As I was off travelling we have Eddie to thank for the race report.
4418 Quentin Andrews
4073 Peter Cottrell
4173 Dave Lawton
3457 Mervyn Cinnamond
3365 Frank Beanland
5071 Malcolm Barnes
3861 Dave Clark
Retired - 4647 Mike Lipscombe
3174 Roy Poole
A total absence of wind , no nothing, not even the slightest zephyr to disturb the mirror like surface of the pond , a total lottery as to where you might find a rising thermal.
Most did of course as you can see they finished the race.
The afternoons racing for the younger members was pure magic as the wind filled in just at the right strength for them. Force 3 wind, Bright sunshine, blue skies and hot. What more could you ask for.
I decided it was time to get on the road and do some Open Meeting – so I made the short trip to Minima. I’ve never sailed there before – right in the middle of Kingston – about 200 yards up river from the bridge. Interesting club with quite a long history – dinghy park on the far shore and a ferry service between club and launch area. Very small turnout for the open but not helped by a very low turnout from their own fleet – I think several were doing the round the island race, however you can only sail against the boats that are there.
Interesting place to sail because as well as watching all the other boats (joint Solo/Enterprise meeting – where were you Glen – several people asked after you) you also had to watch out for Dragon boats, Canal boats, Massive pleasure cruisers, Kayaks, etc. The safety boat role was mainly watching the traffic and warning about large boats coming from behind. However the actual sailing was the simplest possible course, up river to a first mark, back down river to a second (and round again). You might think that would be boring, but even with the wind (mainly) down river the variations round the buildings and trees meant more shifts and tacks (and gybes) in one race than a month at the barn. Even with a small fleet, with the shifts and lulls (not many gusts, but plenty of lulls) the top three Solos all made 720’s at some point. I misjudged a tack in the first race near the end of the beat and had to do my 720 to let Simon Corper get away. Held second by a whisker but gradually pulled clear although Simon had got well away. Almost caught him towards the end - in the very light weather I seemed faster on the (mostly) run but he was quicker on the (mostly) beat. After lunch the wind piped up a bit so that in the gusts we were just sitting on the windward deck. That seemed to help my speed a bit and I was able to sneak into the lead on the first downwind leg and held it by a small margin to the end with Simon second. That left it with a decider in the final race. There was a bit more wind and I got away cleanly and built up a reasonable lead for the first few laps until on the last beat the wind went very light again and I suspect I didn’t ease the sail enough (less kicker, less sheet tension) and I got the wrong side of both a shift and a large pleasure boat to let Simon get right on my tail again. Now it was light upwind and he was quite simply quicker. (That’s why in hindsight I think I hadn’t eased enough). Anyway he worked the shifts well and seemed to have a speed advantage, getting ahead up the beat and although I closed on the run he had just enough and it turned out that was the last lap. All in all a very pleasant sail on a hot summer day – mind you I’m still a bit stiff from all those tacks and gybes.
Might see you tonight (Tues) when if there are any Solos out I will start some coaching sessions now that the TrySail fleet will be starting to sail themselves.
Wind for tonight and Wed looks nice. Sunday will be Pursuit.