After the intense racing at the weekend, it was good to get back to Slipper for a quiet evening race. Or so I thought, a F4-6 offshore NE and 18 other boats made for less than quiet racing!
Northerly starts at the club always involve a short 40m beat to the first mark, and it is always a starboard rounding. The short beat means that the majority of the fleet all converge on the mark within 20 seconds or so, and port/starboard and 'no tacking in my water' rules come sharply into focus. Of course this invariably means that many sailors are letting others know of their position vis-a-vis the rules, and I'd be surprised if the shouts coming from the Stratos couldn't be heard in Southampton!
Some excellent performances:
- Sam Tweedle won the race in his Radial, and very well deserved. He dominated the pin end at the start, had great speed all round the course and took the win by 5 seconds on corrected time. I get the impression that this may be a common result in times ahead, the rest of us need to up our game!
- Matt Johnston was out in his Phantom, and despite an absolutely appalling start worked his way into second place on corrected time. Good to see Matt getting to grips with the boat, but needs to work on cruiser avoidance. And being near the line at the start. ;-).
- Stalwart of the Laser fleet John Fifield was in attendence and placed 4th, despite a quick dip at a windward mark. Excellent result.
- John Excel and Patrick Bapty powered their way to 5th place in their Stratos, with an impressive start and first beat, and good offwind speed. And a thorough knowledge and enforcement of the rules approaching windward starboard rounding!
- A great result for Helen Weekes in her 4.7 placing 7th overall - it was very windy down at Sweare Deep and Helen was flying on the reaches.
- And finally a quick mention for the dream team of Alex and Barnaby Thorsby who made a guest appearance in their 400. Spinnaker problems meant that they lost time mid-race, but otherwise that boat was flat and fast. And full of performance improving pretzels.
My race was mixed, good start and first leg but managed to capsize just after the first windward mark in a particularly spiky gust. But remembered to NEGU and made it through the fleet to finish 3rd on corrected time, just behind Matt and Sam. Very close racing with Matt, the boats are very similar speeds, apart from dead downwind where the 300 has an edge (something I suspect will change as Matt gets more time in the boat).
There is no substitute for club racing midweek, we are so fortunate. Maybe time to join the social sailors this evening for a quick practice session if anyone fancies it.