Starcross Steamer Jan 2023

Last Sunday saw the first race and first open event of 2023, the Starcross Steamer, a handicap pursuit race on the Exe estuary in the UK.

Pursuit races are a great fun race format. All boat classes have a handicap, the race has a fixed length (e.g. 150 mins), slower boats start first, faster boats later with the idea being everyone is trying to catch up to and overtake everyone else. After the fixed race time, the race is stopped, and positions are taken by the safety boats.

Here’s the write-up and results in Yachts and Yachting, I sailed an RS Aero 9.

It was an early start to the day, and we were rewarded with some lovely views.

The wind arrived later than predicted, and with a closing tide window, the race was shortened to 120 mins. We launched as the wind filled in around the course and the breeze built steadily throughout the afternoon.

I switched up to the Aero 9 which turned out to be a great choice, I wasn’t over-powered, but it was fast and a decent physical challenge. My legs lasted longer than my forearms in the end, and it was my (ahem) brachioradialis muscles (upper forearm) that started aching the most.

Video by Derek Hathaway, view his Youtube Channel.

Starcross YC is a lovely venue, it was a great sailing area and course, the wind was good, and it was mostly sunny. I came mid-fleet-ish which was a new P.B. for me at opens, and not so far off the Aero 9 ahead of me.

What a cracking start to the year’s sailing :).

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