Storm Petrel, helmed by Alan Hicks and Jayne and Craig Bond, this weekend continued their drive towards BOD World domination by winning the Carstairs Cup from Mark White, Dick Stephens and Mark Wilby in White Spirit by just 42 seconds. Five boats came to the line on a blustery and overcast day which saw the wind constantly shifting 40 degrees plus as shower fronts rolled through.
The fleet started from the Bateman’s line on a beat upriver to No 15. Within a few moments of the start Tom Sargent’s Jumbo II had technical issues, the main was dropped and Tom was headed back to the mooring.
On the first lap, which then took the boats to Point Clear, Inner Fishery and back through the gate, White Spirit had the upper hand and led Danny Fox’s Egret and Storm Petrel into the second lap. Unfortunately Egret once again got in a muddle about how to pass through the gate between laps and when Craig Bond hailed them to advise them of their mistake, they decided to also head home leaving race leader White Spirit and Storm Petrel to fight it out with Mike Rees, Trevor Stone and Jim Bray’s Ruff in third place .
Ruff, who were sailing two up, manfully struggled on in the heavy airs but finally decided to call it quits and make for the bar.
The race then came down to a dog fight between White Spirit and Storm Petrel with White Spirit leading round Mersea Point and heading to the finish they decided to hang on on port into the ebb tide while Storm Petrel tacked to the shelter of the shore. White Spirit tacked back but Storm Petrel, being to leeward and with the advantage of a lee bow effect, came up to White Magic forcing her to tack back into the tide. It was to be the decisive move of the race and Storm Petrel came home to a narrow win and to claim the Carstairs Cup.
1. Storm Petrel – Alan Hicks
2. White Spirit – Mark White
Jumbo II – Tom Sargent
Ruff – Mike Rees/Trevor Stone/Jim Bray
Egret – Danny Fox