What a glorious day for the first weekend of the Winter Series. Not a cloud in the sky and a cracking breeze. Mervyn Wright/ Trevor Brandt were the race team which took one boat off the water. But the return of 2 family businesses – Apthorp & Son and Linder & Son – after long sojourns more than made for it. Even more water had come back this week and after the frost on the ramp thawed, we were able to get in 2 tight races.
Ian and James Linder won the start in the first race and kept their lead all the way round, stretching the gap by the end. Charles and Charlie Apthorp had a closer tussle with Richard Jones and Howard Shawyer (recently featured on the front cover of FF World!), managing to just hold them off all the way to the end.
The second race featured the same trio finishing in the same order but Apthorp/ Jones made life harder for the Linders. The three were within a couple of boat lengths of each other at the first gybe mark and back up to the top mark. Charles went slightly wider than Ian on the run and nipped in front by the leeward mark – only to be overtaken again by the windward mark, and there they stayed until the end.
4 more weekends of racing like that and the MidWinter Champs will be a smashing event
Happy New Year from Datchet to all
Datchet Race Report Sunday 23rd November
No doubt having looked at the weather forecast and hearing the heavy rain falling on Sunday morning, the more sensible sailors of the fleet decided to stay in bed. However 4 crews did rock up and race in what turned out to be an increasing, if cold, wind.
Along with the usual autumn series crews of 3954 (John and Helen) and 3427 (Mike and Ian), Roger and Richard put in an appearance in 3642 as well as Stephen and Nigel in 3703.
After a postponement to allow marks to be moved and boats to make it to the other end of the water, the fleet got underway and it soon turned out to be effectively a match race between Stephen and John, with Roger trying to overhaul Mike after being a little late to the start. Stephen and Nigel got to the windward mark just ahead of John and Helen, only to round and not hoist their kite. John and Helen launched straight away and managed to gain ground back on the first tight reach. At the gybe mark, John was just behind but on the inside and through the next light and shifty leg managed to creep over Stephen to take the lead at the leeward mark. At this point they appeared to shift up a gear and slowly increase their lead all the way to the finish. Mike held onto third position and Roger was fourth.
Although the breeze was increasing, it was by no means steady and there constant shifts and veins of breeze meaning the first beat of the second race was an interesting affair with John, Stephen and Mike swapping places on a number of occasions with Stephen eventually getting to the windward mark first followed by John, Mike and then Roger. Stephen and John started to pull away from Mike and Roger meaning 2 distinct races were in progress for the rest of the course. Eventually John overhauled Stephen, and Mike managed to keep ahead of Roger, meaning the result was exactly as it was for the first race.
With only a few races left in the series, John (3954) has a commanding lead, followed by Richard (4011) and then Mervyn (3536).
Current standings can be found here: http://www.dwsc.co.uk/results/CurrentSeries.htm
Datchet Race Report Sunday 16th November
After an enforced break due to the RS end of seasons, 7 crews lined up to race on Sunday including the Linders (3851) and Mike Firth with super-sub Mark (3888). Jonathan Clark was also around comtemplating sailing with Bret, but thought reading his book was a better option having monitored the light breezes over coffee.
The Race Officer set a long starboard-rounding course and got the fleet underway after a slight delay to allow everyone to get to the other end of the water in the light breeze. Most of the fleet aimed for the pin end with Mervyn (3536) trying to push his way in and instead having to do turns. The Linders and the Firths were also a little bit previous for the start and had to go back allowing Richard and Howard (4011) to break away and build a commanding lead which they held for the whole of the race. John and Helen (3954) assumed second position and had to defend late charges from both the Firths and the Linders with the Firths (perhaps suffering from too many helms in the boat?!) placing 4th and handing the Linders 3rd.
Due to the light breeze/long course combination, there was quite a wait between races which meant that the Firths had to go in so that super-sub Mark could get a round of golf in. The remaining 6 boats got underway again and at the top mark John and Helen had a commanding lead and 3521 was second, however they had to retire at this stage. Mervyn was third, Richard 4th and the Linders 5th. Over the next 2 reaches an interesting battle between Mervyn, Richard and the Linders ensued and by the bottom mark, the order was the Linders, then Richard and then Mervyn behind John and Helen. This order remained until the gun.
