Monday, 18 March 2013

Snow joke

Well the forecast was pretty clear that we could expect some decent sailing weather today. A variety of forecast sites agreed that it would start off a bit fluffy, but we'd get 9 or 10mph winds by 1pm, maybe a bit of rain, not too cold etc. So most of the winter-sailing bit of the fleet turned up all keen and ready to go, and some of them were even changed and rigged...

And then it started snowing

And the wind dropped to nothing

And we stood in the wetbar for hours hoping it might just snap out of it, but it just carried on snowing

So we all went home.

And, predictably, by the time I was at home eating my lunch at about the time the afternoon race normally starts, it had stopped snowing, there was a little bit of wind and the sun came out.

So basically, it had snowed at precisely the right moment and for just long enough to screw up my day's sailing, and then stopped.


I found out later that one pair of blokes had stayed and gone sailing, and Nick was one of them:

Me and Paul wish a few more people had stuck it out as the sailing this afternoon was alright in the end - we've certainly raced in less wind and it wasn't too cold out there. There were times when I couldn't see the luff of the kite for the blinding sunshine!

So four solos and one lonely Fireball went out to play. The committee had clearly listened to feedback from last week and sensibly set just five marks for the course - X, N, T, J and OL. We had a cracking start, full speed across the line, slightly after the gun went but we were in first place. Good power up the beat, I was even sitting up on the side tank but not quite clipped in. First at X we bore away and set the kite. It was a reasonably fast reach to N where we gybed again. Couldn't keep the kite flying as it was pretty tight to T so down it came. Gybed at T and set the kite again but it was a slow run next to the dam wall down  to J. Some Fireballers might have headed up to sail higher and faster and possibly overtake but as we were the only ones out there we just went straight to the mark.

Heading up round J we kept the kite flying and with Paul on the leeward side now was my only chance to trapeze. Kite down and close hauled round OL back to X. Second lap the pressure had dropped and I was on the other side of the boat now, nowhere near the windward side. Our new jib tell tale on the trailing edge was keeping Paul happy - our slot looked to be working even though the pressure was light. As the sun came out we were hoping for some thermal effects but they never quite switched on.

Lap two was a repeat of lap one except we dropped the kite before going round N. Some more experienced Fireballers may have been able to fly their kites on the tight reach from N to T but as we were the only ones out there we'll never know.

Lap three it was getting almost tropical with the sun but the thermal wind never materialised. The wind must have shifted though as on (what turned out to be) the last lap, having dropped the kite again at N, Paul reckoned we could fly it to T. Up went the kite and as long as I pinned it in it flew. Not too sure we were going much faster though. Kept the kite up as we gybed around T and ran it straight down to J where we didn't need to head up too much as the hooter from the race box told it was finish next. As we came in, sensibly dropping the main before approaching the slipway under jib alone we were puzzled to see the Solos all get finish guns and continue sailing for another lap. Boat put away and as we signed off the race committee told us that the Solos were making the most of the abandoned race from this morning by getting in as much sailing as they could.

After showers and walking down back to the cars we were surprised to see that the Solos were still out. Yes it's not long before the clocks change and we start doing two races in the afternoon......

No comments:

Post a Comment