Brixham Gin 2-Stones Race
Published 10:57 on 26 Aug 2021
Following a disappointing postponement in July due to the low number of entries, it was an impressive fleet of 25 vessels that gathered close to the centre of Brixham Yacht Clubs marked race course for the now-annual 2-Stones Race kindly sponsored by Brixham Gin.
Entries were split into 2 fleets - IRC and SWYTC - encompassing a very wide range of sizes and even a gaff-rigged classic boat.
Race Officer Peter Lytton assessed the excellent weather conditions and set a course from the committee boat that would provide around 4-hours of competition. A windward mark was laid near the Brixham Harbour entrance and vessels were to round this (and all other marks) to port before heading off to the Eastern Blackstone off Dartmouth.
With the North Easterly tidal flow in place as the boats rounded Berry Head and a good South Westerly breeze, most boats opted to beat down to the Blackstone on the inshore passage past St. Mary's Bay, Man Sands and Scabbacombe before hoisting their spinnakers for the downwind leg down to the next rounding mark - the Ore Stone off Torquay - and no doubt a sad sight for those that had opted to white-sail based on earlier weather forecasts!
After Rounding the Ore Stone and avoiding the scallop farm, boats were confronted with a human-made obstacle representing these troubled times in the shape of the cruise ship "Arcadia" at anchor, with a decision to be taken whether to pass her astern or ahead. Those choosing the latter were forced to make a couple of tacks to achieve this and some chose to go VERY close before bearing away!
The final rounding mark was BYC 'A', adding a challenging penultimate target after more than three hours of sailing prior the finish between BYC 'Red' and Battery Point. In fact, this proved too challenging for some, who failed to read the Sailing Instructions fully and missed 'A' altogether, with one boat sacrificing a podium finish as a result. "Olympic" RIB was on hand to greet the competing boats as they returned to harbour, bearing gifts of Brixham Gin and Tonic courtesy of our wonderful sponsors.
After securing vessels and recovering energy following a cracking sail, crews were able to gather at the Yacht Club for some well-earned evening entertainment with an excellent live band, food in the form of Lee's yummy gourmet BBQ, and drinks in the "Bilges" with our sponsor's pop-up bar.
For those interested in the small matter of who came where in the race, full results can be found here.
In the IRC fleet, "Papillon II" (RTYC) completed the course in the quickest time by far, but despite a 24-minute margin on the water were beaten into second place by BYC's "Peanut" on handicap, with "Juno" (RTYC) securing third spot.
In the SWYTC category, it was a similar picture with "Perfect Match" taking line honours just ahead of "Oxygen" and "Gusto" on the water, but it was newcomers "Elgar" who emerged as winners, overcoming a 27-minute deficit to second placed "Gusto", with "Perfect Match" promoted to third after retirement of a boat that failed to sail the course correctly.
Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped on the day and to the organising committee for arranging such a great day on and off the water.
Last updated 16:27 on 28 October 2023