Big turn out for Kronenbourg Cup

Post date: 02-Sep-2013 14:22:12

After a busy training week with RYA Cadet Level 1 and 2 courses and adult ‘Start to Sail’ sessions, racing took place at Lackford Lake, on Sunday, for the St Edmundsbury Sailing & Canoeing Associations’ ‘Kronenbourg Cup’ in perfect sailing conditions.

With a record nineteen boats including six Lasers on the water, necessitating an extension to the normal start line, the fleet got away to a clean start in the first race. Jon Holmefjord (Laser) read the shifts perfectly and established a good lead around the first mark followed by Mike Steele (Laser) and new members Anthony Gunstone and son Felix sailing their Firefly.

On the second lap of the figure of eight course, Steele managed to find a narrow band of breeze up the shoreline and short tacked his way past Holmefjord, who was becalmed only a few metres further offshore. While the rest of the fleet struggled to get around the windward mark, Steele and Holmefjord were able to sail away and build up sufficient lead to give them line and handicap honours, with a first and second place respectively. Mike Senior (Laser) was next home but lost his third place on handicap to the Gunstones’ Firefly.

Further back, Rob Matthews and Commodore Kieran Adams had a good battle in their Comet Duos with Matthews coming out on top on this occasion. Kayleigh Arnold also did well to complete the course in her Topper, which she was racing for the first time.

The breeze had shifted slightly further to the North for the second race and the course was changed accordingly. This time it payed to start at the outer end of the line. Guy and Vicky Forkes judged this well and led the fleet around the first mark in their Lark closely pursued by Mike Senior (Laser) and the Gunstones (Firefly). Steele had a terrible first leg and was well down the fleet, leaving him plenty to do.

The leading three had a close tussle for the next two laps, while Steele managed to pull back some places. On the penultimate beat, Steele went to the right and picked up a big shift, which did not reach the boats in the middle of the course. This enabled him to finish first but still gave the handicap victory to the Gunstones, who had rapidly come to terms with the nuances of the lake on their first outing. Mike Senior (Laser) finished third with Geoff Morris, having an excellent race in his Solo, to finish fourth.

Imogen Collier, having recently completed her RYA level 2 course, also did extremely well helming a Topper with her father, Nick, relegated to crew.

With one point separating Steele’s Laser and the Gunstones’ Firefly, the outcome of the day’s trophy came down to the third and final 50 minute pursuit race. Imogen and Nick Collier led the way in the Topper, with the rest of the fleet starting over the next 15 minutes and the Lasers setting off last. Chris Seear in his Streaker soon took the lead, hotly pursued by the Gunstones’ Firefly. These positions were held for the first two laps, as the faster Lasers steadily worked their way up the fleet.

Steele eventually managed to overhaul the leading pair with five minutes to go but then very nearly lost the lead to the Gunstones’ Firefly in the closing seconds of the race, as he became becalmed at one of the turning marks between two patches of breeze.

Tim Perree (Laser) had a good race to finish third, with Chris Seear (Streaker) finishing fourth.

The fleet returned ashore for tea and cakes, which were being served as part of the Club’s popular ‘Cake by the Lake’ fund raiser in aid of Sail4Cancer.

Next week, sees the Young People Afloat’s regatta on Saturday and a continuation of SESCA’s Indian Summer series on Sunday.