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Red Funnel Regatta

Tuesday, 17 April 2007
Event: Red Funnel Regatta Date: 6-8 April 07 Report by: Jeremy Fowke Day 1 Good Friday greeted the team of John Merricks, with some very light airs, making for some tricky sailing! After a delayed start, racing finally got under way with a good start to the races, we did well up the first half of the first beat, then unluckily we found ourselves being on the bad end of a shift, and with the light airs we found it hard to fight back into the race. Looking down the course on the final downwind leg we saw a classic Solent scene, one that you would expect to see during Cowes Week, with a mêlée of boats, as the smaller boats approached there finish line and our leeward mark. We did well out of this, catching back up with the other 45. Race two, was found to be harder, with the sea breeze that had filled in dying off, and an ever increase steering problem, we suffered badly, with our helm Collette Blair struggling in knowing how the boat felt, and also, finding it very heard to turn the wheel. Results for day one; Race 1- 19th Race 2 – 17th At the end of the day, we had some bad results, but had some positives to take away. Our starts were good, and in addition as a new crew who had never sallied together we knew that we suffered from a slight lack of communication on board the boat. Day 2 From reviewing racing the day before and talking about the good and bad points, most importantly fixing the steering problem, we felt confident. Day 3 Motoring out of the Hamble, the Solent greeted us with the sight of no wind! We quickly decided that we should head to Cowes for a late second breakfast! After a delay of almost 3 hours, at 1pm the race committee managed to get a final race under way. With a great start we had a fantastic first beat and were hanging on into to pack. With the loss of our crew boss, we went into the first leeward mark slightly under prepared as previous drops, but as a team we recovered from it having a good rounding. We felt that our tactics downwind weren’t as good as some other teams, we were generally sailing higher angles, and not tending to pick out a side of the course, just going straight down the middle, not working for us on this occasion. Results from day 3 Race 5 -20th On the whole as a team we felt that we had some great moments, or glory, being up there with the experienced teams. Although results didn’t go as well as we had hoped, we still feel, for a team who had never sailed together before it went well. We have learnt some our mistakes, and discussed how we are going to get around them next time, which at the end of the day is the most important thing! Members of the RYA Volvo Keelboat Programme, who sail aboard ‘John Merricks’ would like to thank everyone who support them, the Programme and most importantly the Boat which has been kindly loaned to them by the John Merricks Sailing trust.

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