Aug 08 2008

Hurricanes Away at Canvey Open

Published by at 14:47 under Catamarans

Last weekend saw tough sailing conditions at the Canvey Hurricane Open, with gusts reaching 25 + kts and confused seas.

On the Friday, three TBYC boats were hoping to do 7 mile delivery trip to the Island SC but common sense prevailed as the Southerly gusting F6 winds battered the shoreline. Instead Pete, Wayne and myself decided it was perfect to take my old day boat out for a sail on the R. Crouch. With a ton of lead in her long keel, we blasted up wind with water everywhere, what fun.

Saturday morning in better sailing conditions, four Hurricanes left TBYC to race in the Open meeting at Canvey, first start @ 12.30pm. We left the beach in a SW, F4-5 and within 25 minutes arrived safely at Canvey. For those who don’t really know the Island Yacht Club, it’s based at the East end of Canvey on a mud flat, I mention this as I had forgot to raise my rudders and dagger boards on the way in to the slipway. It was when Wayne, my crew said that the sailors coming out to meet us were only up to their ankles (F**k**G Sh*t) It was mention later that nobody had seen a Hurricane do12 kts land yachting for a while.

Even before racing got underway there was casualties going to the start line with a couple of capsizes. The Blower/Abbas team from TBYC on their first Cat open and sailing in windy conditions decided enough was enough and retired to the bar. Twelve Hurricanes started after the ‘A’ Class start and dashed around the Up wind-Down wind course with plenty of action and close racing happening. The second and third races started back to back in even more gusting conditions taking its toll on the fleet. It was during the third race, Chris Hull, TBYC and Kevin Turner, IYC, had a T-Bone experience (No! not on the BBQ) but a typical Port / Starboard rule. True to the camaraderie in the fleet, both boats were quickly fixed by the crews, ready for racing the next day. Chris has now been re-named Buster! As in Buster Hull by Glenn Stoneham, who was watching from the bar. Good one mate.

Sunday started dull with light winds but this was soon to change to a SW F5-6 and gusting more. The ‘A’ Class boats decided the conditions were not suitable for them and retired and only nine Hurricanes started the first race on a similar course to Saturday but with the top spreader mark lowered, so as not beam reach in the windy conditions. This was where most of the capsizing and damage was happening with several boats retiring early making the final race a five horse race. Wayne and I were pleased with our 5th overall position in the regatta and the fact we didn’t crash and burn all weekend. The best experience for us was the sail back straight after the final race. Kite up and reaching off to the pier at spectacular speeds, we reckon we covered the four miles in 6 mins and back a on the beach from Canvey to Thorpe bay in less than 20 minutes, what a blast!

Well done to Kyle Stoneham and Pete Sherwin, Richard Abbas and Anthony Blower, Buster Hull and Mark Rowe for a good weekend and to my long suffering crew Wayne Miller, who I scare the Sh*t out-off most weekends.

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