With a moderate breeze blowing from the South West and clouds clearing from the sky there could hardly have been a better day for the finale of the ‘TO-BE-NAMED’ series. Inspired by the naming of the ‘Americas’ cup; the new Dee Cruiser summer race series would be named after that first winning boat.
After a group discussion in the car park overlooking the estuary, it was agreed to follow the same course as the Chris Weston Memorial Race down Caldy Curve on a port tack around D1A, sail close hauled towards D2 and then run downwind back to The Ark. The finish line was an imaginary one stretching from The Ark to the blue-and-white fishing boat. All buoys to be passed to port. With Carleton installed in The Ark as Race Officer we were sure to have accurate scores.
Just after 13:30, as cruisers were gathering near the start line, the Race Office gave a 1 minute warning. Wild Magic was just about to cross the line and had to pull up and do a U-turn. However, in the event that did not prevent her from being one of the first boats through the line. Wild Magic led the way down Caldy Curve with other boats well grouped behind. Lily Fox was running second followed by Inca, Baby Jane, Peggy Anne and Cordelia. However, by the time the buoys on Caldy Curve were reached Baby Jane had over taken Lily Fox. Unfortunately, she was hit by a strong gust of wind and pushed to the starboard side of one of the black buoys. Baby Jane was forced to do a U-turn back around Lily Fox which meant some close manoeuvring in gusty winds. Luckily, collisions were avoided and Lily Fox sailed on as one by one the other boats passed Baby Jane by. Poor Baby Jane was soon far back well out of sight as the rest of the flotilla pursued Wild Magic towards D1A.
The wind was sufficiently Southerly to allow boats a fair chance of a direct sail to D1A, but with the wind gusting and altering direction there was every chance boats that aimed too close to the buoy might be pushed to the wrong side and pass it to starboard. Soon Inca and Peggy Anne had pulled ahead of the pack in closer and closer pursuit of Wild Magic. Baby Jane was gathering pace and catching up on Lily Fox and Cordelia. The wind strengthened; and as boats heeled on a closed hauled starboard tack; all would depend on how closely boats could pass round D1A or whether they would miss the turn and need an extra tack.
Wild Magic cut it very close to D1A and passed so closely she hid the buoy from sight. Inca and Peggy Anne were still in close pursuit. However, Inca’s mainsail boom broke free and with sails flying, her skipper Tony sailing single-handed, lost valuable time as Inca U-turned into the wind to bring the sails back under control. Peggy Anne lost ground at D1A also and by the time she passed the buoy, Wild Magic was well ahead on course for D2. However, it looked like she would be forced by the strengthening SW wind to the wrong side and would need a tack.
Lily Fox and then Cordelia closely pursued by Baby Jane passed D1A. The wind was gusting strongly and constantly shifting position. At any one moment it look as if some boats would need an extra tack and then at another as if boats would be able to pass D2 to port without difficulty.
In the end Wild Magic, Baby Jane and Cordelia passed D2 easily but Peggy Anne, Lily Fox and Inca all needed extra tacks adding unwanted time and distance to their courses.
Once around D2 boats were on a run downwind and it felt like a totally different day . With the wind behind it was quite calm, boats sailed in a gentle rocking motion and there was the possibility of opening that flask…….. of tea!
Race Officer Carleton took accurate note of the times as boats passed. Here they are:
|Name of Boat
|Elapsed time (seconds)
|Corrected Time (seconds)
So, not only did Wild Magic pass the line first but she won with a handsome lead over her nearest rival who turned out to be Cordelia whose crew outperformed the rating for their boat which shows the value of not making U-turns in a sailing race.
Well done Wild Magic!
The Cruiser championship series now has a name and it’s the ‘Wild Magic Cup’.