RCYC Open Regatta Report
The seventeen J105s competing at the RCYC Open found themselves on a busy Alpha course sharing water and occasional mark-room with 8-metres and multiple IRC fleets. Crews had to be smart and provident to not only avoid costly mistakes within the tightly contested J105 fleet but also to avoid trouble with the larger boats on the course.
Saturday brought beautiful weather and a relatively steady 10-12 knots from the east. The direction made navigating the waves on port tack and port gybe challenging and concentration was critical. As is common from the east, the left (island) side of the course paid dividends throughout the day with stronger breeze and possibly a small current advantage. Despite lingering effects from the RCYC Summer Ball the previous night, Mandate used two strong starts to work left, build leads and hold on to start the day with two bullets (although Hey Jude provided a scare in the second race). In addition to Jude, Jamaica Me Crazy, Starcross and Thunderstruck all started the regatta well. In the third race Starcross won the pin and sailed strategically to take the lead around the first two marks. Although Mandate closed in and began a tight downwind chase to the finish, Starcross proved too quick and Hey Jude took advantage of the battle to pass Mandate to windward and grab second (and keep within striking distance going into Sunday). Sonic Boom, also with a good pin start, ended the day well with a fourth.
Sunday’s racing was delayed a couple hours due to light and changing winds but the race committee did well to get a good race off in an interesting westerly breeze. Although Hey Jude and Mandate started well at the pin the breeze took a hitch to the right from which Starcross was best positioned to take advantage and lead a pack around the top mark. On the second upwind the right again paid and this time Rounding Error jumped out ahead and sailed fast downwind to take the bullet. A tight finish saw Mandate maintain its consistency with a second followed by Endeavour, Sentient and Hey Jude.
So, in the end a younger-than-usual Mandate crew (credit to the lone veteran Graham bringing the beer) was able to retain the gold flag followed by Hey Jude and Starcross in second and third, respectively. Competitive, fun racing from the entire fleet!
Dirk McLaughlin - Team Mandate