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Yachting World Dayboat Week 2023 at Rock Sailing and Waterski Club

By David MacFarlane

Yachting World Dayboat Week 2023 at Rock © Fiona MacFarlane

To see all photos from Dayboat Week 2023 at Rock click here

After a gap of four years, Rock Sailing and Waterski Club welcomed back a highly competitive 24 boat fleet of Yachting World Dayboats for their 2023 Dayboat Week over the week of the 24th June.

Rock is a hugely popular venue for the DB’s and their families. When not sailing there are a host of land-based activities including magnificent walks and some challenging golf courses, but the main focus of the week is of course the racing!

The club laid a set of tidal moorings for the DB fleet along the beach so launching on arrival was a simple matter of driving your boat up to your allocated buoy, attaching it to your mooring and letting the incoming tide float it off. There was the added advantage that at low tide competitors could walk across the beach and tweak their boats!

When the fleet were all moored up, the DB’s made a very attractive sight with their brightly coloured hulls.

On Saturday the day was spent scrutineering and launching, with an early evening welcome reception and race briefing by the PRO followed by a delicious club supper.

Due to the shifting sandbanks it was not possible to run races in the area between the Club and Padstow so instead all racing took place in the main Camel Estuary on the western side of Daymer Bay.

For the first day’s racing on Sunday the fleet encountered a gusty force 4-5 westerly and sailed a traditional triangle/sausage course. Michael Hewitt & Steve Creasy (DB678) won the pin end at the start, picked up an early favourable shift, and sailed a masterly race to lead from start to finish. Behind them there was a major tussle between Colin Blewett & Francis Fox (DB647) and Nigel & Isabelle Russell (DB614). At the beginning of the last triangle Colin & Francis were holding off the Russells only to brush the penultimate mark. The resulting penalty turn allowed Nigel & Isabelle to take 2nd place overall.

Yachting World Dayboat Week 2023 at Rock – photo © Fiona MacFarlane

Traditionally, the Opportunity race is run after the first race. This gives crews, ladies and cadets the chance to take the helm and race for three separate trophies. Sadly, the conditions were considered too strong to run the race this year.

On Monday there were two back-to-back points races around a trapezoid course.

The wind strength was only marginally less than Sunday.

In the first race Tim Wilcock & Nigel Trent (DB664) established a small lead. Behind them there was a battle between Nigel & Isabelle and Jack Young & Ellie Aneiros (DB657). Both these boats hunted down the leader and by the finish Nigel & Isabelle were overlapped with Tim and Nigel, but DB664 just held on to take the win.

In the second race of the day, newcomers to DB Week Richard & Laura Lewis (DB618), were the initial leaders only to be overtaken by Alan & Bob Davis (DB641). Alan & Bob managed to hold onto the lead for two laps until Jack & Ellie took advantage of a windshift to take the win.

After a poor start, Nigel & Isabelle staged a superb recovery to sail through most of the fleet and finish in 4th place.

Yachting World Dayboat Week 2023 at Rock – photo © Fiona MacFarlane

So, after three Points races the championship could not be closer with Nigel & Isabelle, Jack & Ellie and Michael & Steve all scoring 4 points.

Monday night is traditionally sea shanty night, and as in previous years, this was expertly led by Steve Davies of Gravesend SC and attended by many.

On Tuesday the fleet took a break from Points racing and focused on the one-off long-distance race. The PRO successfully negotiated with the harbour master to allow the fleet to race up the estuary towards Wadebridge. After a short beat into a force 4-5 SW, the 10 boat fleet enjoyed a fabulous 1.5 mile surfing reach/run up to a turning mark. Peter Hewett & Chris Lockett (DB669) won the start and led for most of the race only to be finally caught on the long second beat by Simon Veysey & Bruce Garrett (DB651) demonstrating their heavy weather skills.

Huge credit goes to Richard & Laura who managed to stay with the heavier crews to win the prize for first mixed crew.

