Tuesday 7th May Race report.

After a number of cancellations, the first DBSC Tuesday race for the Twentyones took place on May 7th with 19 crew and all four boats taking part. While the wind in the bay was light, but constant in SE direction, there was little or no wind at the moorings due to the shelter of the wall with low tide having passed at 17.30 hrs.  However, the crews got rigged up and slowly but surely made their way to the wind line and hence to the starting area in a 5kts to 7 kts breeze. Naneen made use of a paddle to assist this manoeuvre while other practiced sculling with the rudder to achieve momentum.

Out on the course the OOD announced a running start using course J4 - Merrion, Middle, Boyd, Turning, Finish with orange line start. It was clearly evident from the start mark that the flood tide was running hard and the OOD confirmed that it was up to 2kts due to spring tide.

On the starting countdown Geraldine was early into the hut and came back down the line on starboard against the other 3 boats lining up to start. However, they got their timing wrong and crossed the line at the pin end just ahead of the gun resulting in being pinged as an individual recall. The strong flood tide made for a slow tack back to round the pin again to restart properly.

In the meantime, Naneen pipped the rest of the feet over the start line with all three having a clear start and were being carried by the tide, as much as by wind, towards Merrion. Garavogue was most inshore with Estelle just leading Naneen more to windward. Geraldine, having restarted, set a higher line from the pin end and, having the Cruiser and Shipman fleets ahead point the way to Merrion, was soon catching up on her fellow competitors. Rounding Merrion Estelle was in pole position closely followed by Geraldine who had just edged out Naneen by being the right of way inside boat approaching the mark, and Garavogue bringing up the rear. Estelle set a good pace in c7kts breeze out to Middle chased hard by Geraldine. Naneen seemed to lose some momentum after rounding Merrion, taking a low line which allowed Garavogue to pass to windward claiming 3rd place soon after.

This was the rounding sequence at Middle Mark where Estelle tacked immediately on the mark while Geraldine continued on a little bit before tacking and holding a line well to windward. Garavogue took a similar line to Geraldine while Naneen continued even further north before tacking back. They later claimed a secret plan which is in development mode with some tweaks to be ironed out.

Meanwhile Estelle, taking a lower line than Geraldine slowly diverged allowing Geraldine to take pole position. Some traffic ahead gave slight cause of concern but Geraldine passed clear to windward with slightly better speed before tacking on the lay line for a short distance to round Boyd. Estelle, having tacked slightly earlier, equally had a good line but remained in 2nd place. Garavogue was a close 3rd and Naneen was soon catching up on the fleet with a hotter angle to Boyd Mark.

On the reach back to Turning the fast-running flood tide was a significant factor with most boats staying quite high to allow for the cross tide to sweep them back down. Positions remain unchanged but Estelle was still chasing Geraldine hard. Coming around Turning the decision was to either tack back out into the tide or continue in towards the wall and risk losing the SE wind. Geraldine stayed on but eventually had to tack a little earlier that would have liked due to traffic. Estelle sailed in deeper before tacking. Geraldine soon tacked in again to match race Estelle, and upon tacking back again remained just ahead to hold her position. Estelle tacked inshore once more forcing Geraldine to do the same and both boats finally got over the line shortly after with no change to positions.  Garavogue and Naneen, having made ground on the leaders, also battled bravely against the strong tide to finish a little later.

Final result

1.     Geraldine

2.     Estelle

3.     Garavogue

4.     Naneen


The lighter winds facilitated a lovely sailing experience for the newcomers to the fleet and picking up the morning after racing was achieved with grace and poise and just in time too before the light wind finally ran out as darkness approached.


Back ashore the usual après sail banter and post-mortems were had with many remaining on for refreshments as is customary.