Stokes Bay TT 2021
The weather forecast had not been favourable and with travelling boats being greeted with a 50-knot storm on Friday night it was not a hopeful start to the weekend, However the bar was open for the first time in a long time and it didn’t take long for a sense of normality to resume.
Saturday morning arrived with abated winds, and a count of Hurricanes in the boat park revealed 7 crews eagerly rigging up amongst a further nearly 50 other cats
The wind being in the south west meant a short 5 minute sail to the start line and racing got underway almost on time… The course was big and well suited to the big cat fleet.
The Hurricanes started with the Nacra 20’s in about 8 knots of breeze that rapidly built to a perfect 12 knots of twin wire glamour! Its fair to say that all crews were rusty, with Doug Smith forgetting to clip on when going out on the wire and swimming as the first gun went, It was locals Adam Charlesworth and Richard Robinson who led to the first windward mark followed by Doug and Izzy Smith who had found their gears after a challenging start. With close racing on an even course that didn’t really favour either side of the beat (in, out the tide, flatter water and less wind, or out to more tide, wind and waves) by the final windward mark Doug and Izzy had established a comfortable lead followed by Richie Hanmore and Matt Kimber finding their pace then with Trevor Bawden and Tom Wass, Adam Charlesworth and Richard Robinson and Jack Tindale and Hugo Bull all pretty much rounding together, Sadly Jack and Hugo dropped their mast ending their regatta, Geoff Tindale and Lee Saunders followed behind and the new local boat of Paul Blackburn and Phil Burchell on 390
The breeze was up at about 10 knots on the start with Charlesworth and Robinson opting for a port flyer threading the needle between Nacra 20’s and the Hurricanes aiming for the flatter water and less tide inshore, whilst Geoff and Matt opted to bang the other corner and head out to where the wind was coming from, unfortunately for those who went down the middle were cursed with a massive hole which divided the fleet. Hanmore and Kimber who were now warming up spotted the breeze on Geoff and Lee and managed to sail out of the hole, Geoff and Lee were first to the windward mark with Adam and Richard close behind proving again that there was no favoured side to the beat, Hanmore and Kimber found some pace through the race converting their 3rd at the first windward mark to a first by the end with Geoff and Lee maintaining second Charlesworth and Robinson 3rd. With the breeze filling back in the race for the 2nd half of the fleet restarted with Doug and Izzy finishing 4th Paul and Phil 5th and Trev and Tom 6th
It was a light prestart with the ever looming large course presenting a windward mark that seemed almost unreachable, when the gun went the breeze was about 8 knots which rapidly built to 20 by the end of the first beat, with all crews hanging on in the ever building waves and breeze.. The boats were rocking with all crews absolutely flying downwind in the gusting 25 knots, proving that these boats are absolutely in their elements when its on! All crews fought hard with many changes of positions but ultimately it was the old pairing of Bawden and Wass who found their form to take their first bullet of the regatta closely followed by Hanmore and Kimber, then Charlesworth and Robinson, Smith and Smith, Tindell and Saunders and Blackburn and Burchell
The class proved their integrity with all exhausted sailors smiling from ear to ear helping each other pull their boats up the now steep and long shingle beach at low tide. That evening, the bar was full again and old friendships rekindled, crews swapping settings and laughing about all the things that had gone wrong that day having not really sailed for 2 years. Everyone is really looking forwards to the next open at Stone on the 24th of July then onto the Nationals in Thorpe Bay on the 21st – 23rd August.
event photos can be found here https://www.lottejohnson.com/stokes-bay-catamaran-open-2021
|370||Richie Hanmore||Matt Kimber||1|
|416||Doug Smith||Izzy Smith||2|
|428||Adam Charlesworth||Richard Robinson||3|
|481||Trevor Bawden||Tom Wass||4|
|456||Geoff Tindale||Lee Saunders||5|
|390||Paul Blackburn||Phil Burchell||6|
|229||Jack Tindale||Hugo Bull||7|