Tough sea conditions challenge sailors and rowers in St Aubin’s

Ollie Voak and Megan Roworth Royal Channel Island Yacht Club Hobie Cat Championships Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (38555050)

ST Aubin’s Bay was awash with rowers and Hobie Cats for Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club’s (RCIYC) recent race.

The handicapped 10km GinD 4 race – part of a series – saw crews navigating buoys and markers around the outside of the bay, while sailors competed in the centre.

First home was singles rower Laima Pacekajute, who completed the course in 57mins 49secs.

In a tightly contested men’s singles class race, Adam Le Lere secured 10 points, with a time of 55mins 08secs, finishing just nine seconds ahead of Mark Hill.

Fastest time of the day went to PG men’s doubles James Hart and Joshua Watkins (47.01) while the first Ladies doubles home was Katie Guest and Kirsten West, in a time of 54mins 25secs.

The masters crews also performed strongly, with both ladies and men’s masters quads winning their respective classes.

Flying Phoenix (Sue Clinton, Frankie Le Quelenec, Tina Tidy, Christine du Heaume and cox Sue Cubbon) clocked the fastest time in the ladies quad class (52.32), with Blue Marlin (Bob Salkeld, Lindsay Wright, John Duquemin, Rebecca Salkeld and cox Carl Clinton) being the fastest men’s quad boat home in a time of 50mins 10secs.

Sue Clinton of Flying Phoenix said: “We rowed exceptionally hard, as we were on our own for most of the course, dodging the Hobie Cats going across to St Aubin’s Fort.

“The conditions were challenging, particularly at Grunes du Port, but we needed a win to secure our points for the GinD Series.’

Rowers also faced challenging conditions in the RCIYC race, the previous weekend.

The 13.3km handicapped race saw 15 crews competing for the prestigious trophy, with the mixed quad of Katie Guest, Laima Pacekajute, William Le Quelenec, Stephen Reed and cox Ian Anderson coming home victorious in a time of 1hr 4mins 35secs, pipping men’s quad Blue Marlin to the post by just 19 seconds.

Guest said: “It was very rough, with a tough westerly when we were out at Diamond and the breakwater.

“We came through the fleet from a 14-minute handicap to take our final boat, Blue Marlin, in the small roads with about 600m to go.”

Le Quelenec echoed the sentiment of the challenging race: “The race was really testing, with proper coastal rowing conditions making the course more exciting than in other years.

“There was plenty of experience in our boat, which really helped us take advantage in the rougher water.

“Crossing the line first, and being the fastest boat on the day was incredible, as it doesn’t often happen in a handicap race.”

Third boat home was men’s double BDO Let it Row (Gary Briggs and Josh Le Lere), who complete the race in a time of 1hr 09mins 40secs.

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