Following the conclusion of the Winter Warmup series and the Open meeting looming next week, this Sunday saw 7 crews out practising – 3957, 3851, 3954, 3703, 3875, 3536, 3642.
Race 1 was a little delayed in starting and when it did a starboard rounding course been set that led to a race down to boat speed rather than tactics. Charles in 3957 went over the line lamenting the loss of his hat but it obviously helped with the blistering start he had. He was followed by 3703, 3851 and then 3954. Despite 3703 having issues with their kite, this order was maintained until the end of the race.
The wind was picking up now and the course marks were re-laid to make the race less processional. 3957 again led over the line but there was nothing in it coming up the first beat and all boats came to the top mark pretty much together. 3957, 3851, 3954 and 3703 blasted away from the rest down the following 2 reaches. Despite their best efforts up the beats by 3851 and 3954, 3957 kept pulling away from the fleet on the downwind legs to take the gun followed by 3851, 3954 and then 3703.
Fabulous day at Datchet today – 30-31 degrees, bright blue sky and enough breeze for fun!!
FFers, John Hanson and Helen Seldon put in a tremendous performance to tie at 3 points with Andrew Wilson, (another FF owner but sailing his RS today). Sadly for John and Helen, Andrew was awarded the day on count back!!
Roger has continued his excellent scorekeeping and here, hot off the press, are the results from the Spring Series:
- Richard Jones/Howard Shawyer – Palmer Trophy and Club trophy
- Mervyn Wright/Sophie Singleton – Club trophy
- Mark Firth/Toby Sparkes – Club Trophy
Best Silver: Trevor Sparrow/Mike Clapp – Keene Cup
Best Performance Improvement Rating: Emma Bunting/Russell Griffiths – Ridgeway Consulting Trophy
I’ll let you know when the trophies will be awarded after I have found out when the stars are next around
Also attached is an update to the ‘FF Roll of Honour’ – click here
All the best
Five teams arrived to a very fractional breeze, blue skies and a good forecast! It was worth hanging on too….. The fleet cap was away somewhere, and Emma and Russell were planned to be away. John and Helen were racing at the Grafham Open.
It took a while for Contender Champion PRO, Stuart Jones, to get the course down in the shifty conditions so we all basically ambled our way on to the water. Race one got away of quite a short gate with a reasonable pin bias – however the water that side looked like a mirror…. Howard and Richard, right or wrong hit the pin on the gun and set off for the mirror – the rest of the fleet spread up the line and probably it was Mark and Toby who got the recall toot (ha ha ha ha!!!)….
Meanwhile over in the apparent mirror to the left side there was a good trickle of breeze which brought Howard and Richard to the top mark first and from the left – never to be really threatened again. Mark and Toby had a right old tussle with Dom and David Hume though – at the end, it was Howard and Richard by about 50 yards , then Dominic and David and Mark/Toby in third.
Then the breeze pepped up for ‘proper job’ racing!! Race two got itself a strong bias at the committee boat end and whilst the keenies went down the line a bit, the Humes did a cracker of a start from the right place. Everyone hiking by this time, it was a good time to pick the beats correctly. This race was remarkable for the place changing in the first three positions – The Humes, Mark/Toby, Howard/Richard – everyone had a go! Overtakes were happening upwind and down – fantastic stuff it was!! As we rounded the bottom mark for the last time, Mark/Toby nipped around first and tacked reasonably early, Howard/Richard turned third and tacked quickly too. The Humes held for the wall….. pity that – hee hee!! David said afterwards that at one point they had a lift that would have been their banker but sadly, wall-side, things did not go well and they slipped out of contention. The other two zipped through the top mark really very close together and bundled off downwind – it was planable by this time so great fun was had!! At the wing mark. Mark and Toby established an overlap from behind and nipped around the inside then the two teams hurtled off downwind – Mark and Toby to windward, Howard and Richard trying to set downwind as log as possible. There were really nice puffs and the spray was starting to fly!! The two boats were heavily overlapped and really close at the finish with Howard/Richard right next to the committee boat at the line. Not being able to tell from our boat, it must have been the line angle and the little duck down in 4011 at the end as line honours went to Howard/Richard with Mark and Toby in a very close second. Dom and David were third.