”Kevin and Debbie and their team on Animal, with a near-perfect scoreline in very challenging conditions, were worthy winners of the class and the overall AW Steven trophy,” commented Ross Lang, Commodore of the Royal Western Yacht Club, the organising club of the Pelle P Kip Regatta “With conditions at Kip being light and variable, getting the full schedule of 5 races away over the course of the weekend was a great result for the race committee.”
The RC35 fleet, racing in Round One of the 2019 RC35 Championship and RC35 Celtic Cup, started the last day of the Pelle P Kip Regatta with Debbie and Kevin Aiken’s Animal and Pat Kelly’s Storm II holding commanding positions at the head of the leader board. However, the next five boats, separated by only a handful of points, were locked in a battle for the remaining podium place.
Robin Young’s Jings led this group on 12 points, ahead of Jacob VII on 14 points, Blue Jay on 14.5 points, Banshee on 15 points and Triple Elf on 17.5.
The class had two races on Sunday, initially, the committee had to signal a short delay to allow the fickle winds to fill enough for a race, well at least the sun was out.
The wind filled in from the south and the race committee got a windward-leeward course set and the first race was off. With Jings and Jacob getting off to bad starts it was always going to be a long way back in this tight fleet. Banshee capitalised, grabbing third place and closing up the battle for the final podium position.
The final race started with the definite sensation that the wind was dying. The fleet split off the line with Animal, Blue Jay, Banshee and Triple Elf heading right into the main channel, greater tide and hopefully more wind. Jings, Jacob VII and Storm headed left and hopefully out the tide, who was correct?
The group on the right arrived at the windward mark a long way ahead. The first downwind leg was tricky with areas of pressure appearing and disappearing across the course, though Animal managed to extend their lead and continue their dominant weekend. They were followed round by Blue Jay, Banshee and Triple Elf. With a shortened course looking likely would there be any more place changes on the windward leg, which now seemed very long.
Again a split, Triple Elf and Jings going hard right, it looked like it was going to pay off, but when a new breeze filled in and lifted from the left, Blue Jay and Banshee had a good angle to the line finishing second and third behind Animal. This was enough for John Stanley-White’s Blue Jay to pip Banshee for third place on countback.
Round Two of the RC35 Champion and also the Celtic Cup takes place in a truly fabulous and unique location, Tarbert Loch Fyne. Organised by the Clyde Cruising Club, Scottish Series (See the Irish boats going to Scotland previewed here) takes place from the May 24th to 27th. Up to 10 races are planned with a mixture of windward/leeward and coastal races and a great social programme, it is always a great event.