What a difference a season makes. In 2018 we enjoyed Mediterranean weather, flat blue water, and gentle breezes.
2019 brought moderate, fresh and often strong winds. Most days we had averages of 15 to 20 mph and regularly 25 with gusts over 30 mph. Above these heavier wind strengths, we couldn't race and lost 5 days as a consequence.
Three new boats joined the cruiser class in 2019. Gerard Dyson and Richard Delves bought a Sonata and named it STING. John and Sarah Peacock replaced OCEAN WHISPER with a Bavaria 37 called LAZY JACK and Mike and Tina Kaye sold FIRST FLING back to Larry Wride and bought and Elan 31 called DIVA (unfortunately we saw little of LAZY JACK racing this year.)
From the outset, in the WS Spring series, the other 2 new boats were at it, well matched, with DIVA pippin STING by 3 firsts to her 2 winning the 1963 Silver Tankard.
As the season progressed and the average wind speeds increased, the author (who would always favour lighter airs) quickly adapted to the heavier conditions and, with Fred and Mark P as regular crew, consistently found DIVA'S optimum rig and sail settings winning the Garland Cup for the Robson series and the 1945 Cup for the Victory series.
Out of the bay, Tina and I found ourselves in the hut early on 22 June for the start of the Dowsing Race, which this year had 3 entries. Unfortunately, CORNELIA C retired at Withernsea as one of Jeff's crew was taken ill (not sure if it was mal de mere or as a result of smelly stuff being pumped inboard from the heads!).
The same two competitors, as in 2018, pushed on windward in increasing winds from SSE. RIVAL MISCHIEF stood on inshore at the wind farms and ENIGMA pressed on out to sea. By the time ENIGMA rounded the Dowsing at 22.00 hours RIVAL MISCHIEF was only 30 minutes astern and well ahead on corrected time. Unfortunately for Crispin the wind eased for the downwind leg home, via the Canada Wreck Buoy, making ENIGMA easy winners of both the Dowsing Trophy and Dowsing mug.
Whilst Crispin and his crew were obviously disappointed at the eventual result, they luckily spotted a MOB close to the finishing line, and his timely rescue was most fortunate for the man involved. Naturally Crispin (who retired at this point) was awarded 2nd place. Strong winds caused all coastal races to be cancelled bar one AQUAHOLIC won the Filey race and the BC Corporation Cup with CORNELIA C 2nd. Similarly, the Aimee Race was a two-stage affair to SYC with an overnight stop. AQUAHOLIC won the Aimee trophy with HALO runners up.
Back in the bay, DIVA improved her luck and managed to win every race in the Herman series, (Commodore's Silver Dish), Summer series (1922 Victory Cup) and Autumn series (1937 Coronation Cup). Winning 12/12 races in all, making her winners of the BCC Challenge Cup for 1st overall for the season with STING winning the WB Hall Cup as runner up and AQUAHOLIC winning the WBH Oriole Cup in 3rd.
For the second year running Tina and I won the Chaos Shield for the most 1st places on aggregate, in all classes, this time on our new boat DIVA.
Mike Kaye Class Captain