John Baynes takes Golden
The Elizabethan Worlds in Poole Bay were a great success and produced a
surprise, but well deserved, victor in the form of John Baynes in his well
prepared Elizabethan 23 “Lizzie B”.
The event organised by Kemp Sails on behalf of the Elizabethan Owner
Association took place in almost perfect racing conditions, SW, top end,
Force 3 and slight sea conditions.
Following a somewhat confused start, caused by Mistweave, the Hare boat,
passing the Committee boat a little late, a number of yacht charge starts
were baulked. However the fleet was soon sorted out and quickly the
Elizabethans got up to speed on the first long windward beat. With a cross
section of Elizabethans from the Webster designed 23, C R Holman designed 29
and the David Thomas designed 30, 31 and 33 there was a number of different
race strategies in deployment. Crew experience was also a key factor with
only the Way family confident to use Spinnaker on “Owaissa”, a regularly
raced Elizabethan 33.
Not surprising “Owaissa” took line honours but was ultimately placed 4th,
defeated by its high handicap. Other placed boats were “Mistweave” E30 (Ian
Stockdale) 2nd and “Tabard” E31 (Peter Lewis), 2nd over the line, was 3rd on
handicap.. Although pleased with the boats performance on the day Peter had
not realised the E31 is a faster boat than the E30 on paper and had
initially felt that he had done enough to secure 2nd overall.
The pre race favourite “Snowbird” E30 was a disappointing 5th. Her owner Cad
Cust said after the event “I’m gutted, I felt so sure I would be taking the
Golden Galleon home; all the pre race preparation and we were defeated by a
power glitch when we turned off the engine power as we approached the pre
brief start area. The radio went off and we missed the announcement of
change of leeward buoy and start position. By the time we cottoned on the
race was underway and we were someway downwind of the start line. However I
am very glad for John and his crew”.
More Images of the Elizabethan Worlds
In a statement to the EOA John revealed some secrets of his success:
"Lizzie B arrived in Poole in safe cruising mode, having sailed up from
the river Exe and spent a week at the Fleet Review and cruising around the Solent.
We arrived in Poole mid afternoon Friday and
immediately set about getting her into racing trim – rapidly reducing weight by
a concerted attack on our drinks cabinet: at least an inch up on our marks!
Lizzie is in reasonably good tune as we race
regularly at Topsham - although the River Exe is hardly a match for the open sea
off Poole, she still didn’t need too much doing to her rig to prepare her for
the anticipated hot competition at the Elizabethan Worlds.
Mistweave kindly opened the gate right in
front of us, so having nothing better to do we charged through and got a better
start than we ever do at Topsham!
Lizzie loves a good beat in F3/4 when she
really gets the bit between her teeth and charges along with only the slightest
weather helm and, with the centreboard fully down, making less leeway than
We rounded the weather mark in 4th
place (if memory serves), but thinking we would have at least two rounds we
opted to boom out the genoa and leave the spinnaker for the final round when we
could fly it through the finish without having to rebag it – there being only
two on board which would have made repacking a little difficult.
On the final downwind leg we managed to hold
off a ‘30’ for much of the run, but lost ground rapidly when we were no longer
able to boom out the genoa and had to harden up to cross the line.
One thing this race showed is that the 23 is
more at home in the open sea, where she can really lift her skirts and tramp to
windward with long tacks rather than the short tacking duals we have on the
upper reaches of the Exe Estuary, where her slow tacking loses ground against
much of the competition.
I don’t know where we shall be next year
(rumour is of Bembridge), but all being well Lizzie will be there to defend her
title and the Golden Galleon is being polished up, even as I write this, to urge
on all Elizabethans to join us next year!
Many thanks to Ian,
PBO for a really
enjoyable day and weekend – as always a great reason for joining the EOA!