For the last event in the Series, and our last evening event of the year, thirteen skippers turned out, and were greeted with a healthy blow more or less straight down the lake, so enabling us to set a long figure eight type course, starting from the bridge and beating all the way up to what we call the lollipop mark, from there it was back down in a zig zag around a couple of marks, taking us to the leeward mark, then a short reach to a spreader, then beat up to the finish mid lake.
It was B rigs all round and each race took about twelve minutes. Eight races were managed before the light faded. Unfortunately, three skippers Eric, Bob and Alan encountered boat failures during the event, and that spoilt their enjoyment on the night.
Victor on the night was John with Garry second, this win for John cemented his position at the top of the leader board for the series and he takes the Richard Walton Cup, with Chris as runner up.
So the first silverware awarded since lockdown, albeit a shortened series, but shows we are getting back to somewhere near normal. We wait now for the start of the Winter Series which kicks off in November.
10 skippers congregated for the final evening event of the 3rd Series. Fickle Mother Nature presented a warm evening and a clear blue sky. However she did insist on varying both the direction and strength of a light, mainly NNW air.
Accordingly the start once again ran adjacent to the bridge. Upwind to a trackside buoy, starboard to a far bank buoy. Once again to starboard and a broad reach taking another track side buoy to port. It was then just a case of a dead run to the finish.
A consensus of opinion resulted in a final upwind leg being added to future races. With the wind on the wane a total of 6 races were completed. With no one dominating proceedings several private duels emerged often producing varying interpretations of the regulations. Finally, may I thank not only the skippers but other members who have supported the Series during these trying times.
A good fleet of eleven skippers night of racing, was spoilt by the persistent drizzle and the lack of wind.
It was the A+ rig that was out again, and for those that didn`t have one they were going to struggle.
With the little breeze we had in not too kind a direction, we were forced to have a long diagonal start line, with a kind of a beat to a windward mark, then across to a spreader with a run to a leeward mark, and a beat to the finish.
It was awkward and slow going with what wind there was, so much so we only managed six races on the night before we had to halt proceedings.
Best of the bunch on the night were Garry and Mark, who again sailed the most consistent.
Our next outing for the 65 is on Thursday 3rd September with a 6pm start.
Common sense prevailed and the decision to delay the event by 24 hours proved correct. A glorious clear blue sky together with a steady 10 to 15mph westerly breeze greeted the maximum complement of 13 skippers. Prior to race 1 everyone’s attention was directed to the up dated Covid Edict ,the importance of which was accepted without query.
An almost identical course to the previous event was set. The start parallel to the clubhouse upwind to the lollypop buoy taking it to port a fast goosewing to a choice of start buoys. Once negotiated back upwind to the finish. Between races 3 and 4 we were treated to some invaluable starting techniques from Uncle Derek. In a nutshell he highlighted that 1 or 2 of the skippers had trouble differentiating their glutes from their olecranon. Or do I mean the advantageous use of the port tack start.
Once again the fleet was enhanced with the inclusion of Shaun Priestley. The results confirm that he is always a force to be reckoned with. Furthermore Shaun and Mark Rose took sufficient bullets to apply for a firearms licence. Inevitably the odd rule was transgressed but everything resolved in a courteous manner. My special thanks go to Derek and Bob for their input and may I remind you all that, weather permitting, next Tuesday is a 6pm start.
Twelve skippers turned out for our Series 3 event. The conditions on the night can only be described as very testing, as we were hit with heavy gusts, then lulls and changes in wind direction constantly. B rig was the sail of choice and it managed to cope with what we had to deal with.
Due to the wind direction RO Derek set an unusual course to start, with a short beat to a windward gate, whichever side you opted for decided which leeward mark you had to take, then the rest of the course forming a sausage shape. After a few races the wind did an about turn, and it was all up to the other end of the lake as Derek moved the start line to suit, and a simpler triangular course was set.
Mastering the conditions was very tricky, and with the gusts, a few collisions were had, but turns were done and we all got on with it. A breakdown for Mark early on spoilt his night, as he took on water and couldn`t continue, Malcolm also suffering with problems late on.
So to the racing, and as you can see from the results, it was really only Chris and Bob Jones who were sailing consistently in the challenging conditions, and deservedly took the honours. Hopefully for the rest of us we gained some experience to take forward.
Many thanks to Derek for being RO, and the others who helped with the scoring, it really is a big help.
10 enthusiastic skippers lined up for the resumption of official racing. With Uncle Derek kindly acting as race officer a course was set with the start set parallel to the clubhouse. The predictable jockeying for prime locations ensued. Finally the start gave the release and the long upwind beat into a fickle westerly breeze certainly tested seamanship. Rounding the lollipop marker to port it was a dead run to a gate at the east end of the lake. Once negotiated it was a testing upwind leg to the finish.
The score sheet does not entirely reflect the cut and thrust of the races. The fluctuating wind speed was indeed a challenge. One or two skippers eventually tickled their tackle to good effect with the two Chris’s drawing on their wealth of know how. It would be remiss of me not to mention the encouraging 1st race win by Richard Hocking. It bodes well for the future. Furthermore we welcome Olly, Malcolm and Alan into the fleet and hope that the big boat racer Andy Richies may soon swell the numbers. Finally, may I thank you all for your courtesy on the water.
Following the MYA guidance for the resumption of competitive sailing, we were able to get back to some proper sailing at long last.
Fourteen skippers attended for what turned out to be a great nights sailing, and nine races were had in the time. Adhering to the guidelines set out of not more than thirteen boats on the water at any one time, we agreed that two skippers would sit out for each race, and that would become one of their discards. It worked well as each skipper sat out a race in the first seven races, and by then a couple of boats had pulled out of the event, so we were able to race full fleet the last couple of races, and the course made a little longer.
With a nice NE breeze to start, and all but one on A rig, we set out to tackle a longish sausage shape course set by RO Derek. A few races in and conditions eased a little and a few chose to move to A+. This was a good move for Steve as his results show, and pushed him up the leader board.
Recent new member Olly took the first race, having borrowed Derek`s boat for the evening, and followed that up with another three bullets and three seconds, finishing well on top of the pile with only ten points.
It`s been a long wait, but finally we are back to somewhere near what we are used to, some good, enjoyable competitive racing, plenty of banter, Race Officer annoyances very entertaining (only joking Derek), and best of all being with friends.
Fleetwood Mustangs were back on the lake, six skippers turned out for this regular gathering. Proceedings were a little delayed due to a ‘UFO’ in the water. A pleasant diversion then ensued to try to recover the article, skilfully manoeuvring the Mustangs round and pushing the item towards the bank. It turned out to be an old holdall which, due to the weight, took several boats and patience to achieve.
Sailing started about 20 mins later with a change from the customary course which left out markers on the far side of the lake and took in ones more to the centre.
Some close racing was had in the gentle breeze, it was a delightful sight to see these old timers in glorious formation cutting through the water. There were quite a number of visitors showing interest and quite a few casual conversations were heard.
Six races were had in all, John Plant of course in front but the remainder of the pack sharing the lead positions at some point.
A very pleasant afternoon, thanks to all concerned, see you next Tuesday.
No report this time I’m afraid, only to say our second IOM outing post full lockdown was just as good as the first which was amazing. Full social distancing observed. Please note this Wednesdays (12th Aug) IOM practice has been CANCELLED due to most skippers having other commitments. More IOM racing soon we hope, watch this space.