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
With four Datchet boats competing at the Hayling Bulwark, our numbers were down today – four teams on the slip….. in bright sunshine and a force 3 – lovely !!!
There was a bit of a pin end bias on the line, and Howard/Richard popped out of the line of the gun down there. No matter though – the beats were so shifty that Mark and Toby made the top mark first, followed closely by Howard/Richard, then Matt and Andrew. It was all pretty close, with Matt/Andrew closing in on the other two all the time.
Matt and Andrew tended to favour the left side of the beats, and Mark/Toby the right. Come the final beat, Howard/Richard went up the middle and nabbed the top mark first. The top reach was pretty tight for spinnakering – 4011 made it a two sail reach for the most of it and pulled away slightly from the other two. At the gun, it was pretty close but Howard/Richard got it from Mark/Toby then Matt and Andrew.
Race two saw a bit more breeze and Matt/Andrew did a pin end flyer and just crossed ahead of Howard/Richard and Mark/Toby. However, by the pin it was Howard/Richard out front by quite a handsome margin and were never really challenged. On the final leg, Mark/Toby fell into the doldrums and finished a full two minutes behind Howard and Richard.
It was ALL in the beats!!
Have you noticed, our Fleet has two boats in the Top 13….!!
Really rather a beautiful day – 8 teams on the slip this morning!! Very light breezes but racing was pretty tense, nonetheless!! Turned out to get more stunning as the day wore on, with 20 degrees showing on the car thermometer going home!
Plus… we had Vice Commodore Tinsley with us. Privilege or what !??!! You’d think a long break would have eroded his skills, but it didn’t show – see race one!
We got away pretty promptly for race one – hmmmm, it turned out that “some of us” did not know it was starboard handed course and went for the wrong mark!! First around the wrong mark sailing very quickly, were Dominic and David, with Howard and Richard in hot pursuit a boat length or two behind – once the mistake was realised they rounded the correct mark 7th and 8th !!!! First around the correct mark and in the lead were Ian and James Linder. They were strongly challenged by Mike Firth and VC Tinsley, who I think maybe took the lead on the second beat – Mike doing his light breeze, “Foxy Firth” thing !!
While those two were tussling it out, Mervyn sailed up into third, and ended up in a right old gybing duel with Howard and Richard who had made their way up from 8th. In the final lap, the Linders popped in ahead of Firth/Tinsley (who later retired to drink tea and talk about old times!). Poor Fleet Captain Mervyn, sailing with Sophie Singleton, got sliced out of third just near the end on a couple of gybes by Howard and Richard. Dominic and David were next in.
Race two was becalmed flat at the start and an altogether tense affair. Howard and Richard thought they might cross the line on Monday, while the rest of you bright things sailed off (relatively!!). Ian and James going right took to the front, and Mervyn/Sophie sailed blindingly well to round second. I think Mervyn and Sophie might have wrestled the lead in this race at some point, but coming up the second beat, with the shortened signal given, most of the fleet went right – into the flat bits. Howard and Richard went left and really, really thought they had it in the bag !! Not to be – after a great beat, straight into a hole they went about 5 boat lengths from the mark, just to watch Mervyn/Sophie, Ian/James waft by and around the top mark and get clean away!! Well, they were well gone, and those at the top mark completely stationary – needing some unseen tiller waggling (that’s everyone, you understand!) to get around…. Mervyn was about a quarter of a mile away but now also in flat calm. Yes – you guessed …. Ian and James secured the lead, and rounded just ahead at the last mark. Mervyn, ever patient, now found himself with Howard/Richard chomping right at his transom. For the last dogleg to the finish, the big question was to drop kites or not… Howard dropped, Sophie flew hers around on the inside berth. It wasn’t really a very kind day for Mervyn and Sophie….!! Howard and Richard inched away and pipped them narrowly right on the line for second place!!! Pleasantries and best wishes were exchanged !!!!
Match racing at Datchet
Bank holiday and light airs brought the smallest possible turnout for a race, with the big news being the arrival of a new face Hugo MacNulty and 2 long lost friends – Andrew Fairley and Andrew Lawson. Roger rigged his boat as well (for the first time this year). Mervyn and Hugo benefitted from going out early to practice because everybody else was put off by the dropping wind and only the Andrews launched (after the first race had started) resulting in a straightforward 1-2. The second race was far more fun with 2 boats starting at the same time! The wind bend up near the wall was instrumental in allowing Mervyn and Hugo to build a bit of a lead at the first mark but the Andrews clawed most of this back on the second beat and the boats were close for the rest of the race with Mervyn and Hugo just getting the gun.
It’s great to know that there will be 3 additional boats starting at Datchet over the next few months (with Hugo planning to take up one of the loan boats) and Roger’s return (well almost) to the water.
I’m off to Chew next week but hope to see you the week after
Today was the last Sunday of the 8 race Winter Warm Up Event. We had 9 boats enter the event, of which 6 took to racing today.
Gosh it was chilly !!!! We had a 10-12mph North Easterly (rare) but brought a heck of a windchill with it. It was dry though with just a few snow flurries to cheer us along. I can’t actually write much about the first race, as Howard was “slightly late out of changing room” – ha ha ha ha !!!! …..putting paid to our chances of winning the event! So we started about 2 minutes late and ran hard to catch up….. I have a feeling that across the line first were UK National Champions, Simon Kneller and Dave Lucas. They may have been denied a win for all sorts of rule reasons, and John and Helen are awarded first in this race.
Race two was excellent as we were given first in the sequence!! Stephen and Nigel just disappeared into the distance in this one – a superb show. John and Helen were second, and Howard/Richard third. Simon and Dave retired when in fourth – a new mast was causing challenges!!
So overall, the Regatta went to John and Helen. Howard and Richard were second, Charles and David were third.
To see the full results click here
Afterwards, Nigel King ( www.nigelkingyachting.com ) ran a superb FF workshop on the new Racing Rules. Learned a lot there !! Plus it was a great way to warm up…..
Well, if you set aside the freezing temperatures, continual driving rain, the threat of snow – then conditions were quite seductive at Datchet today. The breeze was a lovely 12-15mph, with the occasional fun gust on top – plus with Charles racing, you didn’t even have to remember the course (which was pretty accurately laid by the way!). We had five boats on the slip, but only three boats finished race one.
The line was pretty square and the fleet got out of the gate in pretty much the same order that they finished. That isn’t to say that there wasn’t a whole bundle of fun going on between John and Helen, and Howard and Richard for second place. At the three sail reaching finish there was half a second between them.
Funnily enough, race two went the same way – with a tussle for second right at the last few metres. Great fun!! However, John and Helen got it both times!!