Solo News 02092009

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Results this week:

4859 Gareth G
3649 Robin P
4073 Peter C
4252 Alex A
2052 Andy F
3861 Dave C 

Overall results are on the web site. I'll be trying to keep that up to date each week.

Great result from Robin keeping Peter at bay - good start and kept the position - Robin obviously read last week's blog and spotted the port end bias and shift to even more port and then had the nerve and timing to go for a port end on port start, so he was going the right way at the start of the beat from the favoured end. I reckoned the line was a bit short for a start on port so I came down the line - Robin ducked me and got away cleanly ahead of the rest of the fleet. I tacked as soon as he was well clear under me. I didn't want to tack too quickly because if someone bears away under you and you tack as soon as possible you end up with them on your lee bow - just in front and to leeward and they get pulled up through you. I think I had a slight edge in boat speed in the gusts so I was able to pull away enough to get clear, but at the end of the beat Robin was clear second and with a healthy lead over Peter who kept threatening to catch and overtake, but Robin sailed a very clean race keeping half an eye on Peter and half an eye on where he was going (except for the last leg where it looked as if he almost forget to check where he was going but just stayed left to have inside at the last mark).  Behind, Alex was keeping Peter on his toes with good boat speed but losing out a bit on mark rounding - too wide rounding up onto the beat losing a few lengths at the start of the beat - start a bit wider and end close to the mark hard on the wind.  Although the positions stayed the same each lap there was a lot of close racing.  

The start was much the same as last week - shifting between very port end and almost even - when we started it was very port end so that meant we were being headed on starboard tack so it was important to get onto port tack as soon as possible to be on the lifted tack. For those new to racing, if the wind shifts when you are beating against the wind, on one tack you are pushed further away from where you want to go (headed), but on the other tack you can point up nearer to where you want to go (lifted) - obviously if you are always on the lifted side you sail a much shorter distance. You'll see we often talk about headers and lifts meaning the wind shifted to be less or more favourable. I'll try to always define terms, but if I forget just ask! In a shifty wind you have to know which shift you are in. I think from weather forecasting you can predict if the air will be less stable and shifty, but I generally just observe the 10 minutes or so before the start. If the wind is shifting back and forth you have to know which shift you are in at the start to get in phase with the shifts. If the wind is generally stable you have to look for bends in the wind rather than shifts which is a whole different game - I'll cover that another time.

ANNIVERSARY PURSUIT 20 Sept
You should have received emails from the club about the anniversary pursuit, more details on the web site. We want as many teams as possible, and as many members sailing in teams as possible. (You can and should also enter as an individual if not part of a team) I'd like to get at least one, preferably two solo teams (I expect I will be sailing for the club team so I'll be looking for team captains). The lasers will be doing the same - I'd love the solo fleet to have bragging rights over the lasers... Could you let me know if you will be available so we can decide on our team captains and teams, or if you want to form your on team just let me know. 4 boats per team.

Finally a big welcome to Nikki Daly and Peter Renn who have joined our fleet - Nikki has bought Wyn James' boat (older members will remember Wyn who passes on his best regards) and Peter has bought Malcolm's boat. We look forward to helping them get on the water and up to speed. I think/hope we may have a few more new members soon.

As Wyn said to me
Hwyl fawr
Gareth