Happy New Year
Sunday wasn’t quite as windy as forecast but still had some stiff gusts most notably just as we started both B2B races. Big heading gusts right at the start which put several people (me included) into irons. However the morning was generally less severe though we still had a few gusts that were well into the 20’s and I believe Roy tested the water.
Of course it was a pursuit race – five Solos on the line. Quite a long course 7,6,1,2,5,9,F with two decent beats but also two reaches where the faster boats could really fly. The race seemed to follow a familiar pattern, I managed to get away well and establish a small lead up the first beat only for Paul and Mark to come back at me on the downwind legs. Paul almost passed me on the first run but I managed to just keep an overlap at mark one to round inside and hold him off on the fast reach to 2, then Mark passed Paul on the beat to 5 and pulled right up to my stern on the long reach to 9. This pattern continued for the whole race, I would pull away a bit upwind and Mark and Paul would chip away at my lead each downwind. I definitely need to do something about my reaching speed hopefully without damaging the upwind speed. I will continue to experiment with some different settings for these conditions.
In the pursuit itself James Curtis won by a considerable margin in the Feva from Peter Curtis 2 (200), Nick Mason 3 (Phantom – yes they CAN be beaten) and 4 Gareth, with Mark next and Paul struggling home 9th after losing his tiller extension.
On to the B2B with the wind developing a few more gusts. About 20 seconds before the start just when we were all mostly stopped waiting to harden up and go a huge gust which also headed came through and dumped several boats (me included) into irons. I just about managed to get going again (big pull on tiller to kick the stern round, heel hard to windward and try to get the boat to bear away – next step would have been to raise more plate) by the gun I was barely moving still several lengths behind the line but I think many people had the same problem. Up the beat chasing those who had got away cleanly I managed to find a decent lane of clear air out to the left with Paul just behind. The same pattern developed with Paul closing right up on the downwind legs so much that I had to defend quite hard on the last reach to start the beat less than a boat length ahead.
Worryingly when there is another boat close I seem to be able to work a bit harder and pull out a fraction more. This suggests that I am not working flat out the rest of the timeL I need to work on that - keeping the intensity and concentration going. I’m trying to work a bit on fitness at the moment (going skiing in Feb and suspect I will be caught out unless I get a bit fitter). I’ve been doing a lot of upper body exercises to make playing the main easier making sure that both arms are equally strong. Sailing is unusual in that you need to be fairly ambidextrous – if you are very right (or left) handed working on the strength and coordination of the weaker arm is important. I’m now trying to work more on core (key for sitting out comfortably) and legs (ready for skiing). I could also do with losing ½ stone but muscle weighs more than fat so I don’t know if that will happen.
Santa brought our home a Bosu balance disk - dome shaped inflatable thing you do exercises on at the gym. Amazing how much exercise you get just trying to stand still on it!
So – my resolutions:
Improve reaching speed
Improve concentration and intensity