The Eric Dent Cup on Sunday 17 May saw a six strong BOD fleet come to the line for what was to be an eventful race in 12-15 knots. The wind was forecast to be westerly although at the time of the start it was more north westerly making course selection more tricky. The race committee erred on the side of the forecast, which proved to be the right choice later in the race, but it did make for a difficult reaching start line in the blustery conditions and a fair bit of jostling for position.
Alan Hicks in Storm Petrel found himself forced out at the committee boat end and in attempting to spin round caught the buoy/committee boat on his bow, while Chris Jordan, sailing Grethe on loan from Fi Brown, decided that discretion was the better part of valour when two boats gybed onto port in front of them and the opted to circle round rather than risk driving through a rapidly closing gap.
As the fleet streamed away Storm Petrel played and Grethe played catch up on the long close reach out to Beach, while up ahead Danny Fox in Egret, Dan Willett in Bidi and David Conlon in Endeavour were leading the pack.
What should have been a beat to Cocum was actually a close fetch making place changes tricky and it was followed by a dead run back to Beach. The next beat had a couple of big shifts allowing Grethe to get past Mark White in White Spirit and make ground on Storm Petrel.
On the long close reach in from Cocum to No 15 Grethe got past Storm Petrel and caught right up to David Conlon in Endeavour by the approach to No 15. Unfortunately on that final approach Endeavour was on starboard and port tack Grethe failed to give way so had to do their turns.
The boats then turned seaward again, sailing through the gate and reaching out to Big Buoy followed by a good beat to Inner Fisheries, and a reach back to 15 before they made the final turn for the finish line.
Unfortunately Bidi had failed to sail through the start line at the end of the first lap and was forced to retire, leaving Egret to take first place with Endeavour second and a delighted Chris and Gill Jordan, crewed by Geoff Gritton, in Grethe third. They were followed home by Storm Petrel, White Spirit and Trevor Stone in Ruff.
Thanks as always must go to Nick and Pam Readings for manning the committee and safety boat.
1st Egret – Finish Time15:41:37
2nd Endeavour – Finish Time15:42:59
3rd Grethe – Finish Time15:43:47
4th Storm Petrel – Finish Time15:45:43
5th White Spirit – Finish Time15:45:49
6th Ruff – Finish Time 15:49:14
Bidi – RTD