May-Day Regatta - Vicky Cox

As the May Day bank holiday weekend started it looked like it was going to be with typical UK bank holiday weather but the heavy showers cleared just as the fleet headed out for racing in anything from 16-22kts from SSE.

First race and 'Mojito' got a good start but as they struggled in the chop 'Sgrech' were gaining on them. The failure to recognise the wind bend as they headed away offshore meant that 'Mojito' over-stood the windward mark allowing the rest of the fleet to gain on them. Downwind and 'Mojito' hoisted the kite while 'Sgrech' stuck with white sails, a chance for 'Mojito to regain their comfortable lead but a struggle to gybe meant that their spinnaker had to come down to allow them to get up to the mark and 'Sgrech' took the lead.

Second race and 'Sgrech' and 'Legless Again' got the good start with 'just Jay' close behind. 'Mojito' again failed to recognise the wind bend and over-stood the same mark. Difficulty hoisting the spinnaker added to their demise and they were being overtaken by 'Just Jay' by the time they came to the leeward mark. Another LSS around and 'Mojito' failed to claw back their leads 'Sgrech' took line honours and 'Just Jay' 2nd with 'Mojito' on their transom.

Last race and 'Sgrech' had settled in with another good performance from 'Just Jay' and 'Legless Again'. Forestay failure caused 'Mojito' to retire and leave the rest of the fleet to finish the race.

Day 2 and the forecast was for winds gusting 35 from the SE and a much-reduced fleet. As the fleet headed out of the channel they were met by the huge swell of an easterly. 'Sgrech' timed their start to perfection while 'Legless Again' held back but round the first mark and they were keeping up well with 'Sgrech'. Heading back downwind and 'Sgrech' decided that the conditions and crew demanded white sails again. They gybed and lost their main sheet pin so a rapid jury rig was constructed to allow them to gybe again before they hit the beach. However, the weak ended rig wasn't up to it and the main sheet traveller left its track, spewing out its ball bearings into the cockpit. Time to retire and leave the remaining fleet to finish the race.

At the end of the second day Sigma 33, 'Legless Again' is in a commanding position and ready for the third day with the forecast for lighted, gentler conditions also bringing new competitors to the Pwllheli racing scene. Dave Hughes and the 'Legless Again' team have sailed an impeccable regatta and we all wish them well in their 2017 quest in the Sigma 33 Nationals.

The latest results are published here ...


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