A total of 15 Shearwaters attended the second Travellers Trophy event over the weekend of the 9-10 June at Sealsalter Sailing Club. The dedicated team of organisers at the club once again made the competitors very welcome and were also able to arrange a complete range of weather conditions and varied and interesting courses.
The first race was sailed in bright sunshine and light and variable breeze over a long P course beating into the tide. Five boats broke away on the first beat to contend the lead, with Alan and Jenny Howland sailing Cat et Al et Jen showing great tactical awareness, along with Daniel and Geoff Tindale in Orwell, to lead around the windward mark, followed at a short distance by Roger Brown and Derek Clark in New Dawn, Roger and Bonnie Crooks in Ruby and Richard Hamblin and Catherine Howland in Airflow. These five contested the lead down the reach with Cat et Al et Jen pulling away from Orwell, and Airflow slipping below New Dawn and Ruby to round the first of the downwind marks third. The order remained the same onto the beat where Ruby was able to pass New Dawn while Cat et Al et Jen extended their lead. With the wind dropping the race was shortened with Cat et Al Et Jen taking first place. Orwell and Airflow diced with each other on the run in to the finish with Orwell just hanging on to second with Airflow third.
Race two was sailed in even shiftier winds of variable strength over a much shorter P course. At the start, the boats arriving early found themselves being swept over the line by the tide and a 30 degrees windshift and, despite a number of boats gybing to remain beneath the line, the fleet managed to get away first time with the late starters benefiting from the shifts. At the first mark it was again Cat et AL et Jen in the lead followed closely by Ruby, Nigel Stuart and Sarah Howland in Sim Sek and Derek Williams and Jamie Farnborough in Matisse, the rest of the fleet close on their heels. The lead was then swapped regularly between these four as the bulk of the fleet, including the leaders took the opportunity to practise penalty turns for hitting marks, which was a feature of the race. Rumours that all four marks were on one anchor were untrue. In the end Sim Sek developed a good lead followed by Ruby and Cat et al et Jen. Behind them places continued to change and Airflow worked its way through the fleet to follow these third into the final leg, over hauling Cat et Al et Jen on the run into the line. Newcomers Sin Sek took a well deserved victory followed by Ruby then Airflow and Cat et Al et Jen.
Sunday morning in contrast was wet and windy, with the wind steadily building up to the late start time of 1430. Race three was sailed over a variance of an Olympic-type course in strong wind gusting up to Force 6. The early lead was again taken by Cat et Al et Jen followed by Ruby, New Dawn and Matisse. On the first reach Airflow was able to work through to third and on the second was able to close up to the leading pair. Cat et Al et Jen hung on, on what was a tight fetch, followed by another exciting three-sail reach to lead onto the beat, where Matisse and Airflow were able to break though with Matisse leading at the windward mark followed by Airflow. Behind them a close battle was being fought out between Kevin and Shelley Saunders in Klass Act, New Dawn and Greg Wilcox and Jack Tindale in Foreigner. By this time the strong conditions were taking their toll and a number of boats capsized or suffered gear failure. Matisse continued to lead up to the gybe mark but on the following reach chose to fly a spinnaker and Airflow was able to climb over them on only two sails to take the lead, and continued to break away.
On the completion of the next lap complete brain failure on Airflow, and an inability to count, led them to believe they had finished, and unable to hear the guns in the strong breeze stopped causing confusion for the following boats. The more astute and numera