Hampton Sailing Club Regatta June 2021
Under a milky sky, and a gentle breeze oscillating from ENE, E and occasionally ESE, eighteen contestants took to the water for the 2021 Hampton SC Regatta. An easterly is always good news for less agile boats as upwind is fast(er) through the Garrick cut, and the run to the West is sustained by clever gybes and broad reaching opportunities. Nigel sent the Merlins to a J mark in Pink Floyd territory, which is where their windward mark remained. The rest of us contended with I mark and E or D. Much tactical thought downwind went into whether to sail the middle of the stream, risking the clubhouse wind shadow, or taking a longer route along the Surrey bank. Upwind it was Keystone Cops as we tacked and swerved, mostly trying to avoid each other rather than anybody else.
In the GP races Kevin Anderson propelled Red Rampage to first place in race 1, race 4 and race 5 guaranteeing first overall for the weekend. He was crewed by Maddie, and by Elise Bay on Sunday . John Hollands took Silver and George Bell Bronze. All the same, John had two firsts and George three seconds so it was fairly close.
Hywel Bowen-Perkins crewed by Sophie Penwarden, won three races, and came second in two thus cementing the Merlin competition. John and Livvy Bell sailing the new river boat ‘Grace’, which I have to admit, to the untrained eye looks identical to the previous boat, is nevertheless probably just as fast with a win, two seconds and two thirds. John Heath and Nicola Scadden came third, just adrift with eight points to count.
The Handicap class was interesting. Ben Peerless killed it with four firsts, which meant he got to discard one of his firsts. Tactically he used his forward position to cover relentlessly. I wanted to point out to him on several occasions that he was impeding the progress of the Honourable Sailing Secretary, but as they say ‘Rules is Rules’. In truth it was great to see him deploying the Laser with real skill. There isn’t another boat in the class at the moment that rides so well in medium to soft wind. May he enjoy his supremacy. Overall the Hon. Sec. came second and Brian Tweedie- Smith came third. Nigel Cooper in his Solo made mincemeat of the careless (Ben and me) in the third race as we went around the wrong leeward mark and had to run back. Ben still won though, just. I came third, just. It was a fun chase. It was sad but inevitable that Nigel only raced his Solo twice, being DO on Saturday and busy for the fifth race. I have a feeling that with Nigel and Ben sneaking up on me my days as a pot hunter are under threat. I will dust off the PY book again as any Sailing Sec. would of course.
We were privileged to witness both Chambers racing against each other again and it must be said that you can’t tell them apart for skill and tactical talent. They ended up with the same lowest scores and it came down to who had won the last race. For the technically minded Jane’s scores that counted were 1-2-1 and Phill got 1-1-2. Jane held on to Michaela Parker all week end as her crew. Phill went for a galaxy of stars to crew him with Lucy York, Elise Bay and Alexandra Parker. Ian Peerless and Sophie Peerless came third and Ellen Cooper crewed by Deirdre came fourth.
I would like to thank all those who love to sail but who are also called upon to do duties for the sake of everyone else at the Regatta. According to Duty Man eighteen members of the club served everybody else and contributed to the success of the Regatta. Instead of listing them all I am going to pick one that will symbolise the whole support effort. Ellen Cooper, thank you very much, and all those you represent. Phill calls you the Dutchess. I don’t know if that is a pun or he doesn’t know how to spell. Probably both.