Pursuit Race 2021 (Sun 3rd Oct) results > SYS Pursuit Race 2021 results

For once we a good stiff breeze around 15mph coming over from the southwest corner of the park. I set a fairy long oblong course which we were able to race for 2 laps as the wind was so good. 8 skippers took part so we agreed that all would race together on the water with first over the line noting the race results each time. One of the skippers who was placed in the C Fleet (last to start) would watch the line for the 3 races, again this seemed to work well with no problems.

The Pursuit Race is all about trying to catch the boats starting off ahead, or if you are starting in one of the first groups – trying to stay ahead of the others pursuing you!
The boats are split into 3 fleets; A fleet (2 boats), B (4 boats) and C (2 boats). The A fleet starts first, followed 30 seconds later by B, then another 30 seconds the C fleet start. Which fleet your selected to start in is decided by where you finished in your previous race. The top 2 in a race started their next in C fleet (last 2 away), 3rd to 6th places start in B fleet (middle 4 group away) and last two will get the biggest advantage starting together in A fleet going off first next time.
We had the names and boat numbers on cloths pegs with a board marked A, B and C. This made it easy to move them around each time so everyone could see which fleet they were in for that race. It was much easier in practice to run than it has been to explain here!

For the first race only, all boats started together to decide who goes in what fleet for the next one, and so. This race counted so the places still scored points. From then onwards all the following races were started with the 3 different fleets separated 30 seconds apart.

The brisk wind meant A and B fleets were normally able to get away and take full advantage of their “head start”. The 2 starting in C fleet often had their work cut out and only on a few occasions did someone move up to finish in the top 2, but it was just possible.

As the races progressed everyone got to the grips with the strong winds so catching anyone in the fleet ahead became more difficult. It was good to see different skippers racing out at the front for a change. Some who often tended to drop away at the back in a “normal” race, when being given a “head start” were suddenly able to keep ahead and sometimes pulled away over the others!

Myself, John (Woodman) and Mike set the early pace with a few decent/consistent results from our B and C fleet starts, while Alan was up and down from A to C fleet either winning or finishing near the back each time! After the coffee break the wind increased slightly and Alan found his mojo. He strung together a series of good results moving passed me and several others no matter where he had started. John (W) and I seemed to always be close together in our own separate battle – which was fun but I’m not sure it was that good for either of us overall! Mike and Robert started most of their races in B fleet, which is not at all a bad thing for this event, while John (Peacey), Graham and Martyn moved up and down from A to C a number of times.

We completed 13 races (amazing what can be done in a decent breeze!) before the 12pm cut-off time. 7 of the 8 skippers managed to finish at least two of their races in the top 2 places, which I think shows the format worked.
Alan’s run of good results especially when the wind increased was enough for him to win this event with a score of 43 points. Runners-up spot was a tie on 42 points between myself, John (W) and Mike. The places under Pursuit Race rules are separated by your Race 1 results, which meant John (W) takes 2nd place, Mike 3rd and I have to settle for 4th. Graham did just enough to nick 5th (64) ahead of Rob (66), while John (P) is 7th (72) and Martyn in 8th (76).

There are no discarded race scores for this event since a poor results in one race means you have a top place start in the next.

This was a bit different from our usual racing, but I think it is safe to say that everyone who took part enjoyed themselves and that’s what its all about.

Well done to Alan on winning the Pursuit Race 2021 – very well deserved. He will receive his trophy at the next SYS round.