Saturday, April 22, 2006

First days racing at Snetisham Beach SC

Probably the best days weather we have had this year with perhaps the one exception being the very light, and at times non exsistant, wind but it was a good day to start theracing at Snettisham. The tide was not very high and we had some difficualty getting out and back in a again but it was fun. Two back to back single lap races were sailed, four started the first race and three for the second race.

We do self-starting gate boat starts, one boat is selected at the pathfinder and after giving a warning to the others starts off on port tack from the leward mark, everyone else then has to cross his stern on starboard to start the race. It works very well for a small fleet.

We had a southerly wind that was being masked by a seabreeze which made for very patchy and light wind. Finding the wind was the key to success but at times the wind just died away to nothing and we were left wallowing about.

The first beat of the first race was a choice of keep in close to the shore out of the tide before making a tack out to the windward mark or sail out into the tide looking for more wind. The latter was the one that made the difference. I was second the first mark close behind Steve and Sue sailing a borrowed boat, I managed to pass them on the reach to the wing mark and stayed ahead on the last leg to the leward mark. Second was Steve, followed by William and Tara and then Malcolm and Lynn.

The second race I was first at the windward mark but all wind disseapered before I got to the wing mark and we all wallowed around together waiting for the wind to turn up.

Somehow we all managed to drift around the wing mark by catching the odd zepher and on the last leg I reached up and caught a small puff of wind that got me into the lead again before the wind boxed the compass and came in from the south as the prevailing wind reasserted itself as the seabreeze died away. I got the new wind last but managed to claw back to second place ahead of William. Malcolm, who had been last was on the right side of the course to catch the new wind and pulled ahead to win the race.

Tommorrow the wind is northely but rain is forecast.

The competion

Malcolm and Lynn (won the second race)

Steve and Sue
(didn't take part in the second race as the boat was continuously leaking through the centreboard bolt)

Emma (my eldest daughter, she is crewing for me this weekend)

William and Tara


Tillerman said...

Cool - loved that description of your day's racing. We use those rabbit starts sometimes for unofficial racing on Wednesday evenings late in the summer - often work better than traditional starts in getting an even start for everyone.

Tim said...

Rabbit starts! never heard it called that before but I guess it is a good description, like rabbits out of a hole going 'hell for leather'.