One of the changes that Ben has brought to the club this year is to re-instate the personal handicap series and the pursuit series.
This will meet with a mixed reception but when I joined the club some years ago it was a feature of the club calendar that it was not same old same old every week. Some OODs don't like running a pursuit but advice is always available. Once set up they are in many ways easier to run than Handicap races and the last five minutes is easy enough to see what is happening.
If you are an OOD during this series and have doubts about how to run a Pursuit then please ask in advance, many can help but certainly Ben, Chris Q, Kelvin, Pete S are all able and willing to help.
Today was one of those days that does test the pursuit format, once the first boat has started the race Officer is committed to run the race for the duration according to start times. On a day like today which had tough conditions sandwiching lulls it is a difficult call.
Even though it was probably the toughest race of the year I was glad to sail it.
Chase the boat down that is in front of you but trying to remember who completed one or more laps before you started... today that proved difficult.
Richard Jones started the race but capsized almost immediately so technically started but Did Not Finish. Oleg found conditions tough and the Laser was unfamiliar and Did not Start. John Stansfield Retired after a number of capsizes at the Leeward mark and Simon with Karen also retired from the race. That left 7 boats sailing in a difficult Westerly veering to North Westerly with fairly lengthy gusts beyond the probable average of 14-16 kts. The more northerly shifts allowed some to hug the southerly wall for a good length of the docks making good gains.
Isla, Rich and Jackie had a great start in strong winds which allowed them to get away and put almost two laps over the last starters. Chris was the last start and did not take long to pass the two Supernovas. Ross capsized a few times but got back on and continued sailing well in the conditions and building his confidence on his boat. Jackie and Isla put the smallest of their sail set on and with reduced power improved their boat management staying not only upright but also fast. Trevor and Adrian in the Wayfarer made some interesting lunges at times and chose the middle of the track for a penalty turn which rather scattered those immediately behind them.
We certainly tested the stamina of all the competitors, we started ....... and some of us finished
Simple format Race result.
1 - Richard Steptoe
2 - Jackie
3 - Paul Linford OOD
3 - Rich Walker OOD
3 - Chris
4 - Isla
5 - Trevor and Adrian
6 - Kelvin
7 - Ross
8 John Stansfield
8 Richard Jones
8 Simon and Karen