There was an international flavour to the Purple Sails and Marine Enterprise 2001 National Championship held recently at Looe SC, when boats from India, wanting to get some practice in for the worlds in Goa next year and Ireland turned up to join in the fun. In all eighty-five teams competed.
From the word go conditions were changeable throughout the week. The Enterprise sailors saw flat calm and sun on Sunday, increasing to shifty moderate winds on Monday and Tuesday. Superb wind and sailing conditions prevailed for the lay day on Wednesday and when racing resumed on Thursday, the Enterprises saw storms, thunder and lightning with lightning striking so close to the boats, racing had to be abandoned. Friday’s one scheduled race turned into three, so all in all the week produced a real mixed bag of conditions.
Because Sunday’s race was cancelled, the schedule for the first day’s racing on Monday was pretty tough with three races taking place instead of the two scheduled.
In race one, India 52 crewed by Aashim Mongia and R Mahesh led the fleet to the windward mark, closely followed by Ian Fisher and Simon Cook. On the second beat Richard Estaugh and Pete Rowley fought their way through the first group of boats, to eventually win the race. Ian Pinnell was eighth around the windward mark and decided to go high on the reaches. This meant he finished fourth, leaving O’Brien in fifth position. Fisher managed to overhaul the Indian boat taking second with the Indian boat finishing third.
The second race saw Richard Estaugh and Pete Rowley lead the second race from start to finish. The race took the form of a procession with the beat favouring the starboard side of the course and few opportunities to pass on the reaches. Ian Pinnell with Ben Field finished second, followed by the Irish boat of Shane McCarthy and Steve Chadwick in third.
Ian Pinnell led the third race until the final short beat to the finish. He tacked to cover his position over Richard Estaugh, but a small error meant he was unable to lay the finishing line. Pinnell ended the race in second behind Estaugh who passed to win his third race of the day. Roger Gilbert and James Stewart sailed well to finish third, followed by the increasingly consistent Shane McCarthy and Steve Chadwick who finished fourth.
The second day’s racing was held in bright and sunny conditions with light winds. The fleet launched on time but had a short wait for the wind to steady in the race area. A trapezium course was set for the day.
During the fourth race, Euan Dunn and Angela Murphy were pathfinders in changing conditions. Whilst the pathfinder was sailing his course the wind steadily backed by up to 30 degrees, leaving the late starters at a massive disadvantage. Taking full advantage of the situation Richard Hadfield with Jess Mappleback led the race from start to finish. McMcarthy and Chadwick were second around the windward mark closely followed by Estaugh and Fisher. The first four boats were able to hold onto their initial positions to the finish.
The winds continued to be fickle during race five and a shift of up to 45 degrees was recorded on the committee boat! Taking full advantage of this were McCarthy and Chadwick and Redmond with Craig who held their positions until the line. They finished in first and second place respectively. Following in third place was a delighted Jeremy Stephens with Katie Haighton and a beaming Phil and Catrina Bevan in fourth place.
The sailors of the day were Paul Young with Simon Daniels who took advantage of one of the wind shifts on the second beat and blasted their way through from forty-seventh to seventeenth, winning the improvers award for the day.
On Wednesday’s lay-day several boats with assorted arrangements of helms and crews decided to have a bit of fun and enjoyed racing in the marginal planing conditions of the Force 3 in the bay. Ben Field and Kate Havill led the fun race from the start to even