Hawkeye makes best of conditions
THE CONDITIONS may not have been the best, but don’t tell that to team Hawkeye.
Robert Povey and his men worked hard on the water yesterday, sailing away with the J24 class of the 2015 Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Sail Series.
Although the conditions were unusually light and fluky, the racing was intense in all classes, with most fighting it out for overall honours right to the bitter end.
The only exception was the J24 class, which saw Povey and his local hotshot team on Hawkeye walk away with the title with a race to spare.
Team Hawkeye who went into the final day’s racing with an impressive three wins and three second places, had a disastrous day at the onset.
They were slow off the start at the pin-end in the first race, and found themselves stuck on the wrong side of the beat. They ended that race in eighth place, while Neil Burke and team on Impulse, pulled through early leaders, Robbie Yearwood and team on Die Hard.
The start of the second J24 race of the day, in extremely light airs, produced the first individual recalls of the series, one of which was Hawkeye. She retired while the rest of the fleet struggled round the course.
The race to decide second overall became intense but it was the team on College Funds which managed to sail well in the light air to score their second win of the series.
“We are absolutely delighted, particularly at not having to sail the last race, which turned out to be long and windless. In the first race we had a poor start and decided to head right where we thought the pressure would come in,” Povey said after the win.
“Everyone who went left was on a headed course and was also in down pressure. We thought we had made a great decision but those on the inside got a huge left shift,” the winning skipper added.
“It was a gamble and we lost and there were no real passing lanes from there on. We also softened the rig in that race but we couldn’t point so well, which didn’t help matters.”
The remaining classes were sent on the same course, which took them once round Carlisle Bay and then on a long leg to Oistins along the south coast of the island. Many struggled in the light airs in the bay but thankfully there was more pressure on the south coast and all fleets managed to complete the course within the time limit.
In CSA Racing, Conviction, the local TP52 sailed by Paul Johnson, Clint Brooks and team, executed an impressive port-tack start and comfortably crossed the fleet and picked up a favourable shift on the approach to the windward mark.
They had a three-and-a-half minute lead at the first mark but unfortunately for team Conviction, they managed to find a windless hole on the leg out to sea and watched the fleet sail past, which didn’t help their cause.
They eventually finished second to Lancelot II from Southampton.
This team was also on form right from the start and managed to pull off another win to add to already impressive scoreline. They beat the TP52 by just one point to win the CSA Racing division. A delighted skipper Jackson didn’t hold back his joy.
“It all came down to whoever won today[yesterday], won overall, so we are delighted, particularly as we had a terrible start. We were late, and at the wrong end of the line, then had a poor beat. Luckily for us the wind died at the mark and then came in from the east just as we hoisted our kite. “
“Then on the south coast we gained a lot by taking the shifts inshore, and that was probably the biggest turning point in the race for us.”
The jubilant winner of the multihull/mixed dinghy/windsurfer fleet today was Andy Budgen on his foiling International Moth – Nano Project. Budgen, who hadn’t managed to finish a race until today, revelled in the light airs and within minutes of the start was halfway up the beat.
The overall winner of the fleet however, was the consistent Danny Paraviccino and his three-man team on Buccaroo, who scored a first and two thirds.
Charles Hunte, the lone windsurfer, retired today, but did enough to secure second overall in the series. (BA/PR)