Wednesday, 6 April 2011

6 Mar 2011

And remarkably, the optimistic weather forecast came true and the pessimistic one didn't - is that one of the warning signs for forthcoming apocalypse or summat ?

Poorly Paul turned up with a dodgy leg, apparently it was bitten by something while he was playing football, these field games are looking decidedly risky to me, best stick to sailing.

So, race 1, and a goodly number of Fireballs beetled out to the start, including one whose crew had forgotten to put his harness on. No matter, a quick ride back to the clubhouse in the water taxi (aka rescue boat) and all was well again.

The course was a well chosen computer-generated job, with 2 beats, port rounding windward mark and some very acceptable beam reaches and a dead run - perfect for the marginal conditions.

So off we jolly well went, with only me and Helen contesting the favoured port end of the line for some reason. The boat felt good in the marginal planing conditions (even if the crew didn't) and at the top mark we would have been in the lead if yours truly had spotted where it was before going way past the lay line. So we trotted round in third place, took out Peter/Mike on the next beat, so second place, and were just starting the 2nd lap when we encountered a wind bend that lifted us about 20 deg above the lead boat (Martyn of course). So he tacked off, and we carried on going, and then we eventually tacked and were getting lifted 20 deg above him again. Only by now he'd gone a million miles off to the wrong side of the wind-bend, and was waaay behind us. There then followed a drag race to the end of the 3rd lap, with the gap closing all the time, and waddya know, they didn't finish us. Aaaargh! So we sailed another whole lap and the gap kept on coming down, until we finally rounded T and put the kite up for OL and the finish. Martyn came round T about 20 secs behind us and picked up a nice little personal gust, while we sat there with no wind and the crew advising me to go low, no, protect your position, no, GYBE! This last bit was because Martyn's personal wind had gone a bit funny and gybed them, and Paul doesn't like people doing stuff like that when he's hoping to win the race and they are 20yds behind and closing fast. Anyway, the nut on the tiller ignored all this and we eventually sailed across the line to win the race by about 5 seconds. My blood pressure has now returned to normal BTW 

The less said about the PM race the better. The course was something decidedly weird with reaches that were too long and too close, and a broad reach which was deadly dull. And a hooked finish. I could live with all that if I had been going round it at any sort of decent speed, but I had leapt into Gordon's boat, which should be a rocket ship by comparison to mine but which simply didn't go very fast. This may have been my fault of course, but either way it wasn't good. Peter/Mike simply disappeared into the distance, and Martyn/Richard eventually caught us up after starting about 10 minutes late. At least Bob/Paul and JT/Quentin (?) were having a good time, spending the entire race just behind us trading places and cheerfully shouting 'starboard' at each other and luffing each other up. Behind them were 2 other boats also having a good tussle, but I'm not sure who they were. Possibly Helen/Teabag Paul. Pete/Serena had to retire when their rudder pintle converted itself into a gudgeon. Unlucky!

Still, all in all a good days racing, we got a bit of planing action, some good tactical beats and runs, some serious competition and some sunshine!

What more do you want ? 

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