Friday, 26 February 2016

More capsizing!

My time on the water seems to be reducing every week at present. Last week I only got one race, this week not even that much...

There were 13 Fireball sailors on-site today, so enough to put 6.5 boats on the water. However, one person didn't arrive until midday, two were on the committee boat, and another 4 decided it was too cold and stayed in the wet-bar. That left a meagre 3 boats doing the race.

Wind: onshore and chilly F4 ish
Course: H, X, J, A, P, C, K, Gate

Off the line we were immediately blown into the long grass by Peter & Dave, pointing higher and going at least as fast as us upwind.  Note the lack of leech tension on my boat (778) compared to the others, maybe it was down to that.

Paul & Paul made a decent fist of the first bit of the beat, but then went off even lower than us and ended up way back at the top mark. Peter & Dave had a bit of a lead on us by then, but we clawed a bit back on the run down to X. We then bagged our kite before gybing, whereas they left it up and promptly capsized even before they had a chance to find out that the next leg was too close for it. So I did my little 'Happy day oh happy day' song again and hared off to J, quick gybe, and up with the kite again.

The next leg was a pretty good 3-sail reach to A, kite up, zoom past clubhouse and committee boat, where's Malcolm and his camera when you need him. Then a beat up to P, another nice 3-sail reach to C, and a 2-sail reach back to K that I can only describe as a bit tricky. 

Armed with a decent lead, we started the next lap and were still well in front at H and X. However, the wind dropped for us on the way to J, and Peter & Dave rapidly arrived with their own personal gust to sit just behind us at the gybe mark. OK, up with the kite for another blast down to A, and this time it was even windier, so a whole lot of fun. We were photogenic as hell, straight past the clubhouse, surely Malcolm would snap us this time and win prizes for awesome pics...

Anyway, round A and P&D were too close for comfort, but there's probably only 3 legs left, just got to keep it together for another 20 mins or so. P&D tacked, we tacked to cover them, Paul left the jib cleated and we promptly capsized. He then fell in the water and left yours truly to do the centreboard thing, then climbed back in and said he was too cold to carry on. Apparently he'd been in the Bahamas for the last 2 weeks, 30 degrees in the shade etc, and didn't much like the 3 or so degrees stuff that had just poured into his wetsuit. So we wobbled off back to the shore and packed up. Peter & Dave carried on round to win, and Paul & Paul had 'a bit of trouble' on the 2-sail reach, but ended up a well deserved 2nd place.

For the record, I was wearing a drysuit and 2 thermal layers plus winter gloves and a balaclava and a wooly hat on top of that, and I was absolutely toasty the whole time I was out there. It wasn't even all that windy, well nothing like last week anyway. Just wear everything you own and get out there, days like this are few and far between and too good to miss.

Bring a hardy perennial crew with you though.

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