Red Funnel Regatta 13-14 August 2022
The Etchells class gathered for the 2022 Red Funnel regatta organised by RLYC. 15 boats turned out, including visitors from the USA and AUS, despite a forecast for light airs before an unstable sea breeze each afternoon. The race officer Bob Milner, wisely chose to put the AP up for one hour, waiting for the sea breeze to fill. The boats went out early to practice. The sea breeze was stable just south of due east, and the windward mark was laid at around 120 all day. This left the prospect of the north channel in play for those going left up the beat, while in the centre of the course the adverse tide was expected to be weaker.
The first race got underway promptly at 1pm and the left of the beat paid off. This was a day for starting well and holding a lane as long as possible to make the lefthand side. The wind built before the start, only to drop slightly with seconds to go. With all the boats going well and pointing high this mode was easier said than done. Throughout the day boats were caught out by the adverse tide, and with relatively short beats there were several boats caught out under the lay line, or tacking late from the port approach. The first three races saw compressed lay lines and runs that were far shorter than the beats due to the tide, although wind with tide reduced the Solent chop. Chris Hampton on Tango was able to take the bullet.
The race committee moved to the south after race one and set a beat of 0.8nm, the wind having built. The threat of the South westerly sea breeze climbing up from Hurst to shut off the wind was ever present. The racing was again close, with several penalties after close mark roundings. Laurie Smith won, with Peter Duncan showing the benefits of consistency to lead with two second places. After a recall in race three, the fleet started cleanly for Peter to find the moment for a race win.
With a fourth race brought forward on Saturday based on a forecast of a late start on Sunday, the fleet were forced to look at the exciting transition part of winning tides, with the tide swinging more to be North to South, across the racecourse. The wind had built to produce consistent white horses. A single boat was caught by the U flag, and the fleet continued to race to the lefthand corner, taking the tide as a starboard lee bow. The fourth race was the closest, with all 14 boats between the windward mark and the spreader at one point. Laurie Smith was able to collect a second race win, but with no discard until five races sailed Peter Duncan on Oatmeal led overnight.
The race committee listened to the suggestion of the fleet to announce a 1 hour AP for Sunday morning.
Arriving at the dock on Sunday morning, the fleet found no wind. After a further delay the wind did fill in at the race area at around 1pm, but there was no wind in the Medina, and after a discussion with the fleet, and with any start needing to be before 3pm, the race committee flew N over A at 1.30.
The visitors were well rewarded, both finished on the podium.
- USA 1506 Oatmeal Peter Duncan/Andrew Palfrey/Mark Mandleblatt
- GBR 1502 Mila Lawrie Smith / Richard Parslow / Gonçalo Ribeiro / Ruairidh Scott
- AUS 1503 Tango Chris Hampton / Elliot Hanson / Sam Haines
Graham Vials with No Dramas GBR1409 was the first Corinthian boat and Pulse was the first Youth team.
The fleet has a busy September, with the Euros, the Pre-Worlds, culminating with the Worlds in Cowes 18-24 September being organized by the Royal Yacht Squadron.
Article – James Cunnison Photos – Harry Blowers