Weathermark Trophy Race 2018 Report

A 9.00 am start and 17 BJRC racers lined up at the Stone Line for the Weathermark Trophy -- The final race in the 2018 BJRC series.
With a predicted very light southeasterly, the Stone race team set a short course out to the Bench Head and 2 loops up the Colne Estuary -- first to Inner Bench Head then C8
With a 5kts of wind at best, and 2 hours after low tide, most stayed well back from the line or kedged at the start
All competitors were closely bunched on the close reach to No3 and onto No1. Both Sophie and Ned Kelly doing well.  
As the sea breeze filled in, Geronimo, Blue Moon and McGregor III started to pull out a lead on the beat to the Bench head
Evolution and Rocket were the the only 2 boats in contention for the series title so were watching each other very closely
Spinnakers up at the Bench Head for the short loop to the Inner Bench as the fleet started to spread out in predictable fashion.
Crazy Suzy began closing the gap to the first 3 as the wind started to fill.
While the first 4 boats rode the tide to C8, the rest of the fleet had to fight to get around the Colne Bar in lightening winds
It became clear that after C8, a beat to the North West Knoll was unlikely to be attainable so Rocket called a course shortening direct to the Bench head and removed No10 from the trip home.
Then it all went pear shaped!
The first 4 boats just managed to clear the Bench Head, spinnakers up and roaring for home before the tide gate closed completely
The fleet found itself parked south west of the Bench Head and the back markers of Ned Kelly, Sophie, Rascal, Soprano, Raffles and Carolanti, were back in contention
After much desperate tacking and frustration the second group of boats, Bo Didley, Triton, Rascal, DanDare, and Evolution rounded the Bench Head and roared off home.
You can watch the frustration of the Bench Head for Soprano, Rocket, Dan Dare and McGregor III on Raceqs here 
As Tommy called Stone Bridge to thank them for the race. Rocket was still staring at the Bench Head!
Despite the boat park lottery at the Bench head it was a glorious sunny day on the river and once again the BJRC series showed why it is challenging for even for the very best sailors
Many Congratulations to Evolution as worthy winners of both the BJRC and IRC series
Blue Moon had their best result of the season and moved into 3 place in the series.  Geronimo managed to displace Rocket for  second place in the series.
Full series report to follow 
First 3 boats in BJRC fleet were:
Richard Robarts  Blue Moon
Tommy Mills        Geronimo
Peter Ward          McGregor III

In the IRC Class
Richard Robarts  Blue Moon
Peter Ward          McGregor III
Kevin Whittle       Evolution
Series Results
First 3 boats in BJRC series are:
Kevin Whittle  Evolution
Tommy Mills   Geronimo
Steve Sharpe Rocket
In the IRC Class
Kevin Whittle     Evolution
Dave Onyons    Monkey Business
Richard Robarts Blue Moon
Full race results and series results can be viewed on the BJRC website here
Final BJRC supported (non-series) races of the season are:
Maldon Regatta September 22, 08.00 Mersea
Freeman Cup    September 22, 12.00  Little Ship Club
Success Cup     September 23,  TBD  Brightlinsea