16th FOX’S YACHT SALES BENETEAU OWNERS WEEKEND 2015
Met by the forecast sunshine and South Westerly breeze, a fleet of 22 Beneteau’s from 21ft to 48ft lined up for the FYS 16th Annual Beneteau Owners Regatta on the East Coast in aid of the RNLI. Amongst the fleet were several newcomers to the Fox’s Yachts Sales event.
A short start line, (set on time!), between “Fox 1” and the Harwich Town SC buoy, with 12-14 knots of breeze, the competitors were keen to get cracking at 11.00hrs, apart from the usual late arrivals.
A one-sided beat saw the First 31.7 “Silver Gull” closely chased by the Oceanis 48 “Indulgence”, power up to Pennyhole with some well sailed smaller boats hanging on to their coat tails. A long, foul tide, run to Outer Ridge gave those with waterline length a chance to stretch their legs. The smaller boats split off to the finish from Outer Ridge whilst the larger boats went round an extra loop including Pye End and Pennyhole.
The smaller boat fleet was led home by Chris Coggins in “Rattle and Hum” closely followed by the team on “Extra Old”. Special note should be made of the fleet within a fleet – The First 25’s had a great time racing together, with much place changing and all close to each other. The bigger boat fleet was led home by “Indulgence” with “Silver Gull” only 15 odd seconds behind and the First Class 10 “Shavonne” another minute or so further back.
At 13.40 the warning signal for the second race sounded with a slightly increased breeze of around 16-18knots. A competitive start with a short beam reach to Harwich Shelf made for a busy rounding before heading up the Stour. At this point the Thames Barge, “Melissa” decided to join in the fun. Surrounded by the fleet “Melissa” was luffed hard up the River Stour, which was not necessarily on their passage plan as they were trying to head up the Orwell!
Once again the smaller boats had a close race all the way back to the Royal Harwich and were led home by Derek and Jill on the First 310, “Extra Old”. The larger fleet had a longer course up the River Stour and by the time they were on the return trip the sea breeze had filled in. A fetch up to Shotley Spit in 25+ knots of breeze followed by a bit of a sleighride past Felixstowe and Levington gave all the crews massive grins. Line honours were hard fought and there were 3 boats overlapped at the finish, “Shavonne”, “Silver Gull” and “Indulgence” in that order, giving the Race Committee a bit of a headache.
After the timings for both races were entered into the complex (and secret) handicapping system the results were as follows:
White Sail under 33′ White Sail over 33′
1. Extra Old – First 310s 1. Shavonne – First Class 10
2. Enigma – First 211 2. Escapade – Oceanis 42cc
3. Rattle & Hum – First 300 Spirit 3. Silver Gull – First 31.7
4. Scorpio – First 21.7 4. Indulgence – Oceanis 48
5. Gemini – First 25s
The Beneteau Owners Weekend is a fun event with the main aim of raising funds for the RNLI, whose valuable work saves lives at sea. The event raised over £1200 for this good cause. With thanks to all our Sponsors and supporters.