K1 Class Associattion Open 2017 # 1
2nd - 3rd April 2017, starting at 10:00am
K1 Traveller Series – First Event in 2017
On April 2nd Teign Corinthian YC hosted the first of the K1 Traveller Series from their base on the
River Teign in South Devon. The day was always going to be tricky for both the race officer and
sailors alike. Beautiful blue skies and sunshine greeted the fleet of 11 boats, the only problem
being a lack of a settled breeze. It started the day coming as a westerly then veered to a NNW’ly
for the first race although a sea breeze started to materialise from the east just as boats were
Race Officer, Steve Pocock set a triangular course for all races and the safety boat crews had their
jobs cut out with regular mark moving to accommodate the shifting breeze.
So race one got away cleanly on a beat heading across the river to the windward mark set just off
the lee shore. Local sailor, Mike Commander was first to spot the wind shift coming off the start line
and immediately tacked on to port. Getting the shifts rights around the first mark proved to be
tricky, get it right and you were clear away, get it wrong and you could easily lose places. Ray
Potter and Dave Pritchett vied with each other around all three laps with local sailor Potter
eventually claiming second spot.
The race officer then had the unenviable task of guessing where the wind would come from next.
First move is to reposition the committee boat further to the north side of the river as the breezes
shifted to SSE’ly, set the line only to find its backed to ESE. Reset the line, start the 5min sequence
only to postpone again as the breeze backs further to the east and eventually settles down. And so
race 2 got underway with Jeff Vander Borght joining the party. Commander again nailed the
committee boat end of the line but missed the first shift. Half way up the beat Vander Borght and
Potter crossed Commander but then it was their turn to miss the shift and at the windward mark
Commander had a clear lead over the chasing pack. Commander steadily pulled away leaving the
rest to fight it out. Septuagenarian, Alf Hawksworth from Carsington came through to second while
Potter and Vander Borght couldn’t be separated on the finish line and ended equal third.
With the light sea breeze now settled in from the east, the race officer wasted no time getting the
third race underway. The incredibly congested start line saw some new faces come to the fore up
the first beat with Gordon Keyworth of Wimbleball rounding the windward mark in first place.
Commander did not actually need to sail race 3 and probably wished he’d headed back to the
shore as he rounded in the last two or three boats. By the wing mark all boats were bunched up as
the breeze was only just sufficient to counter the ebbing tide. Down the second reach, another
local boy, Brian Tucker, led his first K1 race in a borrowed boat and must have thought he was in
for a win. But Vander Borght headed left to clear the wind shadow of the chasing pack and by the
leeward mark had overtaken Tucker. The chasing pack were going even further left and
Commander somehow managed to establish an overlap on the whole fleet to play his get out of jail
card. Hardening up and powering through Tucker who is still learning the ropes of K1 sailing,
Commander came through to second, with Tucker third and another Wimbleball sailor, Colin Allen
Author: Michael Commander