Solo News 2 May

Rather belated news this week - somehow with the bank holiday, Tues evening Try-Sail and Wed evening the week seemed to vanish. Hence the rather shorter news than usual.

 

Sun saw the second of the pursuit series - initially as we launched there appeared to be little wind, but the forecast strong winds arrived before the start. Only Paul and Gareth launched (others looked at the steady rain and the forecast winds and stayed warm and dry). Gareth on the other had got cold and wet - two capsizes in the pursuit race pushed him down to third (but only by about 20 yards) It says a lot for the handicapping that there were four boats of different classes in the first four places all within about 50 yards of each other.

 

So I suppose I had better explain at least one of the capsizes. Running is fastest with the boat heeled slighty to windward and the kicker fairly slack - as the wind increases you need more kicker to stop the top of the main twisting too far, and also in really windy conditions you need to pull the main back in a shade (just enough to to keep it off the shroud. I has gone most of the way down the run, needed to gybe - got the inevitable large gust just at that point... The key is to gybe when the boat is going fast - ideally at the end of a gust, but never at the start while the boat is accelerating. I waited for the boat to accelerate - went into the gybe, all looking good, main came over - stopped the boat turning, looked really good until the mainsheet popped out of the jammer and the boom went out way too far starting a death roll - classic weather roll capsized with the boom sticking up out of the water. Fortunately I was able to right the boat fairly quickly without losing any places (but obviously losing distance to the faster boats coming from behind in the pursuit). In hindsight I probably had slightly too little kicker for the gust, but the main coming out of the cleat was the killer. Usually I tie an extra knot in the sheet for very windy days to stop the main going out too far but when I launched the wind wasn''t that strong.

 

Tuesday evenings started and we had fours solos out practicing - I will be trying to attend a few Tuesdays to do some coaching of last year''s try-sailors.

 

Wed has its own write-up - I thought the idea of using one of the inflatable marks was excellent. It allowed the race officer to set a good course for the conditions.

 

Gareth

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