Launching from the North Shore!! Yes – another few feet of beach has been exposed and we are launching now from the North Shore. The jetty has been taken across and moored at a jaunty, but effective angle! Actually it’s dead easy over there – makes you sometimes wish it was like that all the time.
The only snag is getting the boat down there. It’s pretty easy to graze your rudder tip at the bottom of the ramp. I got down OK but coming up was a problem. Same happened for Midnight Rog yesterday – mysteriously I got our boat down there just fine but grazed the tip trying to get back up after racing. So next week for us, it will be a rudder off job…. But launching off the beach jetty there is a breeze. Dead easy….
Racing was pretty good – we had ten teams show up… one sat in the bar (Dominic and David) concerned to see how the new launching worked out, Mike Firth prepped the boat but the crew was a no-show, which left us with 8 teams on the water. I am totally delighted to say that Ian Linder (3851) has just joined as a full member – which is super news for the fleet! At last, someone who can get their fangs into Mark and Tony!!!
I often say in these reports that PROing isn’t easy – and so it wasn’t today. Slightly embarrassingly the PRO, a good friend I hope (!), approached me in the bar and asked me what I thought of the course (after a small interaction with the Race Committee before race one!)… Well, there was no point in fibbing. The line was hopelessly biased, the course overall way too short, and really irritatingly the wing mark set at an obtuse angle so we got 5 runs and 3 beats per race. Pointless, I feel, and a repeated course laying failure in recent times. It’s not difficult to work out. They just have to get that wing mark as close to a wall every time basically – we want 4 fast reaches, 3 long beats and a run. Quite why the RIB teams insist on not setting the wing mark at a right angle defeats me. It spoils it. It happens week after week. And this was the second week running that we were crammed into one corner of our huge, huge reservoir. It makes no sense. If we want to sail in just a 100 acres, we can go to Bough Beech for lower fees!! Enough…
We had good racing actually and my thanks to the PRO for a fun day. The FFs were the biggest fleet of course, but there a reasonable turnout overall. The issue getting out of the gate was to have clear air. Unusually for Datchet it was a “go left” kind of day (mostly) and there seemed to be more breeze over there. Mervyn and James did really well up that first beat. The fleet was pretty closely packed at the top – really picking the right route were John and Helen who just blasted out with The Linders hot on their heels. Mark and Tony got up into third after an uncharacteristically average day !!!
Race two made good sport too. The Millars sailed really well and were in the hunt all the time. The Linders were soon out there showing the way – this time to John and Helen. Mark and Tony worked their way past Howard and Richard and into third. Results are available by clicking “Last Sunday’s Results” on the right hand side of this page.
Ian Linder is sailing with his son – my own memories of sailing with my Dad are blissful. Is that five father and son teams in our fleet now? How fantastic is that ?!!!
Now to the other hot topic – Howard has been following the chat on the DWSC online forum about race courses. Ex VC Sailing, Mike Clapp, came to see me afterwards and said the FF’s had been uncharacteristically quiet on the subject. Blimey, I spend so much time on the Blog, that one of you lot will have to sort that mess out!! Anyway – the gist of it is three fold…
1/ There is a push to have a pursuit race one Sunday a month. Now what do you think of that? Showing my cards here – I think pursuit races are not really racing at all. It is just somewhere to sail to – and for people who have bought an odds and sods boat, instead of a club backed fleet. I think they are really second class racing events. Very boring in comparison to fleet racing. How about you? The idea of one per month positively fills me with dread.
2/ New courses. There is a push to get the Race Teams to lay squares, trapezoids and other course shapes. My problem with that is our race teams can’t even lay an accurate three mark course, so heaven knows what will happen with trapezoids and squares. There is no point trying to insist we need to up our PRO skills. We have to accept that our duty PRO system means we shall always have a wide variety of skills on the committee boat. I agree with Mike Clapp – The only way to deal with this is to have six standard marks and standard courses (to port and to starboard) to take all need for course laying skills away. Ever since we gave up that system we have had problems with courses. And for goodness sake, lets use 475 acres, shall we? If we want to race around 7 cans laid out in a 100 acres, we can go to Wraysbury, Bough Beech or other tiny cheaper Clubs. Why are we trying to make our Club the same as them….?? What do you think?? Better make your voice known on DWSC.co.uk and at the Club, Club Office and the the VC Sailing next time you see him.
3/ There is pressure on the Lasers to take their start away and have them race with a menagerie fleet. Each time we vote new officers into our Council we get the same stuff – we are here to encourage racing and a strong part of the success formula is to have strong fleets. We should be able to rebuild our laser fleet – of all classes this is the one to go for. So why on earth threaten them with making their fleet less attractive to newcomers??There are times when the average Club Member groans in despair at the management and the sailing committee….. If we back five classes in our Club we should try to hell and high water (sic) to give them fleet starts, get them off first, and treat them as special,… push them to the front of the food queue, mow their parking spaces – and everything else we can think of….