Jeanneau Class Regatta Goes Ahead Despite Light Winds
Published: Wednesday, 11 March 2015
It was a relief to see the dreary, grey clouds lift in time for the start of the 2015 Jeanneau Class Regatta Mar 7-8. Of the 43 boats entered, 26 were in the Long Course fleet consisting of Etchells, Sportsboat and J/80 classes and the remainder from the Short Course fleet consisting of Dragon and Impala classes.
With only 5 to 6 knots of easterly breeze, Race Officer Simon Boyde wasted no time in getting the first race underway, setting Course 1, the shortest course available for both fleets. Even with these precautions in place, the race took nearly 45 minutes for the fastest boats.
The first boat in the Long Course fleet to get a bullet was Steve Bourne, whose Magic 25 Merlin laid down a marker for the rest of the fleet. In the Short Course fleet, Impala Gnu, helmed by Frank Tsui, made a similar impression.
With the wind increasing to 8 knots, but with the typical threat of a mid-afternoon lull in the breeze, Boyde took no risks and again set Course 1 for both fleets. This time it was Gareth Willams’ turn on Sidewinder, in the Sportsboat class to triumph in the Long Course fleet, while Impala Paddy B, skippered by Herman Wong, took the honours in the Short Course division.
Sunday welcomed the fleet with brighter, but lighter, conditions. Bourne on Merlin finished after just 33 minutes, recording his second win of the series, while in the Short Course fleet Karl Grebstad’s Dragon Fei Chi recorded her first win.
With less than a 10 minute turn-around, the RO set the fleets off on Race 4, lengthening the course by 0.2 nautical miles to allow for an increase to 8 knots of breeze. The leading boats took 40 minutes to finish, with the wind all but vanishing as the tail end boats were coming in to finish. For the first time an Etchells, 1364 helmed by Frank van Kempen, took first place on the Long Course, while Gnu recorded her second win in the Short Course division.
Boyde elected to up anchor and take the fleets in search of more promising conditions, moving out to the top of Shelter Island, towards Table Island. This move paid off, presenting around 7 to 8 knots and allowing him to complete the regatta with the scheduled five races and accompanying discard. Merlin rounded out her regatta with another win, taking the Long Course division with a total of six points after discard, ahead of Etchells Jezebel (Anthony Day) and Dream On (Greg Farrell) on 14.5 and 15.5 points respectively. In the Short Course fleet, Fei Chi scored a 1,2,1 for the day to overhaul Gnu by just one point with six after discard. Third in division was Paddy B with 13 points after discard.
The prize giving for the 2015 Jeanneau Class Regatta took place at RHKYC Kellett Island at March 9.
(All Images : RHKYC / Guy Nowell)