On Sunday May 4 we held our Tulip Regatta, the only regatta we have where trophies are awarded to the first three places! Consequently, we attracted nine boats to compete, five of which were Lasers! Conditions were good, with a steady, light breeze and sunshine.
Race 1 set the tone with the Lasers of Will Cook, Andy Prior and Tom Bell jostling for position on the start line with Ros Nickols(Europe), Brian Cobb and Rebecca Slator(Vision), Joseph Twigg (Laser) and Martin Cook (Solo) all slotting in behind. Will got a good clean start and lead the fleet all the way to the finish. Tom and Andy exchanged places during the first beat, but eventually Andy slowly pulled out a lead and held on for second place with Tom coming in third. Further back Roz was trying hard to hang on to their heels but could not quite keep the slower Europe in touch when the wind eased and had to settle for fourth.
Race 2 saw Tom and Andy trade places in the early stages, whilst Will practised his capsize recovery and then took penalty turns for catching Andy’s mast with his when a gust went through. This allowed Roz to chase after the two leading Lasers and left Brian, Martin and Joseph to battle it out for the lower places. At the bell, Andy was first, Tom second and Roz third.
Race 3. Both Will and Tom needed to finish ahead of Andy to take the first prize and all three knew Roz was lying just behind and was ready to capitalise on any mistakes to pinch third place. Shelley (Laser) and James (Optmist) also decided to join in for the final race. Will and Tom made good clean starts whilst Andy got caught in mid fleet on port tack. Roz and Andy then broke clear of the pack and a tactical battle ensued as they chased down Tom and Will. Will overtook Tom and Andy finally began to shake off Roz and the race was well and truly all to play for. Andy gradually began to haul in Tom and finally squeezed by using all his years of experience to pass Tom round the final buoy, barely 50 meters from the finish line. Will crossed the line first Andy second and Tom in third, but with the wind dying Roz was still in contention as she fought to keep the gap small enough so as to win on handicap. Once the calculations had been verified Race 3 finished, Roz first, Will second and Andy third.
This meant the final points tally was:
Andy (6 points)
Will (7 points)
Roz (8 points)
Tom (9 points)
Congratulations to the winners and all who took part, it was particularly pleasing to see Shelley and James joining in the regatta and both sailing creditably well. Thanks also to OoD Sarah Prior and Safety boat helm Peter Quirke.