R2 SSW Winter Series: The Penzance Pirate Race Report
The second round of the SSW Winter Series dawned with better than expected weather with southerly 10kn breeze and 10°C in the UK tropics of Penzance.
As usual there was a warm welcome from Penzance Sailing Club for the Pirate and Round 2 of the SSW Winter Series. 29 boats took to the water with a significant entry of 14 Lasers and 4 Enterprises.
There was discussion on who would shine in this event. Ben Flower in his Laser was fresh from victory at the NDYC Wrecker, whilst hot money was on the two Ospreys each featuring past National Champions, or if all went well, the Int. Canoe could be in the running.
The Race Officer set a good beat off the club line with a southerly swell running into the bay. The Mirror sailed by locals Sebi Schmidt and ‘Schmidt Junior’ was away on time and a lap ahead before the swarm of Lasers and Enterprises were away nearly 30 minutes later. Jer and Lloyd Williams of PSC were leading the rest in their Enterprise. At the end of the first hour of the 150 minute race, the Schmidt’s were still leading, but the Enterprises were heading a good chase. Ben Flower was leading the laser fleet but it was proving hard to catch the leading Enterprises. The two Solos were keeping the rest of the Laser fleet at bay but it was close. Chris Hampe in his Canoe was the final starter and he was looking fast but he seemingly had so much ground to make up in order to catch the slower boats.
All boats now racing, and we saw great speed from the pair of Ospreys sailed by local Colin Stephens & Mike Greig and Nemo & Simon Hawkes. The K1 sailed by Jeff Vander was closing up to the back of the leading pack, with Stacey Bray in the sole D-Zero following on.
With 1 hour left to run, the Williams’ Enterprise managed to take the lead with Ben Flower now in second place. Jeff Vander was also climbing through the fleet, getting himself into the top 10.
At 30 minutes to go, and the battle between the Enterprise of Jer Williams and Flower in the Laser was still close. The Ospreys, led by Colin Stephens, were closing them down too. Also in the mix was Jeff Vander in his K1, but the race team’s attention was on the very fast Canoe of Chris Hampe, who was scything through the fleet.
The final gun went at 1300 and the GPS tracking system was called into play to determine the results and confirm on the water positions. Chris Hampe took first in the International Canoe, with Jer and Lloyd Williams hanging on to second place in their Enterprise. Third was another local Colin Stephens and Mike Greig in their Osprey and 4th was Jeff Vander in a K1. Ben flower took 5th in a standard Laser.
Top speeds were unsurprisingly achieved by the International Canoe at 13.7kn and full results and speeds can be found on https://www.sailingsw.co.uk/sw-series
Photos from the event are on our Flickr page here...
The overall series standings.
After 2 rounds with no discards, Ben Flower from HISC leads with a 1st and 5th, whilst Stacy Bray in the D-Zero holds second place with a 6th and 7th placing. We now move on to the Christmas Cracker at Paignton on the 2nd December.
Big thanks to sponsors GJW Direct Insurance, Allen Sailing for event prizes, Admiral Trailers for Prize Draw Trailers and Gul Watersports for series prizes.
There will be the first Prize Draw for an Aluminium Launching Trolley after the Christmas Cracker in Paignton. All entries who raced will have been automatically entered. See https://www.sailingsw.co.uk/sw-series for full details.