Royal Temple Yacht Club: Racing season opening

A murky morning delayed the start of racing

The Royal Temple Yacht Club’s racing scene continues to go from strength to strength with new entrants joining each year. This year’s programme builds on a mix of short course, coastal and offshore races with the summer mini-regattas sitting either side of the annual Ramsgate Week international racing week in July. Racing is open to local and visiting yachts from UK and overseas. For more details see www.rtyc.com or www.ramsgateweek.com.

This year saw a busy off-season for owners and club officials alike with the club investing in, and deploying, new permanent race marks. The weekend of April 6-7 marked the start of the new season and there was a good turn-out of 15 IRC and Cruiser Class boats participating in the season opening Frostbite Cup and Spring Series 1.

Those who braved the Saturday trophy race were rewarded by a great windward leeward course making maximum use of the new club marks, including that of this year’s new Ramsgate Week Sponsors Euromarine Insurance.

John Barrett and Paul Woodward’s recently renamed Corby 36 ‘Stiletto’ ( formerly Mustang Sally) led the way in the IRC class, chased eagerly by the closely matched pairing of Mike and Jo Brand’s X-34 ‘Foxy’ and the Green and Thomas owned First 34.7 ‘Cobra’.

The Cruiser Class sailed a shorter course with Andy Ketteringham’s Miss Amelia overhauling Frank Barrett’s Elan 333 ‘Maverick’ to lead to the finish. In the IRC class it was Cobra who took their second Frostbite Cup in 3 years from Graham Eggleton’s Beneteau Figaro ‘Black Diamond’ and Miss Amelia which defied their new rating to come out on top out of the Cruisers.

The fleet began the following day with poor but improving visibility which necessitated a 30 minute delay to the race start to enable the officers to see the line. A sharp rain shower tested the crews and their wet weather gear during the pre-start sequences. A 10-15 knot breeze from the North-North-Easterly ensured the race provided a good shake-down of boats and crew after the winter lay-off.

The IRC Class 1 and 2 fleet made a clean start at 11am with a short fetch to the first mark. In Class 1 Peter Jackson’s Pronavia 42 ‘Assassin’ rounded first, followed by Stiletto with Andy and Sarah Beaumont-Hope’s Grand Soleil 43 ‘Principessa’ in close attendance. A gybe-set spinnaker run to the second mark ‘Icom’ saw the fleet separate in line with handicaps. A pair of fetches and reaches continued to see further fleet separation until Stiletto carried an asymmetric on the last reach to ‘Euromarine Insurance’ and made big gains on Assassin. It proved to be sufficient to negate Assassin’s line honours finish giving Stiletto the win on corrected time by three minutes, with Principessa in third around three minutes behind Assassin.

The battle at the head of Class 2 was again a near match race between Cobra and Foxy, but with a strong fleet of closely rated chase boats led by Richard Sparrow’s J-97 ‘Only Magic’ and the new Corby 29 ‘Sandstorm’ of Kym and Heather Leatt.

The cruiser division, this time on the same course as the IRC classes, were led with sufficient margin by Maverick from John and Michelle Stoneley’s Jeanneau 37 ‘Pippy’ to ensure they made up for their loss the previous day.

The overall IRC results saw the Class two leaders splitting the Class1 results with Foxy finishing runner up to Stiletto with Cobra in third ahead of Assassin in fourth.

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