Your correspondent thanks Dominic for volunteering to do OOD with Rich Jones. Lots of changes on this week's rota and soon after me volunteering to take Ben's place so he could sail with Louis Gibbs ( a good move on Ben's part) Dominic said he would be race officer.
The wind was North Westerly with minor movements to NNE and WNW but the strength varied with gusts travelling down the docks and causing some excitement.
Generally a decent wind, plenty of physical energy lost to sail today and sometimes some really good sailing in strongish conditions not rewarded in the results (Kelvin sailed so well but it will not show in the history books).
We had three Allaboard Sailing Squad members racing today with three of the coaching team from that activity. Lucy Daniels and Tom Garry sailed the Vanguard 15 with two ambitions, one … stay warm, two… don't get lapped. Mmm… at what cost?
The start was noisy, troublesome and much more difficult than expected. Ben and Louis approached the line on starboard tack and slowed down with the intention of sheeting in, pointing and shooting the line. Rich Steptoe was inside them and close to the pin. Inside him was the Vanguard. Isla was following Ben, Kelvin was on the far side ( close to the wall), Chris was determined to go around Ben. Oleg was staying out of this mess.
As the flag dropped, Ben sheeted in and called for upwind boats to stay clear. Rich tried but found a Vanguard blocking him. The Vanguard was determined to stay warm and not get lapped. Three boats tangled. Rich's mainsheet got stuck in the shroud anchor of the RS200 and when he was released by Louis did an exonerating 720 before getting on with the race. The vanguard helm and crew were determined to stay warm and not get lapped and made good progress up the first beat. Kelvin got back into it and Chris was not able to overtake the Vanguard.
Ben and Louis then deployed their not so secret weapon and launched their big blue Kite…. And just disappeared.
The fleet did not get too spread out during a fast paced race with a good physical demand made on all sailors. The gusts made the runs a little unpredictable, not quite a run, then a swing back to dead run. Oleg never gave it up and even tried some backwards sailing just to show how good he really could be. Kelvin had a piece of string attached to the back of the K1 and in spite of the PY difference was showing all the determination ot not get lapped.
Rich was staying ahead of Isla for most of the race between the two Comets but then dumped it in during a bad gust, lost it again on the next beat and repeated the trick. Isla did not refuse the invitation and just sailed on through. The vanguard was determined to stay warm and not get lapped. They achieved both of these ambitions right through the race and shared a Double Decker at the end, while it was explained to them what they should have done at the beginning of the race.
One of the ambitions of the coaching team for the race squad is to bring sailors through to Club sailing and enhance the Saturday races with and injection of youth, today some of that ambition was realised.
1 – Ben and Louis Gibbs – RS 200 – 312 seconds per lap adjusted time
2 – Isla - Comet - 317
3 – Rich Jones - OOD
3 – Dom Whiston - OOD
3 – Chris - K1 - 319
4 – Rich Steptoe - Comet - 321
5 – Lucy Daniels, Tom Garry – Vanguard 15 - 336
6 – Kelvin - Supernova - 367
7 – Oleg - Laser Radial - 427