Question: How do you cram all the different racing scenarios that you might encounter over a season into one day on the water?
Answer: Go 2K Team Racing at the Royal Southern…and they did!
‘2K’ is defined as two boat team racing in keel boats, with mixed gender crews and no spinnakers. Team racing provides short, high intensity races with lots of close quarter encounters between boats.
The RSrnYC held this new training event, organised by Dr Stephanie Merry, during this weekend, sailing in the Club’s Academy fleet of J/80s. Members were invited to form mixed gender crews of four people to take part. Each crew of four were paired at random with another crew of four, to form a two-boat team for the first round of racing. This was to ensure that the teams are well matched. Each two-boat team raced against the other teams in the first round and in the second round, there was a new set of random pairs.
Bruce Hebbert, who created 2K Team Racing and its new European circuit, started off the event with a talk about 2K tactics on the evening of Friday 1st April in the Club house. Boats then left the dock at 09.00 on Saturday 2nd April to participate in short, sharp races of around 15 minutes each, with regular changes of crew on the boats between races. Bruce and Nick Rusbridge were the on-water umpires and also provided lots of feedback between races.
Bruce later commented, “There was great race management with Simon and Georgie Hand, the mark layers Rosie and Cat were perfect, and the boat changing went like a dream.”
Steph Merry passed on her thanks to the Commodore Chris Mansfield for ferrying members between the J/80s and Barry and Ann Peddley for providing the Committee Boat. She also said that Henry Rochford, the new assistant to Tim Thubron in the Sailing Office, deserved a special mention for doing an excellent job of organising the boats, equipment and paperwork. Not bad for his first event!
Colin Hall who was running the luxurious hospitality boat for the teams commented:
“Young and old, experienced or not, the feedback I got was all very positive.”
The winning team, announced during post-race drinks at the bar, was captained by Phil Meakins with Ann Wilkinson, Richard Patrick and John Kickham (a newcomer to team racing) in his crew. In 2nd was Ian Armstrong, with a crew of novice team racers, Kate Sawbridge, Fiona Cotterill and Richard White. The “Commodore’s Cadets”, skippered by the Commodore’s son Ben Mansfield, came 3rd.
The ultimate aim of this training event is for a team or teams from the RSrnYC to participate in the 2K European Tour, which takes place in 11 different countries during 2016.