Impala 28 Nationals & Tattinger Regatta
Photo Credit: Gareth Fudge www.boatographic.co.uk The Nationals
Being the past winners of the nationals we were looking forward to this year’s event. Sam and I left for Brixham on the Tuesday evening and sailed through the night in a lumpy sea arriving in Brixham on Wednesday lunchtime. After a good nights sleep and swim in the marina to check the boat over we were ready. Unfortunately one of our crew had to drop out at the last moment so a replacement was found in our 14yr old bowman.
14 Impalas lined up at this years event, slightly down from last year, but the standard was higher than ever with the Westcountry boats laying down the challenge for the Solent boats
The PRO had warned us about the shiftiness of Brixham bay but we were not prepared for the pot luck on the first beats. The first day saw plenty of general recalls with the PRO having to pull out the black flag.
We had a mixed bag of results and really struggled with speed and height, something we are not used to. After checking the boat over, we put the first day to bed with a result of 8,7,9 and put it down to bad luck and bad shifts.
Day 2 dawned with a light and shifty NW breeze (the worst direction in Brixham). We started the day with a reverse P course (no we hadn’t heard of it either) it is effectively a short beat with 2 reaches and a run.
The other 3 races were a bit of a blur. Again we struggled with height and speed and we still cannot work out what happened. We managed to get 7,7,9,7 so at least we had consistency!
The PRO set a 2hr postponement for the Monday morning, when the wind did come in it was light and shifty, we had a great first beat and run then on the final beat the wind shifted 90deg and it seemed impossible to get to the mark on both tacks?! The PRO abandoned and restarted with a new 10knot breeze. Again this died and gave a large split however some boats had finished and some were stuck on the hook finish. We roll gybed at the bottom mark and took 3 boats to take a 6th in the final race which left us 7th overall in the championship.
We were a little disheartened with the results and have had the sails tweaked all ready for our main focus of the year, Cowes week.
Taittinger regatta is one of the best events of the year with a huge entry of 185 boats this year was a bumper event.
We set off motoring upwind into 25 knots of breeze on the way to Yarmouth, with the GPS numbers on the rise and our time to arrival getting larger not smaller we were considering missing the party and heading back to Hamble. The wind died down and we made it in time.
Saturday morning started out with a light NW breeze and wall to wall sunshine. The race officer got us underway after a postponement. We had a poor start but made up all the places on the reach to lead around the second mark with a cross tide reach. Unfortunately with the sea breeze starting up the wind totally shut down for an hour which left us fighting for a zephyr of wind. Two boats broke off and made an advantage of the new SW wind, we ended up crossing the line in 3rd.
The pro got us away for the second race quickly again, with the new 10-15 knots we had a great race but only managed a 5th as the larger boats could stretch their legs a bit.
With the charity towers party that night we awoke to Sunday mornings AP with joy. The tide was flowing at 2.5-3 knots so the race officer waited until a 10 knots sea breeze had established. With only 3 legs it was a short race in a shifty sea breeze. We came in 3rd to finish the whole event 3rd overall.
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