This week we have a mixed blog so keep your wits about you – Paul and Tony give their views, with the odd comment from me as we go. My comments in black like this... and Eddies summary from the shore...Interesting to see what different people observed or were thinking... I have tidied up some sections – hopefully not altered anything significant.
Overall the series results are VERY close - full results on the web - all still to play for...
4753 Tony Penfold
5071 Malcolm Barnes
5046 Paul Playle
3457 Mervyn Cinnamond
2042 Chris Smith
3174 Roy Poole
3365 Frank Beanland
3854 Martin Mitchell
2052 Andy Turner - Retired
A good turnout of 9 on a very good morning of clear skys and sunshine. Wind a perfect Northwesterly, force 3. I gather from the after race comments that it was nip and tuck all the way around course with Tony winning by a 50yd gap. Second place was so close that the helms concerned had no idea who got the gun. It would appear that Malcolm had it just by the width of his Forestay. They all seemed well pleased with the race. What a difference a drop of sun can make, keep it coming.
Wind 8-10 knots North westerly.
The course set by the Officer in my opinion was over complicated when you consider we had visiting Fevas and Toppers.
If I remember correctly this was the course set.
Beat to 9, Reach to 7, Broad reach to 4, Beat to F, reach to X, Run to 3
(Gareth: Doesn’t seem too bad to me – looks like RO trying to get two decent beats, but could be slightly daunting)
Eight (actually there were nine) Solos enjoyed the best sailing conditions yet in this winter morning Solo series. Bright sunshine and a relatively steady NW force 3 gave for some very close racing with lots of place changing at least among the leading 4 boats. From a very portend biased line which the whole fleet picked up, Malcolm Barnes was first to buoy 9 the windward mark closely followed by Paul Playle, Mervyn Cinnamond and Tony Penfold. The next four boats, not far behind, including veteran Frank Beanland were also close and enjoying the sail.
The start line was initially square but the wind swung around more to the West as the fast handicap started, thus making the pin end very biased.
Tony managed to get to the line on time and had the best position right on the pin on Starboard tack as the gun went off. Paul was on Port tack going for a gap between Tony and Malcolm 20 yards down the line following Tony. It was clear I could not get through the gap so I tacked onto starboard just to leeward of Malcolm. Merv, Chris, Roy, Frank and the dark blue Solo (Martin) and the new Solo (Andy), tacked early onto Port and headed low. Malcolm and Paul were neck and neck and both tacked onto Port after about 200 yards.
Tony continued to sail very high and did not take advantage of the heading breeze. (not sure I really understand that bit) Plan was just to keep as close as possible to Malcolm, I could see Tony was going far too far left, when he tacked he was almost reaching down to the mark. At the windward mark Malcolm crept around about 10 yards ahead of Paul with Merv very close behind.
The rest of the pack led by Tony were about 100 yards down. The reach down to 7 was very close between Mervin and Paul. Paul just managed to hold off Mervin and rounded very close to Malcolm, the run down to 3 saw Paul pull away from Merv a little and just get the overlap Malcolm before the mark.
The next beat to F saw Paul and Malcolm exchanging places again.
On the reach Tony went very low and made up a huge amount of time getting past both Malcolm and Paul. (Gareth: Private luffing battles on a reach always let those behind gain – early in the race it is sometimes better to consolidate your position and attack later when you have less to lose or on a leg (beat/run) where diverging carries less penalty. Only worth attacking if you can very quickly get through.)
By the end of the first reach and run Paul had just squeezed ahead of Malcolm, but the front four were still very closely grouped. By the end of the next beat Mervyn had dropped back a bit as the wind had increased a little but the three-way battle was still being waged up front. Eventually Tony squeaked a small lead but only just held it to the bottom mark.”Sorry Paul maybe you did have an overlap!”.
Reach across to X saw Malcolm and Paul close in on Tony. All three boats rounded within 10 yards, run down to Three Tony went low and Paul went high shadowing Malcolm. Paul crept up alongside Malcolm approaching the mark, with Tony having to head up this gave Paul an overlap. Paul assumed Tony saw there was an overlap kept quiet only to see Tony close the gap, Paul exchanged a few polite words having to bear away hard nearly taking Tony's rudder clean off!
