ISO Open - Essex YC (15th & 16th May)

ISO Roosting in Essex

Essex YC was the venue on 15th May. Overcast, light breeze and ten ISOs lining up for a spot of jousting round the cans. The mud flats disappeared with that warning speed.

An array of ISO sails of varying vintage crept out and assembled around the Committee Cat, Mauna Kea. The oldest sails with purple pockets, not so old ones with the black pockets, the now familiar transparency of the Hyde’s – and some new ones. Rooster sails arrived on the scene looking every bit the part, driven by Emsworth’s Mike Lillywhite and Mark Riddington. The main shape similar to the Hyde but with a stunning new jib style with a black section down the leach to the clew. Sail material is flexible without the characteristic crackle of mylar – and Rooster patches.


First start and the fleet got away cleanly, only to be called back  as the race was abandoned due to a 90 degree wind shift right on the gun.

Away again and a more even start for everyone. Locals Jonny Wells and George Chambers took the early lead with Rooster sailors getting used to the new cut. Further down the fleet Bad Fish, Yellow Peril and Cousin Trestec crossed bows several times looking for places.

Top mark and first view of the new Rooster kite. Different shade of red but other than that looked like an ISO kite, pulled like one so must be an ISO kite. Crew Mark subsequently reported that it flew like one too, so a good start all round – Rooster coming home to win Race 1.

2nd race and breeze falling away. The fleet headed off on starboard leaving locals George and Tim with Cousin Trestec buried at the back. They tacked off and found a lift. Back to top half of the fleet by the top mark. Good move. The fleet split down wind, some preferring in shore, others out towards the channel.  George edged into a respectable lead with Cousin Trestec in sight in the lighter conditions.

2nd lap and George still lead Cousin Trestec, now with a slightly wider lead on the fleet. Top mark and both gybed out to cross the starboard start pin. The leaders widened the gap  by the bottom mark. Then the beat.

George rounded on to starboard and headed off. Cousin Trestec made a short climb and then tacked off into the ebbing tide. Bit of speed and the next tack had reduced the gap. Across the line and George still leading, wind dropping away further against the strong tide. Cousin Trestec stalked the leader, edging to windward. George tacked off, CT carried on into the tide. Both came back – same distance. More stalking, bit of a climb – and George tacked off again. The mark was in sight. Quick glance over the shoulder, Yellow Peril just dropping the kite round the leeward mark with several others. Focus, lead is in sight.

Cousin Trestec continued up tide to the lay line, tacked and – got him ! Round the top mark, kite up and away, just in time to see a pressured George and Tim touch the mark and start their turns. Plain sailing as fast as the wind allowed all the way to the stronger tide in the channel, gybed and headed for the leeward mark. But George had recovered with the in shore route and was in sight. Too close to relax.

Round we went and head up to the line. Cover tacked George, through the line – and look back for the rest of the fleet. A telescopic result.

Sunday – and a lot more wind. A good blasting day awaited. Tinky Winky joined the fleet to play with a 49eR dagger board being tested in the slot.

A choppy start for Race 3 with Jonny and Bugs vying with Nick Veitch in Bad Fish and Serenity chasing the fleet. Rooster  and Tinky Winky worked their way through, testing sails and board, taking the lead at the first mark. Bowler and Harniman made a showing swapping places but finally putting Serenity and Bad Fish behind them at the line but still behind Jonny & Bugs in second, with Rooster take line honours by a margin.

Race 4 and still blowing nicely, testing conditions. The entertainment started early with missed toe straps and a splash for one boat… The now usual suspects made off into the lead, Jonny and Bugs chased around the course by Bruce and Steve. Close call at the top mark between Cousin Trestec and Bad Fish, saw Bad Fish through, leaving CT swimming. Recovery and on to the leeward mark, Yellow Peril also struggling with a swimming crew. A day for the regular sailors to shine and the occasionals to compete between each other.

A clean sweep for the Rooster new sails with some sporting retirements from Tinky Winky. Good to see new to the circuit Andy Baucutt having a good try.

With thanks to Essex YC for laying on an excellent weekend as well as some ad hoc crews. Thanks guys !!


Bob Ladell, Steve Brown and Rob Redman – 814, Cousin Trestec


Overall Results Here....

Pro-Am Results Here....

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