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Solo news 10-10-10

 

We’re almost at the end of summer but Sunday definitely felt like summer. Surprisingly warm, beautifully sunny but with a hint of autumn in the wind strength.

 

The series just has one week to go (two for the Saturday series) and places are still quite open. At the top on Sunday Gareth has crept a bit further ahead but Mervyn and Paul remain closely locked for second – just one point in it assuming I’ve got all the results right. On Saturday things are more open with two weeks to go that’s another four races which means another two races to count. Paul has a pretty good lead but I think he might miss one week. All still to play for.  Peter Renn is demonstrating that if you keep sailing you keep picking up points.  He’s only missed five Saturday races in the series so far. Dave Lawton is hauling himself into the reckoning with a pair of wins last week. All still to play for.

 

This week we had a pretty decent turnout again with some quite sharp gusts – good to see the relative youngsters enjoying the conditions and looking back there it was pretty close all down the fleet. At the front Peter Halliday led round the first mark having overtaken Gareth on the last part of the beat with these two pulling out a gap from the rest of the fleet. Unfortunately peter’s gooseneck came off on the downwind leg/gybe which gave Gareth some clear water to get away but Peter was never out of touch going well in the medium to strong conditions and pulling away from the rest of the fleet.

 

Paul and Mervyn continued their battle for second in the series with Paul getting the place but only one ahead of Mervyn. Close behind Mervyn was Chris Smith sporting a very nice looking new sail – he comments that the boat is a lot tippier downwind with the new sail – I suspect that’s because it is generating a lot more power. The shape looked much better with the leech opening out and the top able to twist a bit and Chris seemed quicker offwind. Dave Lawton chased Chris all the way and Roy Poole getting some practice in a club boat (we are looking forward to seeing his own boat soon) in close order behind Dave. All in all a good race that must have at times been on the upper edge of the senior fleets comfort zone.  Well done everyone.

 

In the back to back races we had four solos out making us again the largest fleet by numbers with the wind picking up to have some rather strong gusts. Gareth got a flyer off the line in the first as most people where a shade early and didn’t have speed on as gun went. Gareth timed the run well and hit the line at full speed on the pin end – getting clear air gives you such a boost especially if there are other fast handicap boats going past.  Peter H continued his good form from the morning to be fourth on handicap (only one second off third) behind the three leaders in the series, but in the second B2B Paul managed to get ahead of Peter.

 

After lunch some of us so called adults took on the challenge of sailing against the youngsters from the sailing school in Toppers. All I can say is it seems a lot easier to capsize a Topper than a Solo! Despite capsizes the leading grown up (Carl) tied with the leading Junior (James Curtis), the Second adult (Peter Curtis) tied with the second junior (Alistair Smith) but the third ‘grown up’ (yours truly despite capsizing twice in the first race and again in the last race) beat the third junior to give the oldies the trophy by a whisker. Both Chris and Peter were beaten by their offspring (though having nice sparkly sails and clean hulls rather than club boats might have had something to do with it).  . I have to say that Toppers feel very small these days. Shifting your weight in a tack /gybe how you would in the solo results in falling over the edge! There just isn’t much room in the cockpit and I found I was getting tied up in almost every string on the boat. Great fun and I’m told this will become an annual event.

See you Sunday

 

Gareth

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