Well, after a postponement due to Mumbles having the highest winds in the UK on 10th August, the Pursuit Race eventually took place in glorious conditions on 25th August. Sailors (and race management team) were treated to blue skies, a flat sea and around 13 knots of wind – ideal conditions for the chase!
15 boats took place this year led off by, possibly, the oldest boat in the field, “Myhtos”, an Achilles 24 and, allegedly, the oldest combined age of the crew (if you exclude the boats with big crews) Paul Nicholson and Chris Osborne, hotly pursued by another Achilles 24 “Athene” crewed by Paul Knight and Emelye Trew.
An hour and 10 minutes later the fastest boat on the water, a Formula 18 catamaran helmed by Dave Charles, was the final boat to join the pursuit – and boy did he fly on some of the reaches!
The variety of boats on the water provided quite a spectacle especially when last year’s third placed sailor, Harry Pressdee, on an Aero7 was chasing down Independent Bear, a Corby 41.5.
The chase was keen with the lead changing frequently. However, once Oscar Chess and Will, on a Dart 18, took the lead, they looked invincible, quickly gaining and retaining a half leg lead over their nearest competitor. At the 15:00 finish Oscar and Will were the overall winners with Tim and Sue just holding off Colin and Alex, all Dart 18s, for 2nd place.
Harry Pressdee took the prize for 1st youth, finishing an impressive 5th overall and Independent Bear taking the honors for 1st cruiser.
The race was followed by the presentation in the BCYC clubhouse where sailors and volunteers were treated to a buffet and the chance to exchange tall tales.
This year’s event was very different to previous pursuit races. Thanks to some kind sponsorship there were cash prizes for the fleet winners. The race was also carried out in conjunction with Mumbles YC’s Gower Challenge regatta, with a race to Oxwich and back on the Saturday and Sunday’s pursuit results counting towards the competitors’ overall weekend ranking. The regatta winner was our very own Colin Jenkins ably supported by Alex and Chris.
Race officer, Alyson Nicholson said “Many thanks to all who helped in the success of this race: Karen and Guy on mark 1, Mike and Carl on mark 2, Mark and Carl on mark 3 with Anne and Martin joining me and doing a sterling job on the committee boat. And especially to sponsor for his kind support of this event”
A full list of the fleet and their final positions can be found at http://www.bcyc.co.uk/category/results/
You can see more photos from the whole weekend at: http://mumblesyachtclub.co.uk/?menu=photos&gallery=2019_08_26_gower_challenge_and_bcyc_pursuit