating reach out to the gybe mark with Chris flying along leading the fleet, closely followed by the Aero of Jack and the 200 of Lauren and Abi.

With even more wind out to sea Jack and James were the only leading boats to gybe around the mark, with the other boats opting for a slower but safer long tack. The final leg of the course made for good viewing with plenty of near misses and a few capsizes including that of Richard in his Blaze.
(Great video on Facebook provided by Dawn Morgan)

Callum in his D-Zero suffered a spectacular nose dive resulting in a swan dive into the gooseneck stomach first. Ross also retired in his Blaze with the ever increasing wind. The angle of the third leg was almost dead downwind so all but the 200 helped by the spinnaker were forced on a long unstable leg. James in his D-Zero was going well around the course but held up only by his nose diving. Unfortunately, Chris, despite leading all the way round, was over the start line so first place went to Jack and second place to Lauren and Abi, followed by James and Toby. Out of nine boats to start these were the only four finishes. Many thanks to the beach team for safe recovery of all the boats in some very big waves.

Once all the boats were safely in, the numbers were crunched. Chris Whitneys’ OCS proved costly & the trophy slipped back in to the welcoming arms of Richard Bentley (Who, last week, won the ‘master of the dancefloor’ prize at the Bondi Beach Party)