RS 200 Winter Day Open – Race 2 (Day 3)
Zero degrees, ice on the boat covers and light winds forecast for the day seemed to have put off most of the RS200 fleet from sailing. As I lost the feeling in my thumbs, whilst only rigging the spinnaker to the boat, I’d not even got as far the jib or main yet, I was questioning just why I was not snuggled up in bed. However, wise words from Julie soon got me pulling the boat up the reservoir banks and into the glorious sunshine. All was forgiven and the feelings soon came back to my fingers.
Race 1 – 3,2,F,X,9,7
As is becoming a bit of a bad habit I set off from the pontoon allowing less than 1 minute to get to the start line over by 7. Given the light wind (about F2) that meant no chance, another missed start and time to watch Peter/Chris, Claire/Lucy and Julie/Fiona race down to the first mark. The race officer had set a course which at first glance seemed to only use the lower half the reservoir but once we were beating across the to the first mark we soon made use of the water towards the top. Given just how far back we were from the RS200 fleet we set about practising our tacking and battling with the Solo fleet (well not Gareth he was far ahead). So, as would become a bit of pattern for the day Peter/Chris took the win and Julie/Fiona followed in second place.
Race 2 – X,3,F,9
Double good news! The wind came in (F3-4) and this time we were out on the water with plenty of time to set off with the fleet. For the back to backs the race officer had set a more traditional rhomboid course; a long beat and run with two short reaches. Everyone got away together from 9 and headed on a starboard tack towards X (which was right over by 4). At the mid point we all tacked onto port except Julie/Fiona who elected to remain out wide before tacking. This appeared to pay off as she tucked in just behind Peter/Chris at the first mark. Clare/Lucy rounded in third place followed by Xavier/Clare and then Nick/Clare. Peter/Chris took the win from Julie/Fiona. Then there was a disaster for Clare/Lucy as they missed the finish line (I think there was some confusion with the outer distance buoy). On the final run we (Nick/Clare) had managed to overtake and pull away from Xavier/Clare on the kite run. We gybed around F, pointed the boat across the short reach to the finish line and had our own mini disaster as our kite wrapped itself around it’s halyard and jammed. The boat lost power and Xavier/Clare rapidly started to close the gap. We just managed to hold out by about 30cms in what was such a close finish the race officer only fired the horn once for both boats. When Clare/Lucy realised that they had missed the finishing mark they were almost up by 7, so finished the race in 5th.
Race 3 – X,3,F,8
The race offer had slightly shifted the course moving the start from 9 to 8. This gave the course a long tight reach from F to the finish at 8. All the 200s got away safely and with the wind still holding up we started the beat across the reservoir. Xavier/Clare were the first tack so we (Nick/Clare) followed, foolishly thinking we had the better downwind speed. The rest of the fleet stayed on starboard for longer which definitely paid off as the three leading boats made the first mark with a bit of distance to spare. It looked to me that Clare/Lucy followed Peter/Chris round the first mark with Julie/Fiona just behind. We all flew down the tight reach towards the finish line, Clare and I just managed to hold the kite but got blown a little side ways so were somewhat wide of 8 as we sheeted in for the reach (thanks to Julie/Fiona for the advice on putting the cunningham full on and letting the jib out to help offset the sideways movement – we’ll do that next time). So Peter/Chris came in first and Julie/Fiona were second followed by Clare/Lucy in third.
Overall winners for the day were Peter and Chris who I’m sure will enjoy their bottles of Burgundy.