Multi racing on the East Coast
Ten multis turned up on the River Crouch, ranging from the 40ft trimaran Strontium Dog, Andrew Fennell, to two 28ft Farriers, one local, one from Cowes. Four Dragonfly 920s, a Maldives 32, one Iroquois and the Raider 30 Roo from the Solent completed the fleet.
There was plenty of breeze for the first two days, with a few breakages and some missed marks of the course.
Strontium Dog had broken the bottom off her daggerboard on the way to Burnham and despite a gallant try at a solution by putting the board in upside down, an ominous cracking noise signalled the departure of the remains - and the departure of the boat back home to West Mersea.
Ropland Sharp’s Dragonfly 920 hybrid, Ischnura from Levington took the first race from another 920, Flying Dragon, messers Huish, Vinten and Whyte from the Essex Yacht Club on the Thames estuary. Nick Woods Burnham-based Farrier Origami was third.
After a highly successful get-to-know-you supper at the Crouch Yacht Club on Saturday night, Sunday’s race was more of the same - particularly in the case of Victor Brellisford’s Dragonfly 920 3D, which managed to miss out a buoy of the course for the second day and despite some impressive boat speed, counted a retirement once again.
Ben Goodland’s Roo won, followed by Flying Dragon and the decidedly cruising orientated Moyistar, Ian Cuthbertson’s Maldives catamaran.
The forecast promised an easier day for the final race, but there might have been some muzzy heads on some boats as the start wasn’t that hotly contested, with just four boats meeting the line with the gun.
Roo came in from a long way above the start line after problems with her roller furling on the fractional screecher, so it was left to Origami and 3D to make the initial running,
Messers Vinten, Whyte and Huish aboard the 920 Flying Dragon were up there initially, until they saw the fabric of their spinnaker make a graceful descent into the River Crouch, leaving just the tapes up the mast. . .
Roo soon used her immense power to sweep into the lead, but in the lighter patches of wind the screecher left the boat underpowered and at the first mark Origami’s white asymmetric was out in front. Five minutes later, however, Roo had rolled the screecher and hoisted the spinnaker and was out in front, where she was to stay for the rest of the race.
But only just.
After some creative interpretation of the course and having to sail 400m back to Sunken Buxey, Roo started the home stretch just a boat length ahead of 3D. It was a long fine reach to the line in a building breeze.
Soon Roo was touching 25 knots with her weather hull well clear of the water in the gusts. She accelerated away from 3D, to cross the line almost ten minutes in front, but thanks to earlier navigational mishaps, finished 4th on handicap. The race was won by Roland Sharp’s Dragonfly Ischnura, with 3D next and Origami - despite sailing the first beat without using their centreboard, having forgotten to lower it at the leeward mark - third.
Overall the result for three days of racing was:
1. Ischnura, Roland Sharp
2. Roo, Ben Goodland
3. Flying Dragon, Huish/Vinten/Whyte
The multihull participants were unanimous in their delight in the racing and in their thanks to the organisers for three days of excellent enjoyment. Hopefully this will be the start of an annual MOCRA class at Burnham Week in future years and perhaps more multi racing on the East Coast.