[Gareth] ALWAYS call for the overlap if you want it – it helps in any protest and clears up any ambiguity – similarly if denying an overlap always call – it gives the other boat time to do something to keep clear. Key rules point is the line perpendicular to the transom of the leading (outside) boat (Tony in this case) as he enters the zone (three lengths) If he is still pointing low the line across his transom might still be ahead of Paul even though when he points up to the mark there is a clear overlap. Obviously I wasn’t there so I don’t know if there was or was not an overlap – glad to see it amicably resolved as there was clearly some doubt.
On the final beat Paul and Malcolm had their own private fight going off to starboard towards the clubhouse wall allowing Tony to sail in the stronger breeze in the middle and take a long port tack into 9 avoiding the bad wind zone by the clubhouse.
The 30 yard lead was enough to see him home first while Malcolm and Paul battled all the way, finishing overlapped. Mervyn coming in a comfortable fourth A great sail, well worth the trip up from Hayling.
Back to 9 Tony was beating fast but pointing much lower than the chasing Paul and Malcolm. Tony again went low. Malcolm in Paul's dirty air tacked early. Paul decided to tack early and cover Malcolm, as we rounded 9 Tony had pulled away a small lead with Malcolm just getting round ahead of Paul.
As we rounded 7 the run down to the finish line saw Tony ahead of Malcolm by about 50 yards then Paul closing again on Malcolm. Tony crossed the line to take 1st with Malcolm crossing about 6 inches ahead of Paul. Merv was 4th, Followed by Chris and Roy, Frank, and Martin
By the time we came to do the handicap races black clouds had arrived and the wind had increased a little, enough for the odd plane on the reach... pity as Lasers plane earlier than we do! The line wasn't as port biased as before but as always it pays to start as far away from the bigger boats as possible. (Gareth: interesting point I usually try to mix it but make sure I can keep clear wind one side or the other) Tony started at the port end and banged the port corner arriving at the windward mark first Solo but behind all the faster boats except one. From then on it was a good sail but a bit processional. By race 2 the forecast rain had arrived and wind dropped off a bit. At the windward mark Malcolm was close behind Tony, Paul and Chris just behind Malcolm. For the rest of the race Tony wasn't able to pull away very much from Malcolm and much to his annoyance was covered all the way down the last run by a feisty young lady in a Topper!! She claimed an overlap, Malcolm took advantage of this, sailed over the Topper, gave Tony even more dirty wind and waltzed away to be first Solo home. Well done!
Unfortunately Paul had one of his whoopsies on the last run down so Chris Smith was able to grab third Solo spot.
Moral of the story: Don't tangle with the 'Squaddie' girls in Toppers they have been too well coached and are not scared of OAPs in Solos!
Lessons learnt from my angle, too much tension on the Halyard flattens the top of sail and we go well to windward but struggle on the reaches and runs...also when the windward marks are 9 and F, be brave, over-stand slightly and approach from 100 yards out on Port... don't get caught in the doldrums on starboard under the clubhouse.I have a fetish about clear air and have always been told that the air is disturbed up to a distance of 20 mast heights to leeward of another boat. All my little secrets are coming out! (Gareth: halyard tension confuses me, I always have it right up, but I don’t pin the foot – use Cunningham and inhaul to alter the tension on the luff to get the same effect but hopefully fast on all legs by being adjustable, certainly slow downwind if you forget to ease the Cunningham/inhaul)
Race 2 and 3 saw the officer changing to a simple square course with an increasing wind from 10 -15 knots.
Not as exciting but still fairly close.
Tony, Malc, Paul Chris and Roy.
Same format but on the last run Paul noticed a small patch of mud at the top of his main and had the sudden urge to wash it off before the finish. (we believe you ... J)
Hope you enjoyed the mixed accounts, I enjoyed reading them and splicing it together– be warned –if you beat me you are honour bound to explain how and why!
See you Sunday