MAIDENHEAD JUNIORS AT BLACKSWAN TRI-CLUB TEAM RACING

On Saturday 11th  of July Team Maidenhead took on 2 Teams each from both the Black Swan Sailing Club and Goring Sailing Club, in a Junior Team Sailing Race.

Team racing as the name suggests means that the finishing points for the whole team count.  In this type of racing the object is really to ensure that the opposition team fill the last 2 positions.

The team sailed 3 Picos in each round robin series of races against 3 other Picos from each of the other 4 Teams.  At the end of each race the teams swapped to another set of 3 Picos, so at the end of the day each Team had sailed each set of boats. One point was awarded to the race winner, 2 to 2nd place and so on.  The team with the lower score won that race.

There was 3 minutes between each race, so the gun on the first race could be the start of the 3 minute countdown on the next race.  This meant that there were always 12 boats on the water and the Team Managers had to ensure that helms and crews got into the correct boats and on to the course in time.  A full series of ten races was sailed in an hour and a half with each team getting four starts.

Two on-the-water Match Race Umpire boats patrolled, one manned by volunteer Mark Hudson, trailing each race for instant Protest decisions.

The series was sailed in a steadily increasing SW wind on a serpentine course with two beats, a run and two reaches all within bellowing distance of the spectators lined up on the bank.

Team Maidenhead arrived at Black Swan without any Team sailing practice, having never sailed in Picos and some of the crews having never meet before. It was not surprising then that we lost the first race to the very strong Black Swan 1st Team.  Maidenhead settled after that and the performances steadily improved, lead by Chris Hudson’s example.  With every position counting towards the results each finish was cheered from the Team Maidenhead Parent Support Team.  To the surprise of the TMPST, TM won their remaining 3 fixtures. This meant that they came second overall.

After a brief pause to warm up, Individual races took place with Chris Hudson in the Gold Fleet in his Laser 4.7, Sophie Cutler in Silver Fleet in her Topper and Ed Nicholls also in the Silver Fleet in a borrowed Pico.

The Silver Fleets course was a shortened version of the Gold Fleet’s course and so when Sophie found herself in a barnstorming lead, without anyone to follow and an unfamiliar course headed off after the Gold Fleet on the wrong course.  However she managed to recover from being in the last third at the end of the first lap to storm back through the fleet in the second lap for a 3rd place finish.

Team Maidenhead had a thoroughly good time at the Black Swan Team Regatta and the Team Trophy is on view behind the Bar at the Club house (the one that looks like a big ‘2’, where most of the Team are too young to go and see.

Team Maidenhead helms and crews were:
Chris Hudson / Jack Tanner
Ed Nicholls / Anna Wheeler
Sophie Cutler / Molly Cutler (Race 1&2) Harry Wheeler (Race 3&4)

Team Manager Trevor Nicholls
Match Race Umpire Mark Hudson

We note that the RYA hold an open team event at Farmoor for Youth(U19) and Juniors(U16) in October.  Anyone who is interested in competing should let Mark Hudson 01628 634317 or Trevor Nichols know before August 31st.

Report and pictures by Malcolm Cutler

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© Maidenhead Sailing Club 2015