Sunday 6th Dec
The first Sunday in December and the first pursuit of the winter season, November's having been canned with a complete absence of wind. Quite the opposite this time with a fair old breeze blowing. Well in to F5, but a notch down from last week, certainly no 40kt gusts and forecast to drop, which it did for the second of the back to backs. There was plenty wind to cause a number of capsizes and dodgy moments with a fair few wearing round at the gybe mark.
Qudos to Dave Simpson and Alexis Villiers who spent much of Saturday rescuing and refitting the safety boats that had been cast adrift by the thieves who struck during the week, ensuring that there was safety cover for Sunday's racing. And remark must be made of the course set by RO Andy and Tessa Groves, which was pretty much perfect for the conditions - beat to 7, tricky bearaway onto a dead run to X in the middle of the pond, sharp beam reach across to 4 which was just manageable, 150 degree gybe at 4 and screaming slightly broader reach to 1. I love that "d" course for IBRSC - the bear away at the top is challenging in a breeze and gets you away from the lee of the bank quickly and X mark can be positioned to ensure a dead run and tweak the shorter reach angle. The only downside is that the run can be quite short, but it was just right in this instance.
A decent number of boats started with Joe Dunn leading the way in the Laser 4.7 and the fleet welcomed Douglas and Ian back in the RS400 for the first time in many months. They chose a difficult day to reacquaint themselves with the boat and spent a fair while inspecting the slot gasket. No surprise that Gareth, starting off the Aero7 number, blasted away never to be seen again. First time halfway down the run for me, Gareth was nearing the gybe at 4 and every lap he never got any closer. Peter in the RS300 gave valiant chase but couldn't catch up.
With the wind still up, a hardcore ventured out for the back-to-backs. Paul W-A had rigging problems and missed the first start but was very competitive against Gareth in the second race, with better upwind speed/tactics giving him the upper hand, only for Gareth to squeeze past downwind. Mike S retired with wing damage in the EPS. Racing was close with just 40s separating 5 boats on corrected time in the second race.
Over the day Gareth was Boss of The Barn with a clean sweep of victories, followed by Peter and Tim