The Corinthian Otters marked the final day of the 2017 youth sailing season with their traditional Brass Monkey Race. Overlapping with the RCYC Snow Globe the two events saw 22 Otters competing together in the predicted low temperatures although the light winds meant conditions were not nearly as grim as the original weather forecast earlier in the week.
In the Snow Globe the light winds caused a two-hour postponement but, keen to get some of the younger Otters out and back in time for a promised Dragon sail, Race Officer Nick Bacon settled on just an hour’s delay before giving an informative briefing on the balcony.
Boats were launched quickly following the briefing and as the wind gently began to fill in racing commenced. In the Optimist fleet both Florence and ‘Hutch’ had a great start but after making it to the first mark ahead of the rest the race was then dominated and won by Nathan Flynn. In the mixed handicap fleet the 2016 winners (by a slim margin of 4 seconds), Martha Waples and Izzie Corbett, flew around the course in their Feva coming first by a good 4 minutes. But with corrected times to account for Tera sailors Jed Cox and Archie Kemp made it nail bitingly close as they followed on to finish behind the Feva. With tradition dictating that the Brass Monkey winners be announced at the Otter Prize Giving it was only later in the evening as the Otter Commodore proclaimed the winners that Martha and Izzie could celebrate that they had indeed retained their title – and this time by a slightly larger margin than 2016 of 31 seconds.
Meanwhile the senior Otters, for whom the Brass Monkey combined with the RCYC Snow Globe, waited rather longer for their racing to get underway with an eventual start time just before midday. Laser sailor Lizzie Rands, having come 2nd in the 2016 Brass Monkey to Martha and Izzie by that all important 4 seconds, held her nerve for the two races with a 6th place overall and took the top Otter spot on the day. Rather pleased to finally carry her own Brass Monkey trophy away later in the evening, Lizzie graciously admitted the result might have been different had brother Tom not been OCS on the first race and Laser sailor Natalie Main managed to make the first race on time!