Sunday, 2 December 2012

Another light wind Sunday race

The Sunday series this year has been a predominantly light wind affair, and the Hare and Hounds 10 race was no exception.   Race Officer Hugh Kennedy got the fleet away first time with 4 boats over, all returned with the exception of the Fireball of Hugh and Steve.

The fetch to Wickor was straightforward enough in a relatively stable f2, but thereafter it was very patchy in the Sweare Deep area, those who could find wind and keep in it made big gains.

Thankfully the Race Officer shortened the course at the end of the second upwind leg, and we all braved the shallows off Fowley Island in an attempt to minimise the distance sailed to the finish line.  Andy Gould was apparently in very close proximity to clumps of grass in 6" of water, but made it through unscathed (a miracle, given recent mudbank performance!).  Martin and Claire were not so fortunate in their Laser 4000 and lost their entire rudder assembly to the depths, not a good way to end a race.  That's a 'Bent Spreader' nomination right there.

The end of the race was interesting.  As the leaders approached Fowley, we could see a huge dead patch stretching all the way to the finish line with no 'islands' of wind in sight.  I was hopeful that the wind would fill in from the West, but it was not to be - a very fickle F0-1 all the way to the line, with the whole fleet concertinaing up from Ems.  Great that the majority of the fleet were able to finish despite the conditions, especially well done to Amber in her Topper, who crossed the finish line after an hour and a half - it takes real perseverance to keep going and refuse a lift home!

Some interesting results :

- The Dream Team post another great result - 10th place in their Magno.
- John Excell and Various Crews post an excellent 3rd place in the Laser Stratos.  Lots of speculation in the boat park as to the characteristics of the Stratos that make it such a light wind weapon.
- Paul and Caroline Fisk take 4th place in their RS200.  We saw the 200s finishing, excellent boat speed in the very light winds.
- Dave Acres deserves a special mention, for interrupting his own race in an attempt to retrieve the rudder assembly of the L4000.  An example to us all, excellent seamanship.

After the race, we had the first protest lodged for quite some years, concerning a start line incident between two Lasers.  More on this anon, I'll post the protest form and hopefully make the argument that protests and arbitration at a club level are a good thing!


  1. My thanks to Mark Stubbings and Simon O'hea and the patrol crews for looking for the rudder blade which was just poking out of the water before it sank. Thanks also for the tow home Mark. Amazingly Dave Acres turned around, came back to look for the rudder and seemed quite prepared to abandon his race to search for our blade. A true sportsman.
    Interestingly we got over the shallows on the last leg unscathed and were back in the main channel when the lower pintal decide to shear (I think). A new rudder assembly is £550 plus postage! Just finished filling in the insurance claim which makes interesting reading.
    Thanks for a really enjoyable race. It sounds like the finish was 'a bit tense'. Martin

  2. Ouch. Maybe worth a kayak trip at low water to see if it is still there?

  3. A helpful email from John E has reached my inbox - there is a Laser 4000 rudder assembly for sale on Apolloduck here - . Hope it is of use Martin.