Suturday 3 Aug
The second outing of what I think is becoming established as a 'fun' evant - our annual 'Round the island' day when we aim for the best lap of the reservoir. The format is very simple - like a Grand Prix qualifying - cross the start line, do a complete lap of the 'Barn and back over the line. Any class, as many times as you want with your best lap to count.
As usual some people aimed for an early lap in cas ethe wind dropped while others tried to get the very last lap in as qualifying closed. Two parallel leader boards showed both a class handicap and personal handicap fastest lap. Early starters Mads Oberson and Nick England in lasers vied for the lead for the first hour as the wind proved challenging - apparently some rather 'interesting' gusts particularly near the far windward shore. The start was close hauled to 9, beat to 8 then progressinvely freeing down the far side, rounding up towards 2 and what variously was a close reach or beat back up the home shore.
CJ and Uta took a Vision round - but baled out of their first lap as they had inadvertently rigged the spinnaker wrong. Undeterred they returned, sorted out which way up the sail goes and ventured out again in company of new member Rovert Wall in another vision, the lasers still putting in the laps together with Peter Renn and Tony Sproat in Solos.
In the second hour the wind came up a bit more making it quite a challenge for some of the less experienced but despite a few brief dips most completed their laps. One topper bravely making the whole lap but losing concentration just after the finish - a very elgant capsize with the helm calmly stepping over the top onto the plat and back in again as the boat came up - I think she got her feet wet but no more than ankle deep. Stragely although the wind was definitely stronger most of the laps were actually slower - I suspect the wind doirection had cjanged to make the beat longer and it all depended what gusts you got over the far bank.
Now the fast boys were starting to put their laps in - much like the Grand Prix where they they wait to see how others are doing before venturing out. Mike Storey put in a stunning first lap in the EPS followed by Andy Barnett/Jo Lloyd in the 200 to move to the top of the scratch board. Roy Poole having made a couple of Merlin Rocket l,aps switched to his Solo to get a couple more laps. John Doyle showed that a Topper can be competetive and threatened the personal podium but with a fast last lap Mads Oberson sneaked back onto the personal podium but no-one could traoble Nick England's fastest on the personal side (the TryRace practice is clearly showing) or Mike Storey fast EPS lap on the scratch.
Class handicaps - top 10
1st Mike Storey EPS
2nd Andy Barnett/Jo Lloyd RS200
3rd Mads Oberson Laser
4th CJ/Uta Griesenbach Vision
5th Roy Poole Solo
6th Nick England Laser
7th Roy Poole (Merlin)
8th John Doyle (Topper)
9th Peter Renn Solo
10th Tony Sproat Solo
1st Nick England Laser
2nd Mike Storey EPS
3rd Mads Oberson Laser
4th Andy Barnett RS200
5th John Doyle Topper
6th Roy Poole Solo
7th Peter Renn Solo
8th CJ/Uta Vision
9th Tony Sproat Solo
10th Roy Poole Merlin
It was really good to see lots of our newer members and former TrySail/tryRace and RTC trainees.
Finally of course a huge thank-you to Susan Constable for a great BBQ and John Carpemter for manning the bar.
Team racing - 4 Visions in close company
After lunch we had a short team racing event showing close boat handling and the intensity of competition. Gareth and CJ representing Solos took on Ian Cleaver and Andy Barnett representing the RS200s. New(ish) sailors Jude, Jacky,Tony, Andy as crews were given a crash course in competetive crewing! Team racing with two boats per team works on the 'last boat loses' principle. This means that the emphasis is on protecting your team mate and making sure he isn't last. If he is you have to slow down one of the opposition to let your teammate past using the rights of way rules to your best advantage. Many thanks to Uta and Peter Cruise for manning the start line.
How do you slow down the opposition you ask - the classic place is upwind - close cover positioning your boat direct upwind of the opponent and then messing with the wind - let the jib flap and oversheet the main to sail slowly and totally mess up the wind. Of course the opponent will try to break cover either by tacking or bearing away for speed and then luffing up as leeward boat to force you to keep clear.
Closer to the mark you might aim for a 'sail on' positioning more alongside and to windward so the opponet can't tack. Then you have control and can deley your tack for the mark until you judge your teammate will be able to get there first. Your oppened will try to break this eiethr by slowing down (if you are quick you do the same) or by bearing away and gybing round which will escape the cover but lose a lot of ground. Close control manoeuvering good teamwork come to the force in this exciting form of racing. Getting the advantage off the start really helps as you can then control the upwind leg, but unless you have first and second nothing is safe.
Downwind a leeward boat may choose to take a windward boat very high to allow a teammate to slip past. In the end Gareth and CJ managed to win the series 2-0 but not without lots of place changing - at one point in the last race Andy and Ian were fisrt and second but Gareth managed to get an overlap on Ian at the start of the last beat and then slow him down enough for CJ to just get past. It still wasn't over though as Ian sailed a good downwind leg to very nearly overhaul CJ, but by some good boat positioning CJ had the inside at the final mark. A poor gybe almost let Ian back through but CJ recoverd to sail safely gto the finsh.
A great end to a perfect sailing day.
Next year I thunk we will try to get teams from each fleet and perhaps have a Solo/200/Laser and handicap team fighting for honours.