Report by Oscar Chess
Tata Regatta 4th & 5th November 2017
Fireworks were going off early as the cream of the Welsh Osprey fleet arrived at Tata Steel Sailing Club to be met by fresh gusty conditions with a definite chill in the air.
With 8 Ospreys lined up on the slipway, new pairings DJ with Tenby’s Dan Jackson in the magnificent Jennifer and Oscar with David Downs in Jammy Dodger were the unknown quantities.
The spray was flying during the first three races, Jammy Dodger leading the first two to be passed by Jennifer as each race went on. DJ pulled a textbook port end flyer in race 3 but nearly handed the lead back when he was at the bow on the foredeck gathering in spinnaker part way up one beat, Dan helming from the wire. This start was also memorable for a post start bail out tack by Best Chance that nearly scuttled half the fleet but somehow all survived unscathed.
The Murrays in Supernova put in an impressive first race but just like a supernova it was to be short lived as the tiller snapped off on the last run leaving a relieved Mike to head straight to the security of the clubhouse. Pat and Paul in the (very) Pink Panther were showing some serious bursts of speed, holding back the late charges of Tenby Ted and Lucas. Jamie and Charlie flew around in the first race to third place but progressively applied the hand brake as the day went on, pointing 5 degrees lower in each race. Andrew and Rebecca had their moments but were suffering from a locking in incident the previous day and looking at the angle of their Windex they had a bit of swimming practise too. Jeff and Jack decided to give it a miss that day.
Sunday dawned clearer, colder and significantly windier and following a game of chicken on the slip with mains going up and down like fiddlers elbows DJ and Dan cut to the quick and headed out to give a masterclass of spinnaker reaching and gybing in the force 5 gusting 7 conditions.
After a postponement the wind suddenly dropped to a force 2 and the fleet was scrambled. Two further races saw DJ and Dan out front, Ted and Lucas finally got into gear and were in second place down the first few reaches when they spotted that the substantial jib tack shackle had sheared and was about to fail completely so headed in.
Oscar and David played bridesmaids once again and a late charge by Jaime and Charlie in 3rd place restored their confidence. Pat & Paul and Andrew & Rebecca also finished all five races demonstrating their staying power as the wind built back to a healthy force four.
Thanks to our race officer Alyson and all the helpers at Tata for making this an excellent event.
Overall the Osprey results were:-
1st DJ and Dan Jackson, Jennifer Mk 3, Tata Steel SC/Tenby SC
2nd Oscar and David Downs, Jammy Dodger Mk 4, Tata Steel SC
3rd Ted Lewis and Lucas Boiscevain, Best Chance Mk 4, Tenby SC
From left to right standing:- 1 David “Charlie” Charles, 2 Alex Shaw, 3 Richard Woffinden, 4 Mike Murray, 5 Pam Murray, 6 Rebecca Jenkins, 7 Ros Downs, 8 David Downs, 9 Oscar Chess, 10 Paul Bambridge, 11 Lisa Chess, 12 Pat Moore, 13 Ted Lewis, 14 Jaime Bohata, 15 Dan Jackson, 16 Andrew Jenkins.
Kneeling:- 17 Jeff Hughes, 18 Lucas Boissevain
1 & 14, Back Again Mk 4 Tenby SC/Mumbles;
2 & 3, All White Now Mk 3 Mumbles YC;
4 & 5, Supernova Mk 3 Tata SSC;
6&16, Cariad Y Mor Mk 4 Tata SSC;
7 & 8, Sappho Mk 2 and Just Pogo Mk 3 Tata SSC;
9 & 11, Jammy Dodger Mk 4 Tata SSC & Mumbles YC;
10 & 12, Pink Panther Mk 3 Tata SSC;
13 & 18, Best Chance Mk 4 Tenby SC;
15 & DJ, Jennifer Mk 3 Tenby SC;
17 & Jack, 1343 Mk 4 Tata SSC.