Following on from the creation of a small 6mR fleet at Fleetwood it was decided to hold an open meeting at the venue with the hope of encouraging further participation in the north of England to promote the virtues of the class on a piece of water that contrasts with traditional sheltered waters of established 6m venues.
There was a practice and tuning session on the Saturday afternoon which saw 4 boats in attendance and a very pleasant meal and chinwag in the Mount that evening. Well we certainly made a splash.
Fleetwood delivered its customary wind, albeit from the less commonly experienced SSE direction, of 15mph with gusts into the 20s. It made for some spectacular sailing. I don’t think anyone present had ever seen 6mRs sail downwind at the sustained speeds we witnessed. Were they planing? Hard to say. Probably not, but they were challenging Froude’s law!
The course was a long dogleg of two windward legs up to the clubhouse corner and a wing mark in front of the bridge using some three quarters of the length of the lake, then a long downwind leg back to the start area. Two laps, then a finish at the first upwind dogleg mark. Six boats arrived at the start line but Bill Green’s Renaissance, perhaps more used to a quieter life back home soon succumbed to an unusual fault when the through deck pulley failed following a line jumping off. Alas a repair or replacement could not be fashioned. The race order took on a pattern with sail 16, Shaun holbeche (Ravenna) leading followed by sail 12, Mike Ewart (Ravenna) with 66, Gordon Bayliff (Optimum) taking thirds, until that too suffered an unusual failure of the winch tray which curtailed Gordon’s further involvement. 16 had a topping lift wrap itself on the rigging and dropped a spot too. Meanwhile 07 (Panther) sailed by Eric in his first ever experience of a 6mR and 38 (Seismick) under Damian Ackroyd, (two boats recently returned to competition and awaiting hull appendage/lead/rig upgrades) were engaged in a close battle that was decided by one point. When the Panther was derigged afterwards it was found that the mast had sheared right at deck level and was held in place by rig tension which perhaps explained why main sail shape had deteriorated later in the day!
The spectacle attracted a good number of club members and onlookers and many pictures were taken. All the participants thoroughly enjoyed themselves, even Bill who said it was well worth it for the limited sailing he had experienced. All looked forward to another opportunity to sail on the lake again.
Thanks must go to our race team, Peter Isles who placed the extra buoys for the course and helped with launches, Bob Jolly for his scoring/general assistance and Trevor Bell as Race Officer.