ISLAND BARN RESERVOIR SAILING CLUB
SATURDAY 30th MAY
As many sailors know, race coaches tell you that with a gust in the northern hemisphere you are freed if you are on starboard. i.e. the wind goes right. Well, racing coaches, grab this. Every time the wind increased at this event, it went left and every time it died it went right. This pattern continued consistently all day. Explanations gladly accepted.
Jarvis Simpson is clearly a sailor who works out tactics for himself. He worked out what was happening very early at this event. On all the beats he positioned himself on the left side if the wind was light, having worked out that the next wind increase would be linked to a swing left; and vice versa. We watched in awe on the committee boat as Jarvis opened up an increasing lead on each beat, finishing Race 1 with a twenty boat length lead.
I would have placed my house on him to win the event. In contrast, local Solo hot shot, Fleet Captain and Commodore Gareth Griffiths trailed in last. We hadn’t noticed on the Committee Boat that Gareth had stopped to adjust his rig.
The start of Race 2 brought a certain amount of chaos to the event. In the final three minutes of the countdown the wind became lighter and lighter and, as reported above, went further and further right, to the point where the committee boat end was the most popular place in town. Steve Ede, from West Mersea, eyeballed the Race Officer and said ‘You do realise we can all lay the first mark from here, don’t you?’ The man was clearly right. The Race Officer considered postponing, but on a day when 40 degree shifts were becoming the norm, he thought better of it. At the start, ten boats attempted to be in the same place, alongside the committee boat. Unsurprisingly, four started prematurely and were called back.
After the start, those that continued on starboard out to the left hand side cashed in handsomely as the wind strength came back and went left, making it a perfect beat once more. Among the lefties was Steve Ede, who rounded an easy first. What of our wind-reading maestro Jarvis Simpson? He had put his money on the wind staying right and consequently suffered. Simon Derham and Steve Day, both from Littleton, had gone left with Ede and profited. Finishing order in Race 2 was Ede, Derham, Day.
At lunch Derham led, on five points, from Simpson and Ede, both on six points. Griffiths was now a little happier with his rig set up, scoring a respectable sixth.
Jarvis Simpson’s wind reading skills returned in Race 3 and he became locked in a struggle with Steve Ede. The latter prevailed and the finishing order was Ede, Simpson, Griffiths, the latter clearly revelling in his newly found rig setting skills.
With one discard and one race to go, the leaders were Ede (2 points), Simpson, (3 points), Derham (5 points). You had to favour one of these to win the event.
The wind filled in nicely for the final race, going well left and causing a late course adjustment. After a good start, Steve Ede went up the middle keeping a watchful eye open for a returning lull and right shift. No lull came and the race became a constant wind, boat-speed event. Ede is no slouch in these conditions and pulled further away on each leg to score another first. A real battle developed for second place, with home sailor Celso (CJ) Cavallari and Jarvis Simpson swapping places on every leg. On the last beat, Simpson passed Cavallari and then blew his advantage by over-standing, handing second place back to Cavallari and third place to Griffiths.
After a shaky start to the event, Steve Ede won it with ease and a perfect score of 3 firsts. Jarvis Simpson finished second overall, (which would have lost the writer his house) and Simon Derham, though having a poor last race, had done enough previously, to take third overall. Gareth Griffiths was leading home boat on fourth overall and has now vowed to adjust his rig prior to the racing, rather than during Race 1 !
Photos (c) Tessa Groves