Report on Hickley Tiller – 27th May 2017

A blustery start with a nasty wind over tide sea following the start and the wind rising during the race.  At the start gusts to 16knots from an average 12knots but a reported from the mouth of the river gusts of 35knots towards the end of the race.

Not a perfect start line as a bight on the anchor line stopped the Committee Boat dropping back a further 20-30 feet and re-anchorage not a good choice in the sea conditions.

Two were over the line – 56 and 50 – but returned and rejoined the fleet.

50 retired due to mainsail gear failure and were escorted to shore.

31 retired due to a spinnaker recovery difficulty.

56 retired after a spectacular late capsize but impressive laser like recovery.  However lost radio bag, a casualty not retrieved by the Committee Boat heading to Station for finish (not practical to run a further short lap) and Valiant struggling in the conditions.

On the water finish order was 16, 53 and 75 but 16 retired post the race as passed finish line on the wrong side of marker buoy.

Committee boat welcomes Martin as crew who had a baptism of water but seemed to enjoy it.  Safety Boats struggled in probably the worst conditions ever (wind over tide seas) and waves breaking over both boats.

For an early season race taxing on all participants but good competitive sailing.

To note 53’s remarkable recovery as lost their way during the race but recovered well.

To conclude 53 followed by 75 as finishers

Once again Radios or Radios with flat  batteries were a problem.  Please would everyone make sure they have their Radio with them, on the correct channel and with the battery charged. This is not only about ease of communication but on windy days like this one it could just save your life.

Our thanks to Pam Readings for this week’s racing report and to the entire Race Committee for coping so well in such very difficult conditions.

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