Guernsey Yacht Club (GYC) Late Summer Series
*Update* Sailor Martin Boyde has kindly given us a summary of the action so far in the Create Late Summer Series – and there’s all to play for!
Most of the Guernsey Yacht Club’s dinghy sailors spent the day of the 30th July looking out of office windows (the type that allow sunlight to flood into a room, not the type that give you access to Excel/Word etc) to see just how strong the wind was. The view of trees leaning sideways, the Little Roussel being a sea of white horses and the occasional dog flying past the window without its lead weren’t promising!
Having had the first race of the series cancelled due to extremely light winds, it looked as if the wind was going to be too strong for racing that week. Nevertheless, the Guernsey Yacht Club (GYC) possesses some hardy and brave (some may say foolish) sailors, who duly arrived at the yacht club after work and convinced themselves the wind was decreasing in strength and launched their boats: the Create Architects Late Summer Series had started! Out at sea it was fair to say the wind wasn’t decreasing! And the boats were now operating at the sailors’ and boats’ limits. The details of this race are a bit of a blur, a bump to your writer’s head during an early capsize and a focus on survival means some of the detail is lost. However, four boats finished the race, no boats required rescuing (excellent seamanship skills) and winners on the day were Adam Knight (class 6) in the faster boats class and Henrik Asplund in the not so fast boats (class 7).
For the second race of the series light winds had returned (don’t worry medium winds do exist and we get to that later), however there was just about enough wind to race. The sailors were sent from the start line below Castle Cornet, south towards a mark near Fermain, before heading north-east to a mark that was approximately two-thirds of the way to Herm, before returning to the Castle and another quick leg south and back to finish there. Completely different conditions to the first race saw Alistair Cleal and Tony Newman win in class 6 and Martin Boyde win in class 7.
We had ideal conditions for the third race of the series! Sunshine all day and a very pleasant wind, registering force 3 on the Beaufort scale (this is how Goldilocks must have felt on trying the porridge that was just right), encouraged lots of boats out for the biggest attendance of the series. 16 boats carrying 28 sailors travelled to the start line by the Castle. The sailors were initially sent north to a turning mark near the entrance to the QE2 Marina, and then south-east to a mark approximately a mile due east of the Castle. A couple of laps were then completed, making the most of the fine weather that evening. When all was said and done and the sailors had retired to the bar it emerged that Benn Garnham and Jamie Hamilton were victors in class 6 and Martin Boyde had emerged victorious in class 7.
So at the halfway point of the series there is all to play for, especially as the discard system will be about to kick in (discard system - if six races are completed then competitors only need count their four best results). Things are pretty tight in class 6: three boats are tied on points for the lead, being Adam Knight/Rob Waters, Benn Garnham/Jamie Hamilton, and Laurie Watson. Not to be ignored are Alistair Cleal/Tony Watson and Stuart/Carol Bloese who are snapping at their heels. In Class 7 Martin Boyde is currently leading the way, but Henrik Asplund, Charles Cooper, Stephen Wray and Brian Parkin will all be expecting to make a charge in the second half of the series.
The Series consists of seven races, two with a fast handicap and one with a slow handicap. Single hulled yachts and catamarans are eligible to enter the competition, which started in late July and will continue every Tuesday evening at 6.30pm until 28th September. The races take place in the Little Russell area, with the course varying depending on wind strength and tide.
This has been an exciting Series so far and we look forward to awarding prizes to the deserving winners on 3rd October 2013.