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The Crawford Pursuit Race Saturday Dec. 30th 2017

Just after the Christmas Festivities it was time to come back down to earth and think of the promised sailing event to close out the old year.  The Crawford Pursuit Race was promised as a free Fun Race to be followed by a race lunch at the clubhouse with a prize giving and a jolly get together before seeing in the New Year.

10 skippers originally entered for the event but after the forecast and resultant heavy winds on the Friday, only 6 boats actually took part in what turned out to be a fine venture with reasonable conditions.

True the visibility was not great but the wind, from the west, varying between about 8 knots up to about 18 knots with a rising tide just an hour after low water was quite warm with very little rain.

The slowest boat was called to the start line at 1000hrs with the other boats starting in due course at pre-arranged times according to their handicap to allow their varying speed potential giving them all  a chance to win.

The course set by the Race Officer, Mike Pearson, was one of the advertised courses pre-arranged to suit the wind direction and started with a beat from the start line over to Yachthaven Buoy before a downwind leg across the Sound over to F Buoy with a reach down to Dunstone Rock before a further Beat, this time over to St. Nicholas Buoy, before returning with the wind behind them, to the finish at Mountbatten Pier.

Visibility was not great for the watchers from Jenny Cliff and it was not easy to distinguish boats as they took the beat over to Yachthaven but as spinnakers were raised for the run to F Buoy we could see the red spinnaker of Matt Muddaford’s J24 Guffin taking a clear lead.  As they came closer we could see the order of boats showing Rob Boalch in Imelda lying second ahead of Ashley Crawford in Mischief. Andy Newcombe came next in Cornish Tyger and then Jos of Avon with Mike Nuttall just ahead of Aquaessence, helmed by James Elliott.

Guffin rounded first but was to lose ground during the beat and although she cleared St. Nicholas first she was hotly pursued by Cornish Tyger who almost caught her by the finish with only 4 seconds separating them. Mischief and Imelda were having a fine tussle towards the finish line with Mischief just taking third.    The first race finished with all boats having sailed well for a pretty close finish.

A short interval was allowed after the first race whilst handicaps were adjusted before the start of Race 2.  

Again it was only as the fleet returned to F Buoy on the second leg that places were clear to see as spinnakers stood out with their bold colours.

First to round F Buoy was Aquaessence who seemed to have trouble with her spinnaker as she approached Dunstone and she was unable for some time to turn onto the beat, ending up too shy of St. Nicholas for an easy beat.  Imelda was lying second with Jos of Avon third and Mischief fourth at this point.  Cornish Tyger had been held back at the start by almost a full leg but was closing up fast on Guffin. As boats beat back down to St.Nicholas for the last time, the wind which had freshened considerably, caused a few changes in places with some boats having to tack more than once.

Chris Compton, who worked out the start times had made a first class job of altering the handicaps as all boats turned on to the final leg remarkably close together with Cornish Tyger passing all but Imelda to come second again, this time by a measly 3 seconds. Aquaessence took third place ahead of Guffin with Mischief and Jos of Avon the last two. Only about 2 minutes from first to last. Great.

The boats were all welcomed back at the club for a truly festive get together and lunch with a few “bevvies.”

Plym Yacht Club

Crawford Pursuit Race Results

                                               Race 1            Wind Strength 8Knts – 17Knts - Race Officer Mike Pearson


                                                                                          10:48:29 - Guffin

                                                                                          10:48:33 - Tyger

                                                                                          10:50:46 - Mischief  

                                                                                          10:51:36 - Imelda

                                                                                          10:54:18 - Jos of Avon

                                                                                          10:54:34 – Aquaessence


                                               Race 2            Wind Strength 8Knts – 21Knts - Race Officer Mike Pearson

                                                                                          11:54:06 - Imelda

                                                                                          11:54:09 - Tyger

                                                                                          11:55:16 - Aquaessence

                                                                                          11:55:26 - Guffin

                                                                                          11:55:40 - Mischief

                                                                                          11:56:30 – Jos of Avon





                                                                                            2nd = Guffin

                                                                                            2nd = Imelda

                                                                                           4th     Mischief

                                                                                           5th     Aquaessence

                                                                                           6th      Jos of Avon   


CRAWFORD PURSUIT RACE Report &Results #top #top