Another successful weekend for Amazon as this time we joined the Haven series race from Harwich to Burnham with 19 starters and decided to race two-handed, just Ollie and myself. The race started in about 13 knots from the south-west which gave a beat start from the Harwich breakwater, with Amazon breaking away right from the gun and leading the fleet to the windward mark of Medusa, laying it perfectly in one with most of the fleet having to put in a short tack. We then flew the code zero on the 5 mile leg to the NE Gunfleet and then it was back on the wind all the way to Burnham, but now with a fair tide. With the wind dying near the entrance to the river we slowed, having to change down to our No.1 and then back to our No.2 just before the finish when the wind came back gusting to 20 knots. The light winds scuppered our chances of winning overall, with Russell Walker’s Baltic 37 Cosmic Dancer taking a well deserved win. We were second overall and the first two-handed boat – not a bad result for our first offshore two-handed race, maybe I will be doing a few more.
Photos taken by Danny Walton from ‘Four Glory’ (click on each photo to enlarge)
From the Crouch Yacht Club website: On Sunday morning 7th August the fleet were started off Bradwell Creek at 9.30 am to race for the Clare Cup back to Burnham. Amazon had joined the fleet at Bradwell late on Saturday to be able to take part in the return race. Seven boats started with Mantra again hitting the line first, but with Elixir getting her spinnaker up quickest. There was a fast run past Bench Head and Eagle before the fleet began to harden up before Knoll to head towards the Wallet. Amazon were flying their Code Zero, and carried it much longer than the rest of the fleet, but consequently had to sail much lower than the rhumb line, having a few problems taking it down. Elixir was leading the fleet at this point, with Amazon second, Scaramouche third, and Quencher fourth. On the beat, Amazon and Elixir crossed tacks several times, before Amazon took the lead. Elixir were still close to Amazon, but a navigational error which meant she had to go back to pass Whitaker 7 on the correct side, costing at least a minute, which meant Amazon got away. Encore got through Mantra and then through Quencher. The fleet then sailed up river to finish at the Crouch Yacht Club. Amazon took line honours, with Elixir second. Scaramouche finished third on the water, followed by Encore. The heavens then opened, and a large squall passed through, with thunder too, and Quencher, Mantra and Polaris III came through torrential rain to finish. When Mantra were approaching the line, the wind headed and went light, and her and Polaris III finished the race in calm conditions.
On corrected time, Amazon won the Clare Cup, with Scaramouche second, Elixir third, and Polaris III fourth. Vice Commodore Sail, Phillip Harbott presented the trophy to Tony Merewether in the club after sailing, with all crews relieved to be ashore having sailed in 30 knot gusts to get home.
At last I have the link to Jason’s really great video, which he has now published on YouTube, of the Sun Fast 3200 Amazon surfing down Heartbeat IV’s (Dufour 45) wake in this year’s Sunk Race to Holland in about 25 to 30 knots.
The first sequence is as Heartbeat IV comes through us to leeward (they started 10 minutes behind us) but just after they got through they did the most amazing broach and we then surfed through and it took another 20 minutes for them to pass us and that’s when the second sequence was taken, with us glued to their transom.
We surfed down Heartbeat IV’s wake for about 20 to 30 minutes and it really helped us to our class win and third overall for the Sunk Race. We covered the 90 miles from West Mersea to Ostend in just over 10 hours, unfortunately Oystercatcher XXVIII did it in 6 hours, but she is a 54 footer! The first 6 minutes are the best with lots of great shots of the new boat.
I decided to leave Amazon on a mooring at Mersea until the wind died down as it’s been 20 to 30 knots for the last four days. A great trip back on Thursday flying the code zero getting 8.5 knots in 14 knots of wind. A big thank you to all the crew who sailed over the weekend it was a great result for our first races offshore – Tony, Chuffy, Iona, Graham, Steve, David, Digger, Winge (for one day) and John (one day only).