There was great excitement at the beginning of the week in our house, with the impending 300 Winter Championships at Aldenham scheduled for the weekend. Mrs R could hardly contain herself, such was the anticipation of having a house and drive free of sailing kit for the weekend. But it was not to be, the forecast was brutal, snow and road closures in the North hampering efforts the efforts of Northern brethren to attend, and temperatures of 0-1 degrees. So the Winter Championships are postponed, and the next 300 event is late April, hopefully we will have more clement Spring weather by then.
Fortunately the last race in the Chiller series was scheduled for Sunday, albeit with an early 09:00 start time, so some sailing was to be had this weekend. A surprisingly good turn out for the race, given the forecast f5-7NE and close to freezing air temperatures. 12(ish) intrepid boats made the start line and had a brisk jaunt into the harbour and back. Some points of interest:
- Matt and Gael gave the rest of the fleet a pasting in their 400, managing to fly the kite on seemingly impossible tight reaches. Matts approach of turning up the club 15 minutes before the starting gun appears to pay dividends (if I were crewing it would drive me mad).
- Mike and Emma were sporting their new set of Rooster sails on their ISO, and flying on the 2-sail tight reaches. I followed them on the first leg and the main was blading to leeward really nicely, they were flat trapezing and going fast.
- Glen Grant had a storming first couple of legs, leading the Laser fleet by a good margin to Stocker. Not sure how the Laser fleet finished, but excellent offwind boat speed from Glen.
- Rich and Tom Kennedy joined the fleet for the first time this year in their 800. A difficult course for the 8, the first reaches down the channel were too tight for the kite, and looked to be very hard work. I think I might have spotted a brief swim on the windward leg following a tack. Rich claims to have pulled a muscle in his arm, fortunately Tom and I were on hand to tell him to man up.
- A lonely race in the 300, I was too slow to keep up with the ISO/400/800, and some way ahead of the Lasers. At the start of the race my hands were too cold to grip the mainsheet, but they warmed up in time for me to luff Matt and Gael after the start, happy days.
So thats it for the Chiller series, an excellent start to the year. Many thanks to Glen Grant and the RO/PB crews, none of the racing would happen without willing volunteers. Next club racing is the RNLI pursuit race on Friday, followed by three days of racing over Easter.