Since I was away for the last two Sunday’s I asked Tony (penalty for winning) to write the blog...
Glorious weather for the last of the winter series on March 20th encouraged 10 of our Solos onto the water. Can't have everything.. the wind was light!, probably between 5 and 8 knots SW with a magic 10 knots in the rare gust. It transpire that the best wind was on the right hand, West, side of the beat and surprisingly along the South Wall between 7 and 5.
The Solo start was reasonably square though as Chris found to his surprise it paid to start under the Committee Boat and stay on Starboard tack most of the way up the beat. He picked up a nice freer and was able to ease sheets and bowl into the first windward mark ahead of Mervyn, Tony, Malcolm and the rest of the fleet.
Chris valiantly defended his lead until the end of the next beat when Tony sneaked ahead of him at the windward mark into the lead only to lose it on the following reach and run to Malcolm and Mervyn. However splitting tacks Tony was luck to pick up a stronger breeze on the next beat and then the gust of the day sufficient to plan across on the reach from 7 to 5. No such luck for those behind so Tony was able to pull out a safe lead to the finish followed by Mervyn, Malcolm, Mike who had improved from a difficult start and Chris. It was especially good to see Frank out enjoying himself.
By the time we reconvened for the handicap races the wind had become if anything even less, with flat spots to bemuse us and RS 200s to be avoided!
On the second race the very keen RS 200s who had a special start crowded the line and were awarded a general recall for their efforts putting their next start 2 minutes behind us. Hence the carnage at the leeward end of the first lap! Having just managed to stay ahead of the main Handicap fleet all the way to the leeward mark Tony not appreciating the speed of the leading RS200 failed to give way and was speared in no uncertain way by their bowsprit! After sorting out the resulting melee and doing the necessary 720 he was almost last! First Solo was Chris and then Malcolm. On apologising to Peter Curtis for this misdemeanour, Peter C replied that it obviously hadn't slowed them down enough as they went on to beat him and win outright!
Thank you to all the IBRSC Solos for a most enjoyable winter series. It almost makes me look forward to next winter!
HISC Solo Open is Sat 18th and Sun 19th June. It will be in Hayling Bay and is thus the best of the 'sea series' and hence good practice for the Nationals. We will be away at the CO32 40th Anniversary Rally in Lymington that weekend but if anybody wants to race, accommodation is available at the club or you are very welcome to borrow our flat on the beach.(as seen on TV when Nick Thompson rented it for the Laser Worlds!)
Overall it has been a pretty good winter, but now it is time to get ready for spring! Coming back from a snowy (fortunately) Canadian ski trip the contrast with warm sunshine and spring flowers was quite stark.
Looking back on the winter series the provisional results show plenty of competition with 18 boats sailing at least one race in the winter. Turnouts seem to be picking up as the weather gets warmer so I think we can look forward to a good spring/summer season. I intend to do a few more open meetings this year to ‘fly the flag’ for the club – also I plan to run some Saturday training sessions.