9 November – Liga de Otoño 1
The first race of RCNPP Autumn series was sailed in blustery conditions, with a good strong breeze to take us around the course. As with all the RCNP regattas, we sail with the cruiser fleet, with a separate start. The right side was favoured on the beat in to Llenaire, and Wight Flyer arrived first, ahead of Speedy. Fuego rounded third, with Gecko on their heels. Steve and Philip held their lead down to El Pinar with fuego catching but not passing Speedy. The beat back was gruelling and wet. Fuego went right, following Wight Flyer, and made gains all the way to Avançada. Wight Flyer headed for the finish line, and took the win. Speedy had gone left, and when they came together, fuego was only ten lengths behind. They tried hard all the way to the finish, crossing tacks, but ran out of racetrack, and couldn’t pass, finishing ten seconds behind.
|1||ESP 3728||Wight Flyer||Stephen Parry / Philip Parry|
|2||ESP 3804||Speedy Gonzales||Michael Clough / Charles|
|3||GBR 3577||Fuego Fatuo||John Walker / Stephen Babbage|
30 November – Liga de Otoño 2
This regatta was moved from the previous week, which meant a few people couldn’t make it. Nevertheless we had seven boats racing. Stephen and John were sailing their new boat 4014 ffinally for the first time, having rigged it that morning. She’s an Ovington 10 from 2013, and we hoped she would be quick! fuego was to be sailed by Helena (winner of this year’s Women’s cup at the Copa del Rey) and Xisco, who race in J80s.
The course was sailed in an unusual westerly breeze, with a beat to a mark in the southwest of the bay, down to a mark off Formentor and then finishing at the start line. As the wind had shifted, the pin was highly favoured, and ffinally started with most of the fleet at that end. She proved to be fast, even though this was or first time sailing her. But the left side of the course wasn’t the best choice, so Wight Flyer reached the top mark first, followed by our own fuego fatuo. Helena was calling on her experience and sailing very fast. ffinally tacked on her bow and rounded the mark just ahead.
It was a tussle downwind towards the island of Formentor, with Wight Flyer gybing first and heading for the north shore. ffinally stayed a little less deep, which paid off as they spotted the mark first. It wasn’t in Formentor bay, but to the south of the far end. They rounded up and started to accelerate and take the lead. Wight Flyer spotted this a little later, and also rounded up, coming in hotter, and arriving at the mark a couple of lengths ahead. Both boats set up on the beat, staying on the north side, and fuego also followed. Speedy rounded fourth, and immediately tacked for the south shore and the left side of the course. The three leaders all stayed right and close together.
As they started to head out towards the finish, the lone Speedy appeared, moving along the south shore. The closer they got to the mark, the more it became clear that she was ahead too. The wind was shifting as we approached the mark, and ffinally was taking advantage of thems, slowly eating away at Wight Flyer. ffinally was able to point a little higher, and was closer on each tack. Nevertheless, Speedy crossed the line first as ffinally approached the line on port with Wight Flyer coming in on starboard. ffinally didn’t tack, instead ducking and coming up astern of Wight Flyer. She aimed for the middle of the line, whilst Wight Flyer continued before tacking and heading for the pin. But it wasn’t to be, ffinally finished a fraction ahead to take second. A really exciting and good result for her first race. fuego followed just after in fourth.
This also leaves the series in an interesting place, Speedy (Michael Clough has 3 points, Wight Flyer 4, and John and Stephen 5 – but in two different boats. All to play for in the last race on December 14.
Asked afterwards why they went for the left side on the final beat, Michael Clough just said “it was obvious you were going the wrong way” – nothing more. Food for thought…
|1||ESP 3804||Speedy Gonzales||Michael Clough / Douglas William Grove|
|2||GBR 4014||ffinally||John Walker / Stephen Babbage|
|3||ESP 3728||Wight Flyer||Stephen Parry / Philip Parry|
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