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Bristol Channel Spinlock IRC Championships and Shanghai Cup

by Andy Williams & Simon Britten 16 Jun 2022 14:00 UTC 7,8,21,22 May 2022
Bristol Channel Spinlock IRC Championships and Shanghai Cup © David Mumford

The Bristol Channel IRC Regional Championship is a recently formed meet for yachts racing under IRC in or near the Bristol Channel. Its formation has been strongly supported by the RORC IRC Office and Spinlock. This championship evolved from a popular open event, the Shanghai Cup, run by Cardiff Bay Yacht Club and after a long Covid-created layoff, finally got under way on the 7th of May, starting the two-weekend, two-centre event in Portishead.

A top effort from the marina staff and their locking team meant the outbound locks looked like a Jenga game but everyone got out safely and battle commenced.

Race 1 was a short windward-leeward to the Cockburn Buoy and saw the CBYC First 40.7 Silverback take line honours, but Portishead Cruising Club's J/109 Ctrl-J was only 10 seconds behind to take the win. CBYC's Corby 34, accurately named May Contain Nuts took third.

Race 2 was an eventful start with the line bias tempting a couple of boats to attempt to barge in at the leeward end of the line. With the strong tide and light airs the resulting raft ruined starts for a few yachts and resulted in some penalty turns for CBYC First 30.7 White Knight. Racing at Portishead is made more interesting by an early setting counter ebb. On the return leg it paid to stay in the strongest tide.

PCC J/92s Hullaballoo stayed clear of all the fun and posted a comfortable first with May Contain Nuts second and CBYC 707 Lola in third.

Race 3 started into the tide but with the wind dropping and no one managing to cross the line after 10 minutes the race committee made the sensible decision to abandon, and the fleet headed in for the second Jenga game of the day in the locks!

Day 2 began with a little more wind and Race 4 started in 8-10 knots heading out across the Shipping channel to Cockburn Buoy on a Windward leeward course. Ctrl-J led off the start line and held on for line honours, but PCC's J-80 J-Tee was second across the line and took the win on corrected, followed by RSYC Formula 28 Jiminy Cricket second and CBYC Elan 333 Wave Train third.

Race 5 was a more traditional windward leeward with a gate and Ctrl-J got away cleanly to lead all the way for line honours and the win from Jiminy Cricket second and PCC J/92s Hullaballoo third.

Race 6 Saw Silverback leading from Ctrl-j and PCC One tonner Hero over the line. Line honours and the win went to Silverback from Ctrl-J second and Joyride third.

The last race was a feeder race to Cardiff sponsored by Boatfolk, the marina team operating in both Cardiff and Portishead. This was won by Mercury.

The 21st/22nd May saw the fleet relocated to Cardiff Bay for the second round. More wind made for more excitement and Race 7 got away in 10-12knts with a windward-leeward course and an offset gate. A late start on Ctrl-J saw them playing catch up with Silverback, Hero and May contain Nuts as all four broke away from the pack.

Line honours and the win went to Silverback with Hero second and Ctrl-J third.

Race 8 used the same course but was a little less civilised at the start. Ctrl-j got away cleanly chased by Hero and Silverback. An extreme right-hand flyer put Hero in the lead at the second windward mark which they held for line honours, but the win went to Jiminy Cricket with Ctrl-J second and TSC Impala 28 Mercenary third.

Race 9 was around the cans and a surging tide meant a number of boats were over at the start and had to go back around. That led to Ctrl-j playing catch up but a good first beat and top reach put them back in the pack at the wing mark. Unfortunately, a Port/starboard incident with White Knight and Lola saw them retire from the race with damage.

Hero took line honours for second with Silverback first. The resulting protest saw Ctrl-J given average points for third with a DSQ for White Knight.

Day 2 of Weekend 2 saw very little wind and a depleted fleet. Race 10 started but eventually timed out with no finishers and the fleet were left to bob around and wait for a sea breeze that eventually came in.

Race 11 was started and completed with only five finishers, Silverback taking line honours for second from Joyride first.

The overall win went to Andy Williams and his team on Ctrl-J from Portishead Cruising Club, with Will Bolland on Silverback (CBYC) second.

The series was deemed a success and dates are planned for 2023 when it hoped that boats from Swansea, Milford, Falmouth and Pwllheli might be attracted.

Overall Results:

PosClassBoat nameSail NoHelmClubIRCR1B2B4R5R6BZR8R9R11Pts
1stJ/109Ctrl‑JGBR 9222LAndy WilliamsPortishead CC1.0031‑8‑61232RDGRDG15
2ndFirst 40.7SilverbackGBR 3407RWII BolandCardiff Bay YC1.0422‑12‑125119.51221.5
3rdFormula 28Jiminy CricketGBR 6539Jack NealeRSYC RTYC0.8885622751(RET)(RET)28
4thJ/92sJoyrideNED 8015Chris WatlerCardiff Bay YC0.9834‑7‑843767132
5thOne TonnerHeroGBR 1236Simon BrittenPortishead CC1.05413‑14‑14642720337
6thCorby 34May Contain NutsGBR 503RNuts SyndicateCardiff Bay YC1.04432‑1310‑124113538
7thHunter 707LoiaGBR 7122NChris BannerNeyland YC0.909‑103471094RDG(RET)40
8thHunter Impala 28MercenaryGBR 9544Rob HudsonThombury SC0.889‑1147116836(RET)45
9thJ/80J StarGBR 800Nick D MillerPortishead CC0.9566958.55‑12‑1210447.5
10thElan 333Wave TrainGBR 7765TSteven CooperCardiff Bay YC0.945‑1211312111089(RET)64
11thFirst 3.7White KnightGBR 8470RAlan ShaftCardiff Bay YC0.9859131013865(DSQ)(DNC)64
12thJ/92sHullabalooGBR 1929RHullabaloo SyndicatePortishead CC0.987141939(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC70
13thPrima 38AssassinGBR 8383RMatthew BundellPortishead CC1.04175118.513(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC78.5
14thJ/80JayTGBR 734Jonathan TuckerPortishead CC0.95881011414(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC81
15thJ/80Just in TimeGBR 8046RAndrew DeversonCardiff Bay YC0.956(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC119.55RET93.5
16thFirst 27MarauderGBR 5160LIan LaveryCardiff Bay YC1.033(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC13138DNC102

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