In Pursuit of Victory
Clevedon Sailing Club welcomed over fifteen members of the Clevedon Town Council to their annual Town Plate pursuit race last Saturday (16 July).
The event saw 10 sailors face odd conditions with an inconsistent force 3 (7-10 knots/8-12 mph) and a choppy sea in this 90 minute race.
In pursuit races, boats start according to their handicap, i.e. slow boats earlier, fast boats later, with the prospect of all boats finishing at the same time. However, this is generally unlikely due to conditions on the day and the skill of the sailors, therefore the boat leading the fleet at the end of the set time is the declared the winner.
After the starting gun, Grace Cherry (Topper) was the first to cross the start line after 3 minutes however she did not fare well up the beat in this class of boat with the strong incoming tide. Shortly after, Paul Sheldon (Laser Radial) and Stuart Turner (Laser) made a better start up the beat over taking Cherry by the second mark. At 23 minutes, the three Tasars (Martin & Ella Gibson, Benedict Whybrow & Jon Summers, Richard White & Sarah Hotchkiss) started the race although the Gibsons made a quick detour to pick up their jib pole after dropping it in a tack. Phil Isaac was the last boat to start but had a difficult task ahead of him after capsizing on the start line.
Positions remained fixed for the first lap however things started to change when the wind picked up and the Tasars over took the Lasers at the start of the second. Isaac also managed to pick off White & Hotchkiss and the trailing Lasers.
The third lap started with only 18 minutes of racing remaining and the Gibsons holding a big lead over the rest of the fleet. There was however stiff competition between the Phantom and Tasar (Whybrow & Summers) sailing hard for second place when the final horn sounded.
1st – Martin & Ella Gibson (Tasar)
2nd – Phil Isaac (Phantom)
3rd – Benedict Whybrow & Jon Summers (Tasar)
1st Cadet – Grace Cherry (Topper)
Thanks are owed to Jane Geldart, Chair of the Town Council, who presented the trophies alongside Sarah Hotchkiss (Commodore), as well as the Council for their continued support.