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Wednesday Series 23rd July

  • Well, that blew a few cobwebs out... I suppose it wasn't actually that windy, I was seeing 10-13 knots on the clubhouse anenometer when I arrived so only F4 really, but still, the way things have been lately that's almost a gale... It was an easterly too, probably East North East or something of that ilk. That's not really the best wind direction here at Island Barn because it tends to be kicked up and disturbed by the big trees to the east of the reservoir. And today was no exception. It got, shall we say, rather interesting up at the windward course. That's interesting as in "May you live in Interesting times"...

    The track was a fairly straightforward one. A long beat up to a windward mark in treeland. A very short shy reach come fetch come a variety of other things depending on how the wind felt across to another mark under the bank, and then a long run back down to the bottom, finishing off with a storming close reach back to the start. The best of the wind was probably in the pre start time... The GPS trace has my canoe doing 10 knots just 25 metres off the bank when I launched, and that's probably about right, and I had great fun blasting about before the start at double digit velocities.

    Still the race. I didn't see it myself, but a number of people commented to me that Nancy Scott's start in her Topper was pretty much perfect. Soon, though, Gareth Griffiths and Paul Playle managed to get ahead in Solos, and took a long lead. The first lap the fast boats seemed to get up with the Lasers and so on very quickly - well most of us did. No names on which pair elected to inspect the underside of their boat... Actually very little swimming happened in the race, which is really quite a surprise considering how hard some of the gusts hit. The first two laps were probably the real treats: the last two did seem to have calmed down a bit. 

    The disadvantage of sailing the Canoe, and especially if you're not having a good day, is that you're not best placed for observing the rest of the fleet. Unfortunately I was ideally placed for observing Mike Storey's EPS, which kept finding a better route down the run than I did. I also had altogether too good a view of the two Kevins in their Lasers, who were having a good old battle, and, although I joined them quickly, it seemed hard to leave them behind. 

    The  two most challenging parts of the race were, I suppose, physically the approach to the windward mark, on which I seemed to be forever getting tea-bagged, (actually, now I think about it, saying teabagged is quite inappropriate for the Canoe: the effect is much more akin to a ducking stool) and mentally/tactically sorting out the long run, which often featured quite narrow gust lanes which you could definitely get very right and which I seemed to be getting very wrong... Still the last leg was definitely a good one: not often you get to cross the finish line at twelve knots...

    But results. Honestly, how do we stop those d***ed Solos. They actually had an elapsed time better than the first two Lasers. Mind you, every time I saw them they seemed to be in a big gust. So, yes, Gareth won, Paul Playle second. Third was Nancy Scott, obviously following a highly competent start with a highly competent race, and the only one of us within touching distance of the leading Solos on handicap. Mike Storey took 4th and Kevin and Kevin (Pearson and Seebaluck) 5th and 6th in Lasers. In the personal handcap Paul won, Harry Phelps (with Ian Cleaver forward this week) was second, Nancy 3rd, Kyo Wong 4th in another Topper, Mike 5th and Gareth 6th.

    Series wise. Well, again no change at the top in either series, but you can read the results as well as I can...

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