The third weekend of Shoreham cooler racing was again unseasonably warm and the fleet sailed out in an uncomfortable swell to a course set well off-shore to ensure the best possible racing in a light shifty easterly.
The Laser of John Shelton won the start of the first race, on port at the pin, closely followed by the Merlin of William Warren and Mark Oakey. But it was the 505 of Peter Bennett and Andy Phillips that rounded the windward mark first followed by the Merlin’s of William and Mark, Ross Jackson crewed by Alex Jackson, and Sophie Mackley and James Warren. This pack were all overtaken on the downwind legs by the Cat of Mark Trott and Paul Wilcox and they subsequently sailed round the course on a piece of elastic, which belied the tricky light and shifty conditions on a sloppy swell. They finished in that order with William and Mark winning on handicap from Ross and Alex Jackson and Peter and Andy.
In the second race Ross and Alex got round the windward mark first from Sophie and James, and Peter and Andy. Ross and Alex won on handicap from Sophie and James, then the Merlin’s of Toni and Jamie Wright, closely followed by Alex Warren and Will Carroll helming only his third ever race. Rounding out the top five was Steve Piper and his daughter in their Wayfarer.
There is one more weekend to go in the cooler with all to play for. Rumour has it Alex Jackson will be back afloat at the back of the boat and Andy Dalby is stealing super-crew Will Carol, but will Ross be there to defend this weekends’ winning ways, and will the Wayfarers of Bill Whitney and Chas Hammond enter the fray?
A huge vote of thanks to race officer Steve Popple and his assistant David Cooper who ensured we had some great racing in tricky conditions, ably helped by the safety crew of Tony Curtis, John Cavell and Chas Hammond.