Team Pursuit and handicap race 25 Oct
A pursuit race with a difference – start times calculated on Personal Handicaps, and teams of fours – first three to count. A chance for the sailors who don’t usually feature at the top to make a difference – and they certainly did... Seven teams contested the pursuit.
The handicaps are based on previous results, so they favour sailors who are improving. My thanks as always to Jim Champ for the calculations and collation of all our handicap results which form the basis for the Personal Handicaps. Each band represents 5% or three minutes in an hour. With the first start for Topper band 5 all the way to RS300 off scratch half an hour later the RO had a busy time and the wind, deceptively light as we launched gradually increased. I saw the earlier starters disappearing into the distance as I waited for my start. With the wind increasing I could see that we were getting to the edge of some people’s comfort zone, and I saw the odd capsize, but knowing that their team results counted everyone worked that bit harder and pushed themselves. With seven different classes in the top ten and sailors from bands 1 thru 5 the handicaps seeded to work out. The scratch sailors found it hard to make up the time with the usual protagonists only mid fleet.
To RO set a long course so that the fleet could spread out during the long start sequence. Start by One, beat to 6, short reach to 5, run down to 1 round the edge to 2 and beat up to 3 then a long very fine reach/fetch to 8. With the shifty puffy wind this set some real challenges for the asymmetrics – the leg from 6 to 5 kept tightening and I saw several 200’s struggling after initially starting to fly. The fairly short leg it made it hard to drop and make back up to the mark. The fine reach all the way from 3 to 8 was very hard work as the wind rose, far too shy for any of the asymmetrics but just free enough that with a lot of work planning was possible. The race was only 75 minutes from the Topper band 5 start but in the shifty wind it felt quite long enough.
At the front Cesco Cavalari (CJ) worked quickly through the early starters to take the lead with team-mate Mads Oberon who (despite a very quick capsize/right) held on to third place while Jamie Curtis and Harry were making the Feva fly in second with Nick Marley in the Vareo fourth. As far as the teams went I have to confess that my team did rather well, but I didn’t help them failing to make up my handicap. With CJ first, Mads third and Paul Playle sixth they easily took the team prize from last year’s winner the Curtis family (Jamie, Peter, Mike plus Andy Barnett’s laser) and third team Nick Marley, Ian Cleaver / Claire Overstall, Julie Harrison / Tim Chandler and Carl / Jamie Mayhew. I think we have a few candidates for promotion in the Personal Handicap stakes - great job everone.
1st Multinational Maniacs - CJ, Paul, Mads, Gareth on 10 points
2nd Team Curtis – Peter, Mike, Jamie/Harry, Andrew Barnett on 23 points
3rd Does my RS look big in this? – Ian/Claire, Nick, Julie and Tim, Carl/Jamie on 33 points
4th Potential for development – Mike Storey, Jim Champ, Andy Collison, Glen Cole
5th Jump Ship – John Molloy, Uta Griesenbach, Marcus Buchan, Peter Renn
6th The A(ged) Team – Peter Cottrell, Mervyn Cinnamond, Dave Clarke, Dave Lawton
7th Needs Friends – Charlotte Savage, Richard Wall-Budden
My thanks to the Race team and safety crews especially Mike Jones who stepped in to RO at the last minute.
Winos fun race (Ask the RO about the name)
After the team event we held a single winner takes the prize regular handicap race. By now the wind had increased significantly with some strong gusts. The start line was quite long and slightly biased to the port end. With the keen fleet noticing this the pin was going to be crowded. With about 30 seconds to go the wind increased and if anything the bias became more pronounced. This left two boats, Jamie Curtis in the Feva was one but I didn’t see the other struggling to make the pin and ending up basically in irons on the outer distance. Gareth coming down the line fast was just able to harden up and clear them to take a flyer. By now we were in full heavy weather beating mode, and legs/arms were feeling the effects of the morning! At the first mark Jim had a good lead in the canoe (he had also showed well in the morning before taking a lengthy swim) from Gareth in the Solo and Mike Storey’s N12. On the downwind legs the RS300 and N12 pulled away from the Solo and Jim disappeared over the horizon – unfortunately the wrong horizon – perhaps lulled by the pursuit race where he could follow others Jim now found himself in the lead without having noted the changed course. Paul Playle pushed Gareth hard seeing to gain on the run but losing slightly on the beat and beam reach. Final results, Gareth from Paul from Mike Storey from Peter Curtis.