BKA wins class 1 in the Vice Admirals Cup
Success for the British Keelboat Academy in the Vice Admirals Cup
This weekend (19-20 May) the Farr 45 team on Kolga and the J109 team on Yeoman of Wight, both competed in the Vice Admirals Cup.
For this three day event, the conditions were forecast to be light for the first two days then increasing for the last day. The races were held around East Bramble and consisted of seven windward/leeward courses followed by a round the cans style race.
The Farr 45 team started with some high wind training on Thursday evening to get everyone back into racing mode. With a team of 11 crew, they were lighter than the rest of the fleet which paid off in the light winds but struggled to keep up in the increasing wind.
On day one, the team had a number of great starts following some decisions by Tactician David Chapman to go for the higher wind areas over the race course, resulting in a first and two seconds for Kolga. After the first day, the team were leading the fleet overall.
Day two brought similar conditions, which again favoured the light weight team. After some very close racing with all six boats finishing within 30 seconds of each other, Kolga managed to extend their lead overall by seven points with a fourth and two firsts, despite having no wind instruments.
The final day saw the wind increasing to a force four from the north east. Again the Farr 45 team struggle in the freshening winds due to the lack of crew weight over the other boats. The team managed to hold one to a fifth in the first race but suffered with a ripped jib on the upwind leg and ripped spinnaker on the downwind leg, putting them into sixth place. Fortunately, due to the performance and the results from the first two days, Kolga managed to hold on to first place overall in Class 1.
Over the whole event, the team worked well in the changing conditions and brought everything together when things were against them.
Yeoman of Wight
The Vice Admiral’s Cup is the inshore selection event for the Brewin Dolphin Commodore’s Cup. Results from this event, combined with the Morgan Cup (the offshore race two weeks ago), will be used to help the RYA Selection Committee choose three teams of three boats for the GBR entry.
Final preparations for the event started on Thursday afternoon, with the collection of their brand new North mainsail.
They had an early start on Friday, managing to get three hours sailing in before the first start gun at 11.30. It was important to get some training in, with a few changes in who was on trim for the weekend and the new main to get used to. Unfortunately, the stitching on the main came undone at the tack, and the boltrope needed to be extended!
The wind was very light to begin with and quite shifty, between 6-12 knots for racing along Ryde bank. As they hoped, they did quite well in the light airs, posting a fifth in race one, three seconds off third place. They also placed fifth in race two, but then had a few issues for the last race of the day, finishing in 14th! Despite being over the line at go, they managed to make some big gains, only to get in a muddle with the Farr 45s who didn’t have a spreader mark at the top of the beat. Things got a bit tense…luckily there were no crashes! Straight after racing they took the new main to Jerry the sailmaker; he sorted the boltrope in plenty of time for the crew to head off for a Steak BBQ at the Royal Corinthian.
Going in to day two, they were looking to discard their 14th place. They had three races, in no more than 12 knots, racing up on the Hillhead Plateau. They finished with an 11th, 9th, and 7th, leaving them in 9th place overall at the end of day two. Having secured some sponsorship from Polaroid sunglasses, it was cool to spend the day living in HD! Back at UKSA they spent some time discussing future events, crew weights and further training needs.
Day three bought with it some fresh breeze from the NNW, averaging 16 knots with gusts of 18-20. They found that their boat handling was good, but that they will need to keep developing their trimming skills to be able to work through the gusts. They found themselves down the pack in the last day, with an 11th and 14th. The last race of the day had required some orienteering, with a long spreader reach and 3 runs. They were well in the pack making some gains during the first 2 runs, but then lost out on the final legs, crossing the finish line with Salvo. It was nice to finish at Seafarer’s Ale, just off Cowes; not far to go for parking at the Royal Yacht Squadron and getting a refreshing orange & lemonade!
Overall they finished in 11th place. With the final call as to who has made the cut for the Commodore’s Cup being announced, fingers crossed we will have proven ourselves worthy.