Sunday 24th Jan
It was a smashing days sailing. Quite literally in one case. More of which later...
Wind was a low end F4 from the SSW with the odd surge of breezier stuff and it was very mild. The sun even made an appearance at one stage. Sunglasses were on, hats were stuffed into life jackets and scarves discarded mid race. The top notch conditions brought 26 boats to the start line plus 6 Toppers out for an ad hoc training session. Douglas & Ian (plus young helper) in the Committee Boat got everything off in ship-shape fashion and set a long-ish course comprising short beat, very tight reach/fetch, long run, full length beat, broad reach.
Things were tight at the front of the the fast fleet with RS300, Phantom, Aero 9, EPS and Aero 7 practically class racing within a few boatlengths of each other all round the course with each boat finding a favoured combination of course and wind strength at different points of the race. What was undeniable was that Gareth in the Aero 7 was fast upwind...probably just in the sweet spot for his combination, although picking the shifts helped as well. Peter in the 300 had a couple of nightmare beats where he seemed to find every hole and header and the fleet closed up and stretched out like a concertina right up until the finish. Clare in a 200 tipped in on the run in the sharpest gust of the race and all the while Chris in a Streaker kept plugging away at the back of the fleet.
When the fat lady sang it was Gareth with a hefty 98sec handicap win, but Chris had done enough for 2nd...his best result for a long while and Mike S in the EPS held off the 300 for 3rd. In the Lasers Kevin S won with Joe Dunn, now in a Radial a good 2nd and Kevin P also in a Radial 3rd. (At IBRSC Laser class racing is irrespective of rig...position on the water is the finishing order). Paul P won the 9 boat Solo race from Tim L and Mike D.
The course was reset to a standard quadrilateral for the back to back races and a long square line got everyone away well. With a long starboard tack on the beat there was a bit of a drag race across the reservoir and quite a bunching nearing the weather mark simultaneously. Here an RS200 on port pushed his luck a great deal on one cross with a Solo but enountered a second Solo on starboard a couple of boatlengths further on...result...a pretty comprensive spearing amidships of the unfortunate second Solo (see above link)...end of race for both parties...and much apologising. The injured party took it all very well and is already deluged with offers of boats to sail whilst his is under repair. Moral(s) - keep a good lookout, don't push your luck and it has to be said, hail if you have right of way. It might not have affected the outcome in this particular instance but you never know.
Unfortunate collision aside the racing was nip and tuck all the way round. Just 30s separated the top 6 in the shorter, first race and 14s separated the top 3 in the second race where the top and bottom reaches were freed and lengthened somewhat. With the breeze up a notch or two, Kevin P in the Radial found his sweet spot and took 2nd and 1st in the two races with Peter C getting a 1st and 3rd.
Overall Boss of The Barn this week goes to Kevin Pearson with the usual suspects in 2nd & 3rd...