A total of 13 Shearwaters made the trip to Pevensey Bay Sailing Club over the weekend of the 7-8 July for the third Shearwater TT event. Once again they experienced a superbly organised weekend both on and off the water, and a full variety of conditions.
Race one was sailed in a light and shifty Force 1-2 over a standard triangle / sausage course, and from the start, Roger and Bonnie Crooks carried on from where they had left off at the last event, taking an early and unassailable lead. However, behind them a small group of three boats fought hard throughout the race for the minor placings with Roger Brown and Derek Clark sailing New Dawn, Alan and Jenny Howland sailing Cat et Al et Jen and Richard Hamblin and Catherine Howland sailing “Airflow” swapping positions throughout the race, with New Dawn finally taking second, Airflow third and Cat et AL et Jen fourth.
Race two was sailed in similar but gustier conditions, however, with the tide now flooding the downwind legs became even more tricky. Cat et Al et Jen took an early lead, followed by Ruby, Airflow, New Dawn, and Derek Williams and Jamie Farnborough sailing Metisse.
The rest of the fleet staying well in touch, with the exception of Neil Struys and Charlotte Duck whose forestay bridle broke, and Neil spent an interesting 15 minutes holding up a fully sailed rig until a repair could be made. At the first gybe mark Cat Et Al et Jen fell prey to the tide and a hole in the wind to allow Ruby through, who once again stretched out a comfortable lead which they held to the finish. Behind them, again, a close race was fought with the run into the tide being decisive. Cat et al et Jen pulled away to secure second with Metisse and Nigel Stuart and Sarah Howland sailing Sim Sek overhauling Airflow towards the end of the leg.
On the final triangle Airflow was able to pass these two to secure third with Sim Sek taking a well earned fourth after Metisse discovered, along with two other competitors that they had been OCS, and were disqualified.
Saturday night was set over to good food and a birthday party resulting in a large number of very sore heads on Sunday morning.
Race three was again sailed over a conventional triangle/sausage course but with a gusty Force 4 the leg lengths were increased. The race was led from the start by John and Clifford Hill sailing Space Odyssey closely followed by Airflow, Metisse and New Dawn and these four broke away into a comfortable lead. Airflow finally passed Space Odyssey on the penultimate reach, which, with the wind increasing and shifting, was a two-sailer, suiting Airflow who had broken its spinnaker pole on the first reach of the race. Airflow led at the final mark going onto the beat, however, at this point the crew decided to see if she could emulate the dolphin who had been visiting the fleet since Saturday and executed a perfect back somersault with pike from the trapeze, forcing the reluctant helmsman to return for her. This allowed Space Odyssey back into the lead, with Metisse second, New Dawn third, and having recovered the crew Airflow Fourth.
On the final beat the whole fleet closed up with the teams going inshore making ground on the leading pack, Space Odyssey took first followed by Metisse showing excellent upwind speed, Airflow slipped back through to third, with New Dawn fourth.
Race four was sailed in an ever-increasing wind gusting to Force 6, much to the liking of Greg Wilcox and Ben Farnborough sailing Foreigner who led from the start, increasing their lead throughout the race to take a well deserved victory in testing conditions. Behind them Shaun and Dion Allen were also revelling in the stronger breeze and sailed an equally superb race to fight off the challenge of Airflow and New Dawn on the first two downwind legs to take a comfortable second place. Behind them Airflow faded and New Dawn, Space Odyssey and Ruby fought out a close race for the minor placings that would decide the over