Racing: Sigma Nationals
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Sigma 38 Championships 2007

Sigma Nationals 2007

With Alacrity had taken the double scoring offshore leg of this years event ( see Cowes Dinard  report) , so we had a bit to do on the inshore races.

Race 1 was abandoned due to the fluky winds , and the second race took us round the rocks  in St Malo. The first beat favoured the right hand side and With Alacrity and Light stormed ahead . With Alacrity overstood the following run allowing us into second. Light opted to 2 sail the reach  whilst we held on to the kite . It was soon obvious that the kite was right (sic) – but Light was faced with the dilemma that if she hoisted we would be all over her like a rash , so she opted to stick with white sails and protect her weather. We on the other hand could not afford to break through to lee because the tide would prevent us laying , so we sat in her dirt whilst With Alacrity stormed up and we all rounded the next mark overlapped.
 It was now a run to the finish , Light hoisted and we went through to weather and all were now faced with the the dilemma that attacking to windward was the logical next step , but that way lay rocks. Unfortunately  close behind , Persephone hit hard putting her out of the series and a cloud over the whole day .
Down by the finish With Alacrity got an inside overlap and looked like sailing us way past the lay to the finish – but a little puff allowed us to gybe inside her with inches to spare  and take the gun. Premier Cru meanwhile cannily kept in the tide and slipped inside Light to finish third.

Next day Race 3 was a windward leeward which we won by virtue of a lucky shift despite being well beaten off the start line .  Race 4 was a passage race to St Quay Portrieux and we appeared to have all but Premier Cru tied up after the start. Cap Frehel however had other ideas with an offshore wind under the cliffs and an onshore wind ½ mile off. The lead changed hands several times , but eventually we got ahead by heading under the cliffs ( how strange is that) – whilst poor old Premier Cru got completely stuck offshore.


The last days racing was in a gusty 20 knot offshore wind , giving big shifts and some exciting racing , noticeably Light pulling off a splendidly late spi drop in the windward leeward to get an inside overlap and take 2nd place by 2 inches!




This left the final race round Brehat  to Lezadrieux , and its one that none of us will forget in a hurry. With Alacrity took the first beat  but we overtook her on the hoist to begin the shy reach along the coast , Premier Cru carried out the mother of all broaches with her masthead perilously close to the water , and sensibly dropped . With Alacrity and ourselves slogged on until she drove over us whilst we lost it in a big way and dropped in turn.  Soon even With Alacrity had had enough , but  to her horror found she had twisted halyards and was bare headed for a while so we drove over the top again.

The last beat against  the tide into the rock bound Trieux river  was thrilling and beautiful in equal measure . We close  covered With Alacrity and used two dedicated navigators to avoid the rocks , and although  it was pretty challenging –we all got in without incident for a final splendid meal  .
Our thanks to the YC de Dinard – and especially Jean Louis Fabri  - for their support. The racing as ever was incredibly tight and the concept of a mixture of short course windward leeward and passage races brilliant fun. Our challenge is to find a venue where we can bring more of the fleet together to join in the fun in future years.




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