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Parkstone Silver Tiller - Day 2 (16th June) - A Mid-fleet perspective!
So day 2 of the Parkstone Yacht Club Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller traded the lumpy seas of Bournemouth Bay and Olympic courses for bigger breezes, but mercifully (for the author at least) flatter water and ‘around the cans’, in the ‘Top Triangle’ of Poole Harbour. The 37 boats from day 1 were somewhat depleted through a combination of fatigue & breakage (mostly of crew ‘on’ and ‘off’ the water) but around 27 boats took to the water for day 2.
I won’t be able to comment too much on the action at the front of the fleet as we only rubbed shoulders with them in the first few minutes after the start, thereafter concentrating hard on keeping the wet bits wet and the dry bits dry in the double-digit positions of the fleet. So apologies in advance!
Race 1 was a 45 minute affair starting at 10:40 with average wind speeds of 21 knots from the south-west and a race max of 28 knots. A good sized beat to a moveable mark, in the open water of the top triangle, was followed by a broad reach (or run) past Brownsea Island depending upon which route you fancied to what looked like an elusive ‘Rebbecks’ race mark for the visitors. The front runners appeared (a long way off and) to be Team Pascoe & Saxton, and I saw the ‘blue flash over white’ of a Chris Jennings kite in the mix - apologies for lack of credit to others. For me it offered an opportunity to catch up a few hundred metres by going ‘as the crow flies’ after a distinctly average first leg. Next up, a beat back into the top triangle, with Brownsea providing a navigational obstruction and plentiful shifts towards ‘Wych’ race mark. Then a mile long two sail reach towards the Wareham Channel, though I did see a couple of very temporary spinnaker additions, followed by rapid deletions! A gybe around ‘Hutchins’ race mark offered a great 3 sail reach towards the moveable mark with spinnaker drop, gybe, and short sprint reach to finish. The results say Team Saxton first, Team Pascoe second, Andy Davis and Pippa Kilsby third, with 25 finishers.
Race 2, again 45 minutes long, started at 11:55 in a freshening breeze of 22 knots average and a race max of 29 knots. The moveable first mark apparently had not moved, but somehow seemed a lot further away than it did in the first race, or perhaps it was just me! We started well at the port end with Team Saxton and Mr Whitworth crewed by Kat Kimber, heading out on starboard searching for the lift at Brownsea and the lee bow in the Wych channel. By the time we arrived at windward mark our start mates had pushed off, though it was good to see Jon Gorringe and Andy Brewer had found their top batten (after a no show in the first race), and were up there in the mix. A couple of blasting 2 sail reaches followed, via ‘Piccadilly’ and ‘Morris Lane’ race marks, then a beat to ‘Balls lake’. At ‘Balls Lake’ race mark we turned left, hoisted, and headed towards ‘Rebbecks’. Unfortunately for us the fleet had a much better idea where it was by now, and most headed straight for it when gusts allowed. However an early drop and we managed to creep inside a few before a fetch to the finish. The results say Team Saxton first, Team Pascoe second, Jon Gorringe and Andy Brewer third, & 21 finishers.
Race 3 kicked off at 12:55 in yet more breeze, which averaged 23 knots and peaked at over 30 knots. Moveable race mark had definitely got further away no matter what anyone says. The honest answer is I can’t remember who we started with, but half way up the first beat we decided we had had enough fun for two days and peeled off the race course, only to have the mast part company with itself and the boat on the way home. The results say Jon Gorringe and Andy Brewer first, Team Pascoe second, Richard Whitworth and Kat Kimber third, & 13 finishers.
The 2019 Silver Tiller is once again sponsored by Craftinsure with Magic Marine as the clothing partner for the class. Weekend spot prizes were provided by Quaywest Chandlers and Exe Sails. Next up the Craftinsure Silver Tiller heads to Whitstable Yacht Club on 22 and 23 June.
Sailed: 3, Discards: 1, To count: 2, Entries: 37, Scoring system: Appendix A