End of Summer Time – you’re not kidding !! Saturday was gusting 30knots – no such luck today – we probably had 7-10 and pretty cool temperatures to go with it!! There was talk of sleet on Saturday and flakes of snow on the covers saturday morning!! I wore all my available thermal layers… and a dry suit!! Nine boats on the slip though and really challenging races.
David Hume was berating me in the bar for not writing much lately, and in all honesty today is going to be really difficult to record. The Club Results are not posted and from where we were I couldn’t see everything that was going on – and there was lots of it!!
Race one got out of quite a short gate, biased at the pin. Andy and Agness pushing Howard and Richard up so hard they were both over….. and picking the way up the beat was not so easy ! The wind was meant to veer mid morning, so there was a tendency to get to the right. After much criss crossing on the beat, Ian and James popped around first – and by the way were never seen again (!) – then Mark and Toby, then Howard and Richard. The fleet was all very close in fact.
The second lap was quite the undoing in 4011, and Howard and Richard found themselves the wrong side of lots of things, slipping to around 6th. On the run, and without their second windex (first one snapped at the clip, and second one blown off last week!) Howard and Richard sailed too low….Andy and Agness were sailing for their lives and did really well, that great pink kite dragging their flimsy weight down the run at a great lick – fantastic in this stuff!! At the finish, I’m really not sure, but I think it was Ian and James by miles, then Mark/Toby and Andy/Agness or maybe it was John and Helen!! We shall see when the results are published.
For race two, the wind veer arrived – the line was really square and even so I think we may have had somebody over at the start. We took to the pin again, but still the left side wasn’t too brilliant – Ian and James did the same. Mark and Toby picked their way up the first beat just superbly (must be the magic gust-spotting sunglasses!) and it was their turn to be away and gone! Plenty of scrapping in the pack behind. Sailing really nicely in 3703 were Stephen Hopson and Nigel King, who carved out a very nice lead over the general pack. By the third round, Howard and Richard zipped up the beat and popped out of the front of the pack… and set about chasing Stephen and Nigel. The final broad reach/dead run was pretty nail biting stuff. 3703 in second, edged slightly too far to the left perhaps and gave themselves a double gybe to make the line. This was just enough to let Howard and Richard squeeze through and unreasonably grab second place by around a third of a length….
“How’s it going aboard 4011?”, we’ve been asked a few times. Well, windex-less today which flummaxed our broad reaches, we just fitted our third wind indicator in three weeks – after 20 years of never losing one, we are headed for ‘best UK hawk customer’ status. Peter B in Purple Marine cannot believe his luck – though we notice that he has a stock of about two dozen hawks, which is a bit suspicious!! We’re getting pretty adept at doing mast tip stuff from the crows nest at the Club – not for vertigo sufferers! We tried backing off some rig tension in the second race today, which seemed to help quite a bit. Of course, we all want to know if the carbon makes a difference to anything but the price, don’t we?? Well, we’ve only had it in the breeze for a few moments since we had it – intuitively it feels like it might accelerate slightly better in the puffs, but until you are alongside someone, you can’t really tell, can you?? If you’ve had a peek, we’ve gone for a flat top console with all the gubbins hidden away. It actually works much better than I expected – which is to say it seems to work just fine. I cannot imagine why it isn’t more common. The jibsheet setup is a big improvement too. The other thing you’ll notice is that the floor panels in the cockpit are not grey painted. It’s a shame I know – looks more like bathtub than ever, but that’s a kilo of paint saved apparently and it shows when you go and see how much lead we are carrying. And “yes”, I also assume the sexy white padded toestraps will go grey in time!! And “no”, we haven’t got round to getting the RYA race certificate yet!!!!