For Wednesday’s Points race the wind was once again force 4-5 and the PRO elected to set a Windward/ Leeward course with a spreader and gate marks. Colin Blewett & Francis Fox (DB647), a previous DB Week champion at Rock, read the local tidal conditions perfectly by starting at the slightly unfavoured committee boat end of the line, quickly tacking onto port and then sailing all the way to the cliffs, where there was some favourable tide, before tacking onto starboard and laying the windward mark. However, as the race progressed Nigel & Isabelle overtook them and proceeded to lead for the next two laps only to have to take a penalty on the last leg dropping them back to 4th behind Colin & Francis, Alan & Bob and Tim & Nigel.

With one race to go it was all to play for with the 3 leading boats all on 8 points.

However, before battle commenced on the racecourse there was the important job of crowning the winners of the Quiz night. By tradition the winners of the previous year are required to set the questions for the following year. For some teams, this acts as a disincentive to go all out and win!

The final points race on Thursday was sailed in the most sublime conditions. The wind switched into the North bring some gentle rollers into the estuary, the sun shone and the wind moderated to force 3-4.

The PRO set a triangle /sausage course with the opening beat due north into the tide.

Richard & Laura sailed a great first beat to lead at the first mark. But the leading protagonists were all close behind and a titanic battle developed with the lead and therefore the overall winner changing hands constantly. Eventually Jack & Ellie worked their way to the front of the fleet and went on to win the race and with it the title of Champion Dayboat. Their win made the long journey over from Dublin well worthwhile, and would also have made Jack’s grandfather, the late Don Young who built their boat very proud indeed.

Jack Young & Ellie Aneiros win Yachting World Dayboat Week 2023 at Rock – photo © Fiona MacFarlane

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1657Papa IIJack YoungEllie AneirosRoyal Cork Yacht Club‑9315110
2641LuckyAlan DavisBob DavisWeston SC/Poole YC4‑822412
3614CasspianNigel RussellIsabelle RussellBosham Sailing Club2244‑612
4647AliceColin BlewettFrancis FoxPoole Yacht Club3461‑914
5678GroovieMichael HewittSteve CreasyRYA1‑1737718
6669MerlinPeter HewittChris LockettPoole Yacht Club557‑8219
7664TiGerTim WilcockNigel TrentBosham Sailing Club‑8183820
8618Vis VitaeRichard LewisLaura LewisBosham Sailing Club7‑1156321
9597Yellow PerilDavid MacfarlaneAlison GarrettBosham Sailing Club‑12710101037
10673IcarusMark StantonShirley StantonBosham Sailing Club669(DNC)DNC46
11654PapaJim ProwerJane RobertsBosham Sailing Club‑141012131146
12651AnnabelleSimon VeyseyBruce GarrettBosham Sailing Club119(RET)RET550
13675AuroraSteve WilsonAnnette WilsonPoole Yacht Club1314149(DNC)50
14674Liquid LuckBarry ColgateJan ColgatBosham Sailing Club‑161313141454
15565AvocetTim ParkinsonDiana ParkinsonThornbury Sailing Club‑171615111355
16650HullabalooSue ClaytonHoward ClaytonPoole Yacht Club18121115(DNC)56
17572AttilaDave AllenJohn EverettThornbury Sailing Club‑221818121260
18660WidgeonPenny DaviesSteve DaviesGravesend Sailing Club15191918(DNC)71
19533Proud MaryPaul BowdenJulie BowdenThornbury Sailing Club19‑2320161772
20542KiwiStuart BealeLouise BrownThornbury Sailing Club2120‑22171674
21655EmmaChris SmithKaren SmithGravesend Sailing Club20‑2221191575
22475FloPaul DewingKatie PrenticeBosham Sailing Club(DNC)1516DNCDNC81
23653MojoAlastair SeatonJacqui SeatonBosham Sailing Club10(DNC)DNCDNCDNC85
24640DaisyMark RossSue RossBosham Sailing Club(DNC)2117DNCDNC88

To see the article as published in YachtsandYachting please see here