By agreement with the 11.3 Class and the Royal Thames, two Farr 40s, 2XL and Too Steamy, and the Ker-designed Roaring Meg joined in the racing for separate scoring under IRM.
There were five 11.3s competing and with the Farr 40s providing extra boat for boat competition it was a very hard fought series of 8 two lap windward-leeward races over the two days. Both Farr 40s had optimized their rating in IRM to be several points lower than in their one-design configuration and so this gave them a small rating advantage over the 11.3s that were all strictly in one-design trim.
The first day saw a light easterly wind that built to 10-12 knots at its peak before easing a bit again.
In the first race Robbie Cameron-Davies’ I-Site led the way early on among the 11.3s, but lost places to John Shepherd’s Fair Do’s V and Nick Hartshorn’s El Gringo up a shifty second beat. But the positions remained close and while Fair Do’s and El Gringo were battling down the last run, I-Site came in more from the left on starboard gybe and crossed just ahead of both of them before the finish. 2XL finished just in front of the 11.3 battle, but under IRM finished second to Roaring Meg with I-Site third.
The second race saw I-Site, helmed by Philip Crebbin with Dave Lenz doing tactics and trimming main, take the lead on the first run and hold it to the finish ahead of Fair Do’s and El Gringo. This was also the order in IRM except that Too Steamy just pipped El Gringo for third place. 2XL had a bad race that included doing an early penalty turn and later getting stuck on the windward mark cable to finish 8th a long way behind.
I-Site led at the first mark of the third race but did not do a quite good enough spinnaker set and both 2XL and El Gringo got through. Fair Do’s, helmed by John Greenland, then also got through I-Site up the next beat by going a bit further to the right. El Gringo held her lead in the 11.3s to win from Fair Do’s, but 2XL just beat them both to win the IRM race.
The fourth race saw El Gringo do a great port tack start from the pin end. With favourable tide now, the rest of the fleet started further towards the committee boat in order to head right, but a late shift left at the start gun increased El Gringo’s advantage and they crossed the fleet very easily. From there they stayed ahead to win comfortably. There was a lot of place changing behind. Anthony Richards’ Minnie the Moocher initially held second in the 11.3s with Michael Cover’s Blue Belle, helmed this first day by Brett Aarons, in third, but I-Site made a late gybe to the inside at the first leeward mark to grab second with all three boats overlapped. Minnie stayed right up the next beat to get back to third, which they held to the finish behind I-Site. El Gringo also won under IRM from 2XL and Roaring Meg.
At the end of the first day I-Site was just one point ahead of El Gringo in the 11.3s, with Fair Do’s two points further back. However in IRM El Gringo led by one point from both I-Site and 2XL who were level.
The second day started with a very light south-easterly that first veered through south to southwest before gradually backing more to the south, but remaining very fitful in strength. El Gringo led the 11.3s at the first mark in the first race, but I-Site got past on the run and rounded the leeward mark overlapped outside 2XL, but managing to keep clear air. Fair Do’s stayed to the right of El Gringo on the second beat and got through to become second 11.3 and this was held to the finish. 2XL won under IRM with I-Site second and Fair Do’s third.
A good pin end start established I-Site an early lead in the sixth race. 2XL got ahead for a while but I-Site regained the lead and eventually finished well clear. El Gringo was second 11.3 and Blue Belle, now helmed by owner Michael Cover, overtook Fair Do’s on the last run to come third. I-Site also won in IRM from 2XL and El Gringo.
I-Site repeated this for the seventh race and again finished well clear with Fair Do’s second and El Gringo third in the 11.3s. This was the same in IRM except that 2XL took third from El Gringo. I-Site’s three wins on the second day had now virtually decided the 11.3 regatta but everything was still to play for in IRM, with I-Site now two points ahead of 2XL, although on the race course they did not know this.
The eighth race saw El Gringo lead in the 11.3s, just behind 2XL with I-Site in third. At the first leeward mark El Gringo unfortunately got their jib jammed in the feeder and rather than damage it they decided to retire. So I-Site, the recently crowned 11.3 National Champion, went on to a fourth consecutive win in the 11.3s from Fair Do’s and Minnie and won comfortably overall. Fair Do’s’ second place, their sixth of the series, brought them up to second overall in the 11.3s, two points ahead of El Gringo who had to count the last race retirement as there were no discards.
Roaring Meg finished as she had started the previous day and won the IRM race from 2XL with I-Site third. So I-Site also won the IRM overall classification by one point from 2XL. El Gringo still held third in IRM, one point ahead of Fair Do’s with Roaring Meg a further point back in fifth.
|Fair Do's V||1106||2||2||2||4||2||4||2||2||20|
|Minnie the Moocher||1105||4||4||5||3||4||5||4||3||32|
|IRM Results – 20th -21 st September 2003|
|Fair Do's V||1106||1.048||4||2||3||7||3||7||2||5||33|
|Minnie The Moocher||1105||1.048||6||6||8||6||5||8||5||6||50|