Solo News 06072009

Starting with the familiar results and comments from Eddie: - I''ve added the Pursuit position in parentheses.

4859    Gareth Griffiths (2)
4048    Arthur Philips (4)
3385    Tom Wilson (5)
4071    Peter Halliday (7)
3457    Mervyn Cinnamond (8)
4073    Peter Cottrell (11)
3649    Robin Pryke (25)
3142    Malcolm Barnes (26)
3861    Dave Clark (29)
4173    Dave Lawton (31)
2701    Glen Cole (34)
4252    Alec Adams  [  Disqualified - missed out a mark ]

Turnout 12 - nearly not enough space to write you all down.  A great turnout on a special occasion with the wind putting in a timely appearance at last. Gareth , shadowed by Arthur, showed the way round and I believe lapping some boats in the process. Nice to see Tom back in the  fleet and up with leaders showing what a good sailor he is in a somewhat elderly boat. (Editor''s note - I trained that boat but I didn''t mean it to keep following me quite as closely - Gareth)  Dave Lawton chose today to run in his new steed and what a little beauty it is, all new varnish and paint. Glen ended up water logged when his club boat sprung a large leak in the centre case.  Glen as always leaving nothing undone was seen ready to take it home for repair. A splendid day was had by all.  Well done everybody.Of course I also want to add a few ‘words of wisdom'' on the day. The turnout was great, and the Pursuit style mean that no start was too overcrowded even with a quite short line.  Lovely to see some of my race training graduates there, and from what I saw having good racing - keep working on those mark rounding and reacting to wind shifts.  I hope to get the videos from the training up via the web somewhere (maybe directly club site, maybe elsewhere).  From the Solo fleet a pretty good result in what I didn''t think was particularly Solo friendly conditions. As Eddie says 12 boats - that meant that there were good races within the race, I was having to watch Arthur and Tom. Arthur only just kept Tom at bay, but Tom was having to watch Peter H who wasn''t that far ahead of Mervyn and Peter C, then we had another set a bit further back with Robin, Dave C, Dave L, Glen and Alec. Do you think we can get to 15 Island Barn boats for our Open. We''ve had over 10 boats several times, so we just all need to turn up the same day - if we include our Wednesday members 15 should be no problem because none of us will be on duty dare I suggest that 20 would be possible if we include the club boats and Wed members...As to the actual race, from my side it was a mixture of defence and attack. I reckoned it was a port end start and I think I hit the line right at the end dead on time. That gave me a chance to cross the fleet on the first shift. With a shifting wind I tried to stay in the favourable shifts (attacking), but also avoid getting too far to either side, keeping a close eye on where the Graduate (who started with us) and Arthur were going (defensive).  Once the fleets spread out there were nearly always some boats further up the beat to help show the next shift. There were also a lot of patches of wind so trying to keep in stronger winds sometimes overrode just looking for the shift. I have to be careful to not tack too quickly on headers (when the wind makes me bear away) because often the wind comes back after just a few seconds. If it is not a huge shift generally bear away a little and wait a few seconds to see if it comes straight back. If you tack too soon you end up going nowhere fast. Being able to tack without losing too much speed is really helpful in shifty conditions, but a bit of patience also helps (I''m not good at that part). Downwind reach and run was all about sail trim and watching for gusts and shifts. Try to stay in the gust by running deeper, bear away a bit once at speed on a reach and then round up again as you come out of the gust, try to run deep on the run in a gust and watch out for shifts to gybe on. My ‘thought for the day'' - when we get a wind shift beating we can usually tell - easier to see a header than a lift but I''m sure we all noticed lots of shifts.  How many times up the beat did you alter course because of a wind shift? Did you alter your sail setting the same number of times crosswind, or your course (or gybe on the shift) the same number of times downwind.  Sail trim matters cross wind, and the boat''s course (or gybe) matters more on the run - watch for wind becoming slightly by the lee (beyond dead downwind) so that a gybe (or change of course) is needed. Generally on the run it pays to gybe the lifts the same way it pays to tack the headers upwind. Wed is the last chance to practice before the Solo Open. Forecast looks good. At this early stage it looks like light weather for the Open so we''d better watch out for Frank and his private wind supply.  Malcolm is hoping to organize a ‘Solo'' night later in the Tues training when a few of us will let some of the new sailors try our great class. Sunday afternoon we did some boat swapping and letting people try boats out. More on that when we know the dates. As a class I think we are well placed to encourage new members of all ages.  Trying to fit an adult into a topper can be difficult, so for the single hander our two main classes are Solo and Laser and we all know which is more comfortable to sail! Let''s encourage our next generation.

I''m told the latest new Solo numbers are now in the 5040''s so recession or not there are still lots of new boats hitting the water.  Perhaps not quite last year''s rate but pretty close. I wonder what the latest number will be at our Open?