Sunday, October 12, 2008

The almost last sail of the season

This Friday I went to the beach to collect the boat, the season at the club has come to an end. Just before I towed the Wild Goose home I took a photo of the sunset over the falling tide, somehow it seems to resonate with my feelings of the end of the season.

Saturday morning Jo and I trailed Wild Goose over to Hickling Broad Sailing club for a two day Broads area Championships. Six races with the best four results to count.

Saturday was breezy but not heavy, probably a good F3 gusting F4 (marginal planing conditions).

We got off to a good start with a 2nd, then a 3rd and finally a 4th. Every race was won by Brian and Linda Cummings from Dabchicks SC, West Mersea. Brian was just too quick for the rest of us, I could keep up with them on the beat but they were quicker onto the plane in the gusts and would pull away several boat lengths by the end of a reach. There is nothing for it I'm just going to have to lose weight if I want to gain that extra bit of speed off the wind. By the end of the days racing I was lying in 3rd place on 9 points, 2 points behind the 2nd place boat and 6 points behind Brian and Linda.

Sunday morning dawned with mist and fog and we arrived at the club to the surreal scene of mist on the water, backlite by the morning sun. There was only the faintest of breeze and the water was shrouded in mist.

The racing was postponed for about an hour when suddenly the wind swung to the south and piped up to a nice F2 breeze clearing the mist away enough for the OOD to set a course.

Just as we took to the water the mist rolled in again but we went ahead with the racing anyway. How anyone could see the start line transit or how the race officers could see if anyone was OCS is beyond me but I think most of us were wondering how we were going to find the windward mark without colliding with somebody else! I got a reasonable start, not the best but at least I had clear air. It was really cut and thrust stuff, real close racing with everyone looking for the windshift that would get them up the fleet. I managed to get into top group of 4 boats and on the second beat I went to the LHS of the beat whilst the other guys covered each other over on the right and I got the better wind and by the time we had got to the windward mark I had a substantial lead and all I had to do was hang on to it to the finish, which I did. By now the mist had finally cleared away and we finished in brilliant sunshine.
Race 2 started badly, firstly I slipped getting into the boat at the pontoon and cut my thumb which then preceded to bleed profusly, all over the sails! It blead for two laps of the race! Again not the best start and we seemed to lack speed through the water. I noticed that the main needed hoisting another 2cm which I corrected on the run and then I spotted at the end of the 1st lap that we were trailing our painter! having corrected these two faults we started to make progress and pulled back from 9th to 6th. Not the best result and to add injury to insult I slipped getting out of the boat onto the pontoon and badly scrapped and bruised my left leg and fell in, much to my daughters delight!

The last race went much better and once again I was in the top few boats battling for 1st place. At the end of the first lap I and the 2nd placed boat were both messed up by other craft either not giving water or forcing thier way where they had no rights to water. We got clear ok but it slowed us up and the leader got clear. We chased hard and I eventually got into second place but could not close the gap enough and we finished a respectable 2nd place.

So overall we finished with a 1st, two 2nds and a 3rd to count placing us 2nd on 8 points behind Brian who finished on 6 points and 3rd place went to a chap called Keith who finished with 9 points.
We got a nice china mug and a pen each both enscribed with Hickling Broad Sailing club; makes a change from a bottle of wine.

1 comment:

tillerman said...

Well done! Great way to finish the season.