Whit Bank Holiday 2023

The forecast for the third bank holiday this month was unusually good. Fortunately, it seemed to be accurate on Saturday, with bright spells, and a warm wind from the west offering good planing conditions, it was another dose of champagne sailing conditions (not that some of the Friday evening revellers could perhaps face a drink!).

There was an excellent turnout of more than 40 boats for the Mark Ninnim memorial trophy, being raced over two races on Saturday. The shifty conditions mixed up the typical finishing positions for many, but meant there was close racing, with many positions changing. The extra long line needed for a single start led to the first general recall of the season in club racing.

Final results

Sunday’s wind was slow to fill in from the forecast NE but it appeared in time for racing only for it to be superseded by a southerly. The course was a straightforward windward leeward. There were various shifts throughout the start sequence, but soon after the last start the southerly and NE winds successfully opposed each other causing a massive calm patch for 10-15 minutes.

Finally the NE wind won, and the legs became reaches, but at least the boats were sailing again!

During lunch the wind held, then swung back to the south, which held until the fleets had started, then repeated the morning by dying! By the time the last boat finished the wind had reappeared from the NE.

The final race of the day followed on with the best winds of the day, and some good planing conditions.

In the F15s, Robbie D/Toggle watched their lead diminish in the first race as the fleet on the other side of the course were first to benefit from the wind filling in from the NE. They held on to win, but gear failure prevented further results. Andy/Ian won the other races, but with three results it was to be Ian/Lezliann than lead overnight.

The mixed conditions ended up with Mike/Jack in a Graduate, Phil/Oscar in a RS200 and Jack/Caroline in a RS400 each winning a race, but consistency by Chris/Evie in a RS200 gave them the overnight lead.

Dave/Lynn took three wins and the overnight lead in the GPs, with AJ/Sue 2nd.

In the slow handicap, Bean/Oliver dead heated on handicap with Tristan in the first race, but took another two wins to lead overnight.

Bank holiday Monday started like Sunday with few ripples on the water but half an hour before the start the NE wind filled enough of the bay for stand in OD Commodore Preston announced the committee boat was heading out.

There was a short delay to recover the port pin which was temporarily marking the location of a rogue commercial wheelie bin, but, with the wind having filled the bay, proceedings got underway, catching out a few stragglers.

Again, there were some large swings in wind direction, with places gained and lost, but the wind held to the end, and the lunch break, during which the wheelie bin was successfully recovered!

After lunch a line was set for a 2pm start only for the wind to fade and swing, and spin through numerous directions, so a postponement signalled, the line lifted, and the waiting began. After half an hour, and numerous boats heading ashore, racing was about to be abandoned when there was a hint of a sea breeze, so a new line set, the sequence started, then postponed moments before the first start due to the wind dying. There was one more attempt to start the final race, but to no avail.

In the F15s a win by Ian/Lezliann confirmed their 1st place winning the Scarness Cup, with Robbie D/Toggle 2nd.

Similarly Chris/Evie won the handicap race and secured their overnight lead to win the Wythop Trophy, with Phil/Oscar 2nd.

With 3 wins, Dave/Lynn couldn’t be beaten in the Graham Cup but they added another win to their collection, and AJ/Sue finished 2nd in the series.

It was the same story in the slow handicap, with overnight leaders Bean/Oliver taking another win and the series Reflection Trophy, with Tristan 2nd.

Final results

After racing there was a mysterious flypast of eight military helicopters, including 3/4 chinooks…