Datchet Winter Warm Up – Day 1

Datchet Winter-Warm-Up Day1
What a glorious day – Force 4 gusting 5 (a welcome relief over the previous day), clear blue sky and a good sized course. Those who had survived the Midwinters were joined by a second Parkstone team – Graham and Ben Scroggie, fresh back from Hong Kong – and the Humes who chose the perfect day to unwrap their boat after Christmas. Patrick Keates was proven to be very perceptive when he ‘admired’ our JIT approach to getting on the water – the race officer started the first race before anyone had left the jetty but fortunately he was persuaded to tack another start on the end of the sequence. Earlier alarm calls for everyone next week…
Patrick’s perspicacity showed through in race 1 where he and David Culpan took line honours despite some heavy partying the night before, followed by Charles and Alan and then the Scroggies who were giving a brand new mast its first outing.  The second race was tighter all round with place changing between the two Parkstone boats in 1st/ 2nd and between Apthorp and Wright in 3rd/ 4th.  It was all fairly close with some helpful rules revision at the windward mark on a couple occasions until Graham and Charles pulled away in their respective duels in the last reach
Chat in the bar this weekend was about how useful the Winter-Warm-Up is for boat speed tuning without the distractions if wave and harbour.  We’re expecting Simon Kneller Dave Lucas and Richard Lovering/ Matt Alvarado to join in shortly to take advantage and all others are welcome to cons and tune up before the Mercedes Open on 8th/ 9th March
Don’t forget the alarm call next Sunday!

Winter Warm Up – Third Weekend…. !!

The fleet was greeted this morning by…. FOG!!  Blimey, it was only tuesday that I had to shovel my drive clear of snow, then Friday was 12 degrees – and now this!!

So we hung out for around two hours waiting for the breeze, and finally a super little 12mph worth set in with bright sunshine.  It turned into a brilliant sail!!

Much talk during the postponement of Midnight Rog’s new personal handicap system for Flying Fifteens.  Currently top of the seeding table, ranked I think by “most improved rating”, are Trevor and Mike!!  See the Club Noticeboard for details and full results.

The racing turned out to be really really close.  Race one got out of the gate at the pin end which John and Helen making a very nice go of it.  The beat didn’t seem especially favoured one side or the other though there were plenty of shifts.  This race turned out to be a squeakily close set of shaves between John/Helen, and Howard/Richard. Generally John and Helen stayed ahead, often by a couple of feet, then half way up the second beat they crossed behind Howard/Richard, then next tack they were ahead again. It continued in this sort of fashion until the last wing mark.  There was a wee bit of traffic and a gust, and Howard with his favourite big white spinnaker blasted through.  It was exceptionally close up that final reach, edging higher and higher, but in the end Howard and Richard got the gun.

For race two, the fleet again went for the pin end. This time, with nice upwind speed it was Howard and Richard at the top mark from John and Helen, with Trevor and Mike in third.  The gap was more comfortable this time, and traffic issues aside, Howard and Richard stayed just out of reach all the way to the gun.

By the time we came ashore, it was a fine sunny afternoon.  We are six races done on the series of 8 now and things are starting to take shape.  Click here for the results to date.

Datchet Winter Warm Up Kicks Off….!!

The 2013 Winter Warm Up kicked off today in pretty frothy conditions!  For the second week running, stonking great slabs of westerly breeze swept the race course.  Bit chilly (3 degrees!) but we had eight teams race.

Following Mervyn’s dramatic man overboard last week, this week just after launching it was Richard who went clean over the side !!!  And all this before we had even started race one. And it was cold in there, I can tell you!!!

The PRO set a pretty long line, but the length wasn’t needed as he set a strong committee boat bias. Ex World Champs, Charles Apthorp and Dave Rickards set the pace and built out a handsome lead. John and Helen raced a stormer to come in second, Mervyn Wright having cleansed his soul during his dip last week, sailed his pants off to come in third!!!

The breeze pepped up a couple of notches between races – wind guru had predicted 31 knot gusts…. and may well have been right – well, into the twenties anyway and they were swerving all over the place too.  We were fair storming along!!  The 3 sail reaches were absolute zingers – like being in a frothing machine… especially the reach to the finish!!  Charles and David took the gun again, John and Helen were again second despite Richard and Howard trying to sink them at one point. Third were Ian and James Linder.

So a really great day out – plus we had two enquiries from potential new fleet members. Excellent!!

Click here for the Club Results Board