EYC Open Racing – Sunday 20 September 2020

Weather: Sunny with few clouds

Wind: NE, force 2

Course: Triangular course, on water start/finish.

Sunday proved a lovely day for sailing at our restricted open racing. We were joined by three laser sailors from Greenwich Yacht Club who came down with their safety boat.

The course was laid with the windward mark on the Essex shore, the gybe mark at the end of the moorings (Crayford end) and the downwind mark on the inside of the moorings.

The first race saw a close start for most of the fleet. The next challenge was to work out the route to the windward mark on an incoming tide. The fleet split with some heading into the tide and were punished for it, while others tried to sail close inshore to Crayfordness Point and then make a dash in light winds across hoping to reach the mark without having to tack against the tide. Richard in his Laser 4.7 showed everyone how to do that first leg by quietly creeping very closely inshore and at one point was well in the lead on handicap. The spinnaker runs were a challenge, as the boats had to work out which was the best angle, making the most of the tide to get across to the gybe mark. Meanwhile, Hugh and Paul decided to check the hull, twice, by capsizing…!

The race officer decided that the challenge of the first race needed to be changed, so the upwind mark was brought to the Kent side of the river, creating a much tighter race requiring greater tactical planning. The racing was much closer but the lasers were able to take advantage of the wind for the downwind legs, unlike the 2000s and their asymmetric spinnakers who had to gybe at high angles to fill the spinnakers in the light winds before bearing away. The racing was so close that Alan and Jan finished ahead of Jeremy and Eve with about a foot between their transom and bow. It was a close and tactical race with Alan managing to defend his space well.

The last race was similar to the first, but as can be seen from the results, Richard Banner raced a tactical and careful race to come second. Again the racing was very close. Congratulations to David from GYC who seemed to get the hang of our tides very quickly and generally outsail us in all three races. A well deserved win.

Thanks must go to Ed for multi-tasking as Race Officer and Safety and providing three very challenging but fun races. The GYC members enjoyed coming down and it was good to have some company from elsewhere. Shoreside, we need to thank the bar and galley volunteers for being hospitable to us all and providing refreshment and nourishment after 3 hours on the water.

Race Results

Race Positions Overall
Boat Crew Handicap R 1 R 2 R 3 Position
Laser (F) David (GYC) 1100 1 1 2 1
2000 Jerry & Eve 1114 2 3 3 2
2000 Alan & Jan 1114 3 2 4 3
Laser 4.7 Richard B 1207 6 6 1 4
Stratos Keel John, Andrea, Janusz 1092 5 5 5 5
Laser (F) Alex (GYC) 1100 4 4 DNF 6
2000 Richard W & William W 1114 7 7 6 7
2000 Paul & Hugh 1114 8 8 7 8