Monday, 9 November 2015

Tales from the reservoir

Sunday promised to be interesting, but when we arrived it looked a bit flat.  The 6 boats rigged up anyway, and trotted off to the far side of the lake for the start, where it was at least a bit more lively.  Course: Orange (near M), H, S, T, D.  Stand-in super-crew Richard​ was time-keeper, so I asked him how long we had to go and he said "15 seconds", so we threw in a quick gybe and (being at the port end of the line), went for a port-tack flyer which neatly crossed most of the fleet and probably looked like we'd planned it.  We then carried on to the wall, which looked OK, but we then spotted that the orange mark was a long way from the windward shore and we had gone past the lay-line already.  This little faux-pas left us mid fleet, and Peter​ & Steve​ promptly zoomed off for a decent lead while we got the through the traffic.  Traffic part one was Helen​ & Paul​, who stayed with us for a few laps until Paul went water-skiing with the kite up on the approach to H, shouting summat about "pull the mainsail in".  He then rejoined the boat, but the whole flappy mess promptly charged past H on the wrong side and disappeared off towards F, never to be seen again.  Traffic part two was Colin​ & Karen​, who regrettably made no mistakes whatsoever and were still ahead of us at the finish.  Bob​ & Paul​ had an exploded kicker and retired, leaving JT & Quentin to fight it out with a slightly soggy Helen & Paul for 4th and 5th places.

Ho for race 2 then, and we were still on 22'6" as the wind looked almost non-existent from the shore, whereas it was in fact quite a bit windier than the morning and really wanted 22'4" - a fact we didn't deduce until way too late to do anything about it.  At the start we were luffed to what felt like over-the-line by Helen & Paul, but apparently we were OK.  We then proceeded to go hard left and overstand the first mark 'Y' from the opposite direction to the AM race, this time pinning Peter & Steve below us so they had to go too.  This gave us a little lead at the windward mark, and we chucked the kite up and tore off to S, quick fetch to H and then beat up to T.  We were still in the lead, so went high, then bore off to put the kite up for D, whereupon Peter & Steve promptly 2-sailed over our wind and proceeded to sit on it while getting their kite up. Doh!  They then sailed off, leaving us chasing them for the rest of the race.  An honourable mention goes to John Tenney and Quentin​ for gaining on us during the latter stages, but we ended up 2nd anyway.

Back to the bar for a debrief + find out what wisdom Richard had gained from sailing with me.  "Don't over-stand the first mark" was all he could think of...   But a very nice day's racing, not too cold, not too windy, some chunky gusts and good long courses with sexy 3-sail reaches.  Definitely worth getting out of bed for, and many thanks to Richard for manning the front-end of the boat!

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