Cannon fired to mark official start of Ramsgate Week races

Ramsgate mayor Trevor Shonk marks the start of Ramsgate Week Photo John Smiddy Smith

Ramsgate mayor Trevor Shonk officially opened Ramsgate Week today (July 23) by firing the cannon to signal the start of the yachts’ Inshore race.

Monday marked the first day of the Ramsgate Week Series and the IRC Spinlock East Coast Area Championships. Conditions were initially looking light during pre-race preparation with a warm southerly at 7-8kts. As the competitors made their way to the start areas the wind piped up on-cue to 10-12kts.

The cruisers were sent south from the club start line at the end of the Ramsgate Harbour entrance. A short reach into Pegwell Bay was followed by a beat along the Deal shoreline. A weak adverse tide made probing the shallows marginally profitable. The breeze steadily rose along this leg to around 16kts for the rounding of the Deal Dolphin mark.

Photo John Smiddy Smith

This made for a hairy spinnaker reach with some yachts electing not to hoist. Those that could profited nicely. Class 7 was won by Splash helmed by Ken Welch, Class 6 winner was Miss Amelia owned by Andy Ketteringham, a seasoned Ramsgate Week campaigner. Class 5 was a closely fought race with all five boats finishing within three minutes of each other. John and Michelle Stonely’s Pippy were first by 10 seconds.

The IRC classes started from a committee boat offshore. A long windward leeward course took the yachts from Ramsgate to Deal and then to Longnose buoy near Margate. The long legs suited some yachts better than others. Despite dragging a spinnaker, Kym and Heather Lyatt’s Kylla went on to win IRC 1. Andy Beaumont-Hope’s Principessa also showed excellent form in second place ahead of Richard Matthew’s Oystercatcher in third.

Photo John Smiddy Smith

Of the 17 strong IRC 2 fleet Mike Liwall and Pete Pearson’s Elan 333 Buccaneer came out on top with Matt and Roger Green’s Cobra in second, and John Barrett and Paul Woodward’s Slingback in third.

A competitors reception was held on the balcony of Ramsgate yacht club, sponsored by Copper Rivet Distillery, and everyone enjoyed a refreshing Dockyard Gin and tonic.