Sunday, 27 February 2011

27 Feb 2011

OK, the morning was a bit sucky, but the forecast did say we'd get less wind while the rain came through, then more wind in the afternoon. So we had a nice tactical race (where I hit lots of buoys) in the persistent drizzle in the morning, followed by something a bit more exciting in the afternoon. I can't speak for anyone else, but IMHO the beat to 'C' was well tricky and the reach across from 'M' to 'J' was bloody fabulous, particularly the lap when we had the kites up and were playing a game of let's-see-who-can-avoid-capsizing-the-best with Colin & Karen. And a pretty good turnout of 10(?) boats, although it would have been better still if we'd had Bob, Badders, Peter, Gordon, Iain etc. The latter last sighted trying to de-rig a 12ft skiff whilst capsized up by 'B', doh! 

While I think about it, that PM race was really good for a few more reasons.

Martyn gave us a bit of a headstart by virtue of still being on the shore when the 3 minute gun went, so various other people had a go at the front of the fleet :-)

That beat really was a tricky one - I was last round the windward mark on the first lap (exc Martyn).

Mo and Holly recovered from their dire first race result to lead the fleet round the entire first lap, with Pete and Serena 2nd. And they might have stayed that way if it hadn't got a bit windier and if they'd both tacked immediately at J instead of standing on on port. And you had to do that because...

Mark 'N' was pointless and very easy to overstand from 'J', and fed us straight into the W/L gate. Can I just mention to any ODs out there that if you have something that looks like a beat leading to a mark that is at the bottom of something else that looks like a beat, for gods sake just leave the 2nd mark out and call the first one the start of the beat. Sticking a buoy in halfway up a beat is really pointless and just serves to stop us going on whichever side of the beat we think is favoured. So J, N, C (in a NW) - NO! Just J, C please.

OK, back at the good stuff, I liked the reach from C to B, which wasn't too close for the kite but was a bit prone to having huge lumps of wind arriving with no notice whatsoever. And apologies to the bloke in the Pico that I frightened near B (and if he wasn't then he should have been). I thought I was going to go upwind of him but the big gust said 'no', so it was either going to be a big bear-away past his transom and a quick wriggle back up round the mark, or death by misadventure all round. We made it with feet to spare, but it certainly put the adrenaline level back up.

Then a nice dead run down to 'M', and a chance to wave at Iain and Simon on the upturned 12ft skiff on 2 out of the 3 laps - they were there a long time. I do like a proper dead run where you can get tactical, prompt luffing matches, gybe away, pick the windy patches etc. We didn't noticeably gain any places down there but it was good fun.

Then round M and off down the reach with the kite up, trying to balance the mad bear-aways with the desire not to end up in the windsurfers' car park. That one was absolutely awesome, even when we stood the boat on its ear and it dug into a wave and most of the lake came into the cockpit. That was the leg where we played chicken with Colin and Karen, which added a further dimension to the excitement as we then had the choice of bear away and maybe run aground or luff up and maybe capsize, or keep aiming for Colin's rudder and hope he doesn't capsize.

Three laps of that and I was knackered.

In a word, excellent!

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