Sunday, 19 February 2017

Bonza!

A great day's sailing today. Warmer, with lighter winds and better courses it was a lot more fun than last Sunday.

Race 1, orange thing near B, M, K, X, T. Helen & Paul managed to capsize on the first tack of the first beat. Richard & Steve were excellent, arriving at the windward mark in 2nd place and hanging on down the nice 3-sail reach to M before being rolled by Peter & Paul on the dead run to K. There followed a decent 3-sail reach to X and another one to T. We battled it out with Peter & Paul for the rest of the race and emerged victorious. Further back, JT & Quentin were engaged in a running battle with Paul & Clive, with Jane & Pat bringing up the rear after Helen retired.

In the afternoon the course was M, J, S, Y, OL, T. We had just got our nose ahead of Peter & Paul on the approach to M when a header arrived and denied us the chance to get around it without tacking. P&R were upwind of us and stopped us tacking, so I decided to go head to wind, so they'd have to tack off and then I could too. In a particularly brilliant bit of tactical thinking, they went head to wind and then sat there while we drifted onto the mark and started going backwards. Meanwhile the entire fleet sailed past both of us, one of them yelling 'starboard' on the way, thanks for that. We then took ages to get going forwards again and do our turn, by which time we were virtually last - ahead of only Helen & Paul who had tried to go to the orange mark instead of M.

Well, the beauty of a dead run is that you can at least get a different route downwind, and we gained a bit before we got to J, and then a bit more on the fine 3-sail reach to S when Richard & Steve took Peter & Paul high. I think we overtook R&S and JT & Quentin on the next beat to Y, and closed up on the lead boats on the excellent 3-sail reach to OL. P&R got past Paul & Clive on that leg after a brief luffing battle, and we all sailed up through the gate in a big lump to start the next lap. After that, Peter & Paul got away a bit, and Paul & Clive tried to sail to M instead of Y (after S), so went from 3rd to last in one easy move. JT & Quentin arrived at T the last time ahead of Richard & Steve, but a 49er claimed water and gave Richard & Steve the vital few boat lengths they needed to get across the line ahead.

The longer course was sooooo much more interesting than the short stuff we've had to put up with recently, and the combination of dead runs and beam reaches worked really well in the marginal conditions. Thanks to Colin and his team on the committee boat, and we'll be back next week for more good racing.

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