Very different conditions for racing on Sunday, a northerly offshore wind which was very gusty and shifty. But that didn't put off the 44 boats from taking to the water for the latest in the series.
The start of the race was interesting. A combination of a short biased line, a short windward leg, 44 boats and a floating jetty, led to some very close quarter action for the first leg of the race. It transpires that the start was caught on camera, just too many boats in too small a space. We need to have a think about whether this is working for the fleet.
Anyway, some observations from the racing and results:
- Dave Acres showed a clean set of heels to the rest of the fleet, winning in his RS300 by a good margin. Never looked in doubt after a cleanish start and good first leg, nice sailing.
- Paul and Caroline Fisk again showed continued consistency in their RS200, taking second place. Great boat speed. Paul and Caroline and now tied in first place with Dave for the Saturday series.
- The Commodore compounds his no-show last week with an OCS this week. Not to mention giving his crew a trip round the forestay on the trapeze wire, as they hit a bank at 15 knots. Twice.
- Great to see three Lasers in the top ten, headed by Max Jones in 4th place. I've always thought that the Laser has relatively harsh handicap for our sailing area (not that I'd ever publicly declare it), its pleasing to see the guys bang in some good results.
- Alex Thorsby and Tom Kennedy team up to try and work out how to rig a kite on a 400. But once on the water their racecraft would have had them in the top 5 if they weren't OCS. Just alongside Tim and Mel in their 400, also OCS. And Jim and Simon in their Lasers, pushing the line a little hard guys.
I had a race to forget:
1. Terrible start. Stuck with the new philosophy of starting at the busiest end and cocked it up massively. Philosophy about to change I think.
2. Poor rig set up. The wind at the top of the course was light, down towards Tye there were some meaty gusts coming through. I neglected to increase vang as I went down the 1.5 mile run, and as a consequence capsized to windward, nearly spearing Mark and Mike in their 400 (who seemed to find the whole thing hilarious, I was bricking it).
3. Generally felt slow offwind and upwind.
4. Tried to foot through Hugh at the start of the final leg. Big mistake. Footing through a crew that is 15-20 kg heavier in a force 4-5 is never going to work.
5. Ended up 5th of 44, which sounds alright, but didn't feel like a good race at all. Result made respectable by all the OCSing of others I think.
All of this is the fault of Claire, who made me go to a Chi Harbour Federation meeting on Friday, and forced me to drink all the free wine. So the lesson from this race is (i) don't go out with Claire, and (ii) don't expect to do well on a hangover!