Monday, 8 October 2012

300 Race Log - 08/10/2012

Date: 6th October
Venue : ESC
Race : Handicap race, 1 hour
Conditions: NE F1-3, very patchy and shifty
Tide : 45 Mins start, 4.2m tide to not too much flow
Result : 1st overall of 19 boats

- Good start.  Made a decision to wait midline and monitor the wind until 2 mins.  Noticed the fleet setting up on the pin end, but I fancied the club end.  Tacked under the fleet, cruised down the line and made a good start, crossing all but an ISO (and maybe I should have been a bit more confident and crossed).  First round the windward mark.
- Good upwind speed, especially when the wind picked up a few knots.  Vast improvements in keeping the boat flat and steering upwind without the rudder.
- Good speed dead downwind.
- Tactically a straightforward race, no great mistakes, but no real decision making required.
- Pleased with boat handling for majority of the race.

Points for reflection:
- Off the boom sheeting.  This is the latest trend in the 300s, with many at the top of the fleet choosing to sheet off the boom, new class rules allow you to mount the racket on the boom.  I tried this technique for about half the race - it works fine offwind, and allows for much easier adjustment.  Upwind, I found the mainsheet tension far more difficult to gauge, perhaps this is something that needs practice and tuning.  For the moment its a relatively low priority, I'll stick to sheeting OTB downwind and from the floor upwind.
- Boat speed on a broad reach in light winds.  The ISOs and 400s are leaving me for dead on a broad reach.  This may be simply a question of physics - they have so much sail area compared to the 300 that it is maybe an unfair comparison.  Needs a two boat session with another 300 to tune for this point of sail.
- Mental approach.  The trouble with this wind strength is that I feel I'm almost expected to win, and anything other than 1st is a bit of a let down.  Not sure this is a positive state of mind!  And winning the race is more of a 'thank goodness for that' rather than a 'that was good sailing and a deserved result'. I've started reading the "Inner Game of Tennis" as a vehicle to address some of this stuff.

Points to work on:
- Boat speed on a broad reach in light airs
- Tennis skills.

Date: 7th October

Venue : ESC
Race : Handicap race, 1.25 hour
Conditions: E-SE, F1-3, very patchy and shifty
Tide : 45 Mins start, 4.0m tide not not too much flow
Result : (distant) 2nd overall of 14 boats

- Decided on a starboard approach to start, coming from OCS and tacking onto port in a gap.  Found a good gap but slightly early, but had enough space to manage speed. Good start, clear wind once those OCS had returned, all fast boats in my dirty wind, first to Wickor.
- Really pleased with boat handling.  The beats from Walsh/Church involved tacking up the bank out of the tide, with a tack every 30-50 seconds.  All the practice in roll tacking really paid dividends here, they were confident and fast, and seemed to give me a couple of boat lengths on every tack..  Mark rounding also good, managed to keep a lane whilst rounding immediately behind the ISOs.
- Again a race without a great deal of strategy, the fastest route around the course was pre-determined by tide.
- Managed to keep with the ISOs for most of the race which made it tactically interesting, made me realise that I want to do more class racing next year.
- Enjoyed the race, even though being pasted by the Finn.

Points for reflection:
- Ditto broad reaching speed from yesterday, I'm sure the Finn was catching me.  After the race we wondered whether the wind was filling from behind, I'm pretty sure it was just the Finn being very well sailed!
- Could have been more in tune with wind direction, didn't keep an eye on numbers for much of the time.  Would have been useful from NEH to Shepherd/Wickor.
- Missed Sweare Deep and Northney, and had to return to both (much to the amusement of the ISOs).  Need to focus on the next mark!

Points to work on:
- Boat speed on a broad reach in light airs
- Being less clueless about the course!


  1. Inner Game of Tennis ????? Forget all that psychology mumbo jumbo. You're good. All you need to do to improve is skive off work a bit more often. More sailing less working.

  2. Ah Claire, if only we all had your idyllic mix of work and pleasure, unfortunately work is getting in the way for me at the moment. That said, I was thinking of sneaking out from a sail later today, until I remembered the boat is on the drive at home, doh.