Sunday Racing, 12th May…

Numbers were depleted due to the Inlands – two teams there, minimum.  The weather at Datchet though was sparkling!! Champagne sailing!!!

We had five boats on the slip including Hugh McNulty sailing in the Loan Boat…  Race one got away smartly… Mark and Toby just shot away and were never seen again!!  First by miles!!  Second Howard and Richard, third Dom and David.  Gaps all big, but nice sailing anyway !!

The breeze started to build for race two – and that was a sparkler!!  We had long fizzing planing reaches in this race – totally super, it was.  The fleet was much closer together this time – Howard and Richard leading out of the gate at the pin….Splitting tacks up the first beat,  Dominic and David led the way at the top mark, followed by Howard and Richard , Trevor and Mike in third.  This race managed to get pretty close on a number of occasions. On the final beat Howard and Richard nipped past Dominic and David – and then started a great spinnaker chase in some pretty interesting gusts.  At the line though, Howard and Richard took it by around 20 seconds, Dominic and David second, Trevor and Mike third.

Sunday Racing 28th April …..

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.

Sunday Racing – June 10th ….!!

Well, we were greeted by complete flat calm this morning…. for all the world it looked like it would be coffee racing all morning, but no …. bit by bit the breeze set in. We were racing by eleven – and pretty good it was too!!

Mervyn arrived in great time to find that his main halyard had shot  to the top of the mast – ho ho !!  So they had to head for Club balcony straight away (successfully).

It was roughly 9.02am when the first complaint arrived that there was no new post on the FF Blog this morning. Well, I am sorry, but fresh materials are in short supply !!

We were remarking in the bar how amazing 2012 has been for easterly and northerly breezes.  The uncommon is becoming common and today’s beat was from Honda to the pier.  Very fickle it was – and really it was the key to every result.  The normal rule of “go right” did not seem to apply (often!) and if you went left you got stuffed as well…. so there you have it!!  Being a half term weekend, with a rubbish forecast, we had just six boats on the slip – but a turnout still only equalled by Lasers. The Club was quiet actually. Some notable absentee names – which will be forwarded to the Vice Commodore to deal with !!  There was a musto skiff open meeting (about 6 boats) and they had the far end of the lake to play in. Yesterday it was gusting 38 knots, and today about 3.8knots !!

It was slightly odd course, but it worked. We had a small pin end bias, but for strategic reasons (i.e. we watched the lasers go off…!!)  a number of us decided to go off the committee boat end – and it was the correct way to go. The Humes made a cracker and built a tidy little lead from Howard and Richard, followed by The Hansons and The Firths,  Then the Wrights and John Watling’s fabulous woody.  As you’ll notice, if you were not a father and son team today, then you were the exception!!!  (Great atmosphere !!)

The Hansons were grippingly quick at times, but the race became a tad processional until the last beat. The aerators were both on and you had to navigate this feature to get uphill. Dom and non-Dom shot out to the right looking for breeze, and Howard and Richard caught an arc up to the left of the aerators…. The Humes were unlucky there and were frankly robbed !!  (“Yeahhhh!!!”…)  Howard and Richard pushed the foot to the floor on the next two reaches and finished half a minute ahead of the Humes, then I think The Firths rolled in.

Processional the first race might have been, but the breeze built a little for the second race – enough for rigs to be adjusted – and processional the next one was not!!  In the extra breeze, this time consensus was indeed for the pin end – so much so that The Wrights and The Hansons got there a tad early and had to spin around the end and cross behind. Not that it seemed to hurt either party frankly !! Next at the pin were Howard and Richard who decided to put in an early one and cross the fleet….. and go right.

Now to be very clear, the right had simply never paid in race one – so they were defying logic really. As you do…..  But what was the result ?!?!  Well… actually the were last at the first mark.  I think the Firth’s may have been the first round, with The Humes next.  It was a bit hard to tell from that far back.  So off we went down reach one, and cutting an arc on the Clubhouse side of the leg, Howard and Richard were suddenly up on the leaders and there was a whole bundle of overtaking going on.  On reach two, The Hansons dived low but this didn’t work … and The Firths and The Humes went for a fabulous luffing diversion off to the left…. I think this was where basically The Humes just sailed past the Firths as if they were standing still – which they possibly were.  Mike was pretty livid… and in the bar afterwards, David quite helpfully said that he could see Mark, a great helm,   was hopeless on the spinnaker !!! Ha ha ha ha !!!  Now it must also be said that David had decided to pack his 14 year old small sized spinnaker for the day.  If you watch them, it fills like a demon !!!!  Very interesting for the rest of us to think about….

Anyway, in the middle of all this, Howard and the big white kite just chugged straight down the middle.  A quick bit of “up the centre” on the beat saw Howard and Richard out front by a nose.  The Firths though, and these are Mike’s conditions lets face it, piled back in and came pretty close a couple of times. What do they weigh??  Less than a plate of chips. However, at the finish it was Howard and Richard again – by a longer time margin than it looked (we thought!!)….