Racing a Shrimper 21 – Bursledon Regatta 2017

A very gentle Northerly breeze and hot sunshine greeted entrants to the 2017 Bursledon Regatta, Tom Yum, our Shrimper 21 demo boat was our weapon of choice for the race. Sundays racing got underway in 3-4 knots of wind with the mixed gaffers fleet making slow but steady progress away from the start. A short course of around 5 miles was set, which proved to be a good decision when the fleet reached the second mark of the course, the breeze completely dying for around 30 minutes as the sea breeze tried to fill in from the South West. It soon became apparent that getting as far West as possible was the best way to find breeze. Fortunately the light weight of the Shrimper 21 and it’s cutaway keel allowed the boat to tack in just 1-2 knots of wind, many of the other boats we stuck going South, away from the new sea breeze.

By mark 3 we were leading the fleet which included some much larger boats. The long broad reach allowed Sophie, a Falmouth Quay Punt to overtake. She was flying a large asymmetrical spinnaker as well as a large topsail – a spectacular sight!  Upwind the Shrimper 21 was able to claw back some distance against Sophie, the modern underwater profile making up for Sophie’s waterline length advantage.

With the sea breeze establishing itself at a steady 10 knots the run home was relatively short. Tom Yum didn’t quite have the legs to catch Sophie on the water but on handicap took the win by a healthy margin ahead of Sepia, a Memory 19 and then Sophie in third.