International Etchells South Coast Championship
Saturday morning dawned sunny and windless as competitors from 17 boats made their way down to the docks. Thankfully, a message from the race committee confirmed the breeze was filling in and the forecasted 8-12kts arrived just in time for Race 1.
After a strong start, No Dramas led the fleet to take race 1 closely followed by Rocketman and Swedish Blue. The strong tide around the windward mark caught many boats by surprise, with multiple teams having to make extra tacks, and Sumo putting in a great performance to take the win in race 2.
Race 3 saw No Dramas take first again and top the overall standings at the end of the day. Sumo sat close behind, as second overall and leading youth boat, followed by Swedish Blue in third going into day 2.
The start of day 2 came with a forecast of 15kts dropping to 6kts by the end of the day, presenting a challenge for teams to set their boats to the conditions. Race 4 had a fiercely competitive pre-start and four boats were marked OCS, while Swedish Blue continued their strong performance from Saturday to take the win, followed by Straight Dealer in second and Ice in third.
A general recall in race 5 brought all boats back for a second attempt, and No Dramas once again proved they were the team to beat after taking first place. Polaris took second place and Exabyte finished soon after in third.
The final race saw the breeze drop off and Polaris took the win, putting in a strong performance after not racing on the Saturday, followed by Straight Dealer in second and Exabyte in third.
A consistent performance throughout the weekend saw No Dramas, sailed by Andrew Lawson, Andy Beadsworth and Simon Fry, take top prize, followed by Ante Razmilovic’s Swedish Blue, crewed by Brian Hammersley and Andrew Mills, in second place and Straight Dealer in third, sailed by Graham Sunderland, Vita Heathcote, Tommy Hough and Ryan Orr. Top Corinthian team, and leading youth boat, went to Sumo, who also finished fourth overall and was sailed by Anthony Parke, Will Birchall, Will Taylor and Josie Meredith.
Thanks to the Royal London Yacht Club Race Officer Peter Taylor and his race team for running 6 competitive races in varying conditions and putting on an excellent event.