We’ve had a couple of very windy races!
Despite it being pretty brutal on the water recently spring is definitely in the air – the days are getting longer – I’m typing this at 5:30 pm and I haven’t turned the lights on yet so we really can start to look forward to light evenings, the Wed evening series, Tuesday Trysail and coaching etc. There is also some definite warmth in the sun – I could really feel the warm rays of the sun as they dried up the hailstones when I went for a run this lunchtime… We’ve had the Dinghy Show and we’re starting the Open Meeting season. Several people will be going to Broadwater this weekend for the traditional first Open meeting of the season. I can’t be there (family duty) so all the best to Paul, Mike and Tim.
A small but determined group of sailors took to the water on Sunday, I elected to try the Aero (7) in the pursuit but the Solos were well represented by Paul, Tim, Peter H, Ian and Tony. Although Ian and Tony didn’t finish I think it shows how far they have come that they were having a great time flying back and forth before the start, and Ian managed a lap or two. Sunday was pretty extreme – but the practice in those conditions will stand you in great shape for the (usually) more moderate summer weather. It looked from where I was as if Paul and Tim were having a close race with Paul just having the edge until Tim dipped it in the rather nasty shifts towards the top of the beat. Not sure I gained much at all on the first lap but after that the fast boats were gradually pulling their way through the fleet. I’m told Paul had a very brief dip but I didn’t see it – at the end the first three were within about 50 yards with Paul staying ahead, Peter Curtis (RS500) just overtaking me at the last mark and me in the Aero. If the wind hadn’t dropped on the last rum we might have caught Paul but you can’t complain when three boats that close after an hour pursuit.
The forecast for Sunday is quite mild and much less extreme – still a decent breeze but no 30 knot gusts.
The dinghy show had four solos – two on the Solo stand – a Winder and a Boatyard at Beer, then a JP on the P&B stand – it seems P&B are making the JP now, and a Boon (about to be Ovington) on the Ovington stand. For those who missed the news, Boon has sold up his moulds to Ovington and will no longer build boats but Ovington will become a supplier in their own right (previously they used to do the moulding for Boon a few years ago and then they moulded the early JP boats which have now gone to P&B) It’s all musical chairs with the builders… With Speed also making fast boats we are lucky as a class to have FIVE competitive builders of modern FRP boats as well as some more craftsmen lower volume builders like Gosling. There’s no shortage of good new boats. Apologies to anyone I didn’t say hello to at the Dinghy Show – I did see a lot of old friends but I know I missed a few of you – it’s a great show and you keep bumping into sailors you’ve met over the years. As usual I came away with a few goodies – a new book by Jon Emmet – a nice slim book packed with great advice and tips – some new gloves, shorts, hiking pads etc. Should keep me going for a bit.
The new handicaps are out and the Solo has gone down again, the laser and radial have gone up again as has the topper but others have come down – Phantom, Streaker, Albacore, RS200 and RS300. Your sailing committee are debating what this all means as we also have quite a lot of data to make local adjustments. New club figures will be posted for the spring series – be careful to note pursuit times as they may well change.
I’m going to miss the next two weeks. If anyone can pass me on some notes about how Broadwater goes and club activity I’m happy to edit them into the news.