2016 came in with a bang with another windy sailing day at IBRSC on Sunday 3rd Jan. The breeze was around 16-18kts from the SSE although it seemed like more than that, probably due to the oppressive clouds and almost constant heavy rain. 17 boats took to the water and with some sharp gusts, quite a few sailors had a swim in the not so icy waters. The warmest December since 1910 has certainly delayed the cooling of the reservoir. Your author was lucky to have new kit from Santa and was able to confirm that yes, it works, which was just as well because my sailing was distinctly off-colour. I definitely came back from a post Xmas cold a day too early.
It was a pursuit day and the race team lead by Clare James set a great, long course - beat to 5, short reach across to 4 where things got a bit funky under the trees, run to 2, short one-legged beat to X and a long broadish reach to 8, where there was a graveyard gybe and a tighter reach back to F. The reach to 8 was FAST, with some loud whoops coming from a practically airborne RS200 at times.
Others didn't get the best of the gusts there and once I'd nursed my poorly body back to shore I saw one reach where Peter in the RS300 sailed sedately across whilst those ahead and behind were screaming along. That probably was reflected in the results as Peter did not get past Kevin in the Radial. Unsurprisingly, Gareth held it all together to win comfortably in an Aero7 and there were quite a few notable retirements as the steadily increasing wind and other elements took their toll.
Suitably refreshed, the hardcore went out for the back to backs on a simpler quadrilateral course, but with the same screaming reach angle, only 2-F rather than X-8, a tad less wind but still as wet above water as below. Mike D had a great first race in the Solo, losing out to Gareth by just a few seconds and Peter pipped Gareth in the second.
Boss of the Barn? Need it be said?
Next Saturday is the Bloody Mary at Queen Mary...always a good day and there is generally a good IBRSC turnout - 4 boats I know definitely going. Forecast at time of writing is "interesting", but still not cold, which is just as well. I do remember one year rigging in -6 celsius and in freezing fog and little wind not being able to get across the boat in a tack because of ice forming in the bottom of the boat. That's not going to happen this year it seems.