Saturday, 11th September, 2021

Three boats, all twin keeled, came to the line with a start through the
entrance early on Saturday morning. The forecast promised a moderate
westerly wind  between 12 and 18 knots with clearing skies and no
significant rain. The course set being Barry, North One Fathom,
Mackenzie, Lavernock Outfall and Sully Buoys, all left to port.  The
boats were expected to round the Outfall Buoy shortly before high
water on what was a fairly ‘big’ tide. This being the Old Sea Dogs
Race, the age of helmsman and crew above 50 years formed part of the
handicap calculations.
First away was Porthceri with a good start followed by Lesmar II and
Ripple.  A fast reach out to the North One Fathom under full sail
presented  with Porthceri and Ripple heading well west to allow for
the tide.  Lesmar II took a more direct course which allowed her to
round the buoy close to Porthceri. The short run up to the Mackenzie
Buoy was dead down wind with booming out of headsails required and a
brew of tea prepared on Lesmar II.  Porthceri re-established her lead
at the Mackenzie when the course to Outfall  Buoy became a windward
leg. The remaining flood tide meant that all three boats were slightly
up-channel of the buoy with all three making landfall close east of
Lavernock Point.  Lesmar II and Ripple short-tacked around the point
taking advantage of the slack water close inshore across Swanbridge
Bay towards Sully Island.  At this point a squall arrived from the
west with winds increasing to 20 knots in the gusts.  Porthceri and
Ripple chose to go outside the outside the island while Lesmar II took
advantage of the high water and smoother seas to go inside, Her  crew
expending much energy handling the genoa winches during many short
tacks.  By the Sully Buoy the squall had passed, the sun re-appeared
and sailing became more comfortable.  Porthceri maintained her lead
during the final beat back to Barry, finishing five minutes ahead of
Lesmar II followed  shortly by Ripple. Line honours and Top Dog
position taken by Lesmar II after handicap calculations, no doubt
assisted by having the highest helmsman/crew ages.  A very good day
out with fine conditions and a generally steady full-sail breeze
without significant sea running. Thanks to Brian, for attending at the
early hour to carry out the start duties and  later working out the
results, in his always efficient fashion.


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