Again we had more solos at the start line on Saturday than on Sunday although the numbers were close. Great to see most people doing both races on Saturday – that series is getting very close with Simon Bean’s laser still in front but Paul, Mervyn and Frank closing the gap.
Sunday was pursuit day and we had another decent turnout with 7 solos (I think making us the largest class) in a shifty easterly. The Race officer sensibly set a mark inside number three to avoid the really dead patch under the trees. At the first mark it was Gareth from Mervyn with Paul close on Mervyn’s transom, but on the reach from four to the inflatable Mervyn picked up a puff, left Paul in his wake and sailed right past Gareth to lead at mark two and hold it down the dead run to nine. From there we had a short beat to mark 1 – looked initially as if would be a fetch but the wind headed a bit and Gareth threw in a quick tack on the header so that when he came back he was on starboard and forced Mervyn to tack. The two boats were side by side for quite a while but Gareth had the advantage of being upwind and could stop mervyn tacking for the mark so at the third mark it was Gareth just ahead of Mervyn. On the reach from one to 6 Gareth eked out a few yards but on the run from 6 to 8 Mervyn crept back a bit so that at the end of the lap Gareth had a slender lead over Mervyn. That pattern seemed to continue with Gareth gaining up the beats slightly more than Mervyn crept back on the runs with these two pulling away from Paul and the rest of the pack. Meanwhile the leading lasers were starting to eat into the Solos lead at one time looking quite close, but as with wind went slightly lighter Gareth and Mervyn seemed to increase the gap so that at the finish of the pursuit it was Gareth safely ahead of Mervyn with then a good gap to the duelling lasers (the leading two were about half a boat length apart) then Paul and Frank.
It’s time to start forming some teams for the Team Pursuit. This year we will be using PERSONAL Handicaps so we won’t all start together – no teams of superstars this year 9or of there are they sail of scratch and have to overtake everyone). If you have a team (THREE boats per team) let me know, if you don’t have a team yet, let me know you are coming and I’ll help form more teams. (We can do that on the day if necessary). Teams don’t have to be the same standard or the same class. The way it works is that you will look up your personal handicap band (like we use in the anniversary races), then look at that bands start number for your class. This means most people will be starting earlier in the sequence – but you don’t have to get up much earlier because the base (scratch topper start) will be 10:45. If I have the sums right...
Band 5 starts at -9 – that’s MINUS 9, nine minutes BEFORE the base time or 10:36 (almost the same as normal)
Band 4 starts at -5
Band 3 starts at -2
Band 2 starts at 1
Band 1 starts at 5
Band 0 starts at 8
The race ends at 12:00 (regular pursuit length) except some people started a bit earlier.
I haven’t a clue which band if any has the advantage, Jim has worked out everyone’s bands based on past club results – I guess you want someone who is very nearly in a better band but my lips are sealed about the exact personal numbers except to say that they are calculated based on all the results we can find!