Solo News Dec 11 2011

Another rather late blog I’m afraid – hope this doesn’t become a habit.

 

First, Sunday’s results

 

1. Gareth

2. Paul

3. Chris

4. Roy

5. Peter H

6. Dave C

OOD Tony P

 

A nice force 2-3 to start but it gradually built and Dave C did well to manager some quite strong patches towards the end – where was the rest of the senior fleet?  Off the start no-one else seemed to have spotted the port end bias – I reckoned it was swinging between distinct port end and about even or marginally starboard. If you had checked before the handicap start it was probably more even or slightly starboard. It’s important to keep checking and start to see trends. The weather forecast also showed a gradual backing (anticlockwise shift – veering is clockwise)  from West to more South so strategically I wanted to be going left into the header, but playing the shifts as well. Although the lasers all seemed to go for starboard end start I was pretty sure the bias had changed and with a minute to go it was definitely port end more often than not. My plan was then to start nearer the port end than anyone else. If at that time we were headed making very strong port bias tack immediately and cross the fleet. If we were on a lift at the start so marginal port bias or even slightly starboard end, wait for the next shift which I expected to be a header and tack then to cross the fleet. Basically I wanted to be in phase with the shifts from the off while starting from what I felt was on average the correct end.

 

As we started I thought it was fairly even but then as expected we got a good sized header (while still on starboard) so I was able to tack and comfortably cross the fleet. After that I tried to stay in phase with any big shifts but try to creep left to take advantage of the expected gradual backing of the wind.  I also kept an eye on where everyone else was going so my plan was generally – stay in phase with big shifts, keep between the fleet and the mark if anything slightly left. Keep an eye on who else was going well. 

 

By the first mark I had a reasonable gap but Paul wasn’t too far back.  Down the reaches Paul seemed to gain a bit so that at the start of the next lap I didn’t have much of a gap but felt that I had done enough to consolidate up the beat.  By that time we started to get into the back of the laser fleet so sometimes it was more a case of plotting the way past the next laser than covering the boat behind. While Paul and I had a close tussle for the first few laps the battle for third was quite hot with Chris, Roy and Peter all within a few lengths for most of the race.

 

After the B2B Paul and I tried a bit of two boat tuning – wind fairly strong. Conclusion seemed to back up the race, I have a slight edge upwind, Paul has  a slight edge on the reaches and we’re about even on the runs. Not yet sure why that is. We now need to compare rigs and try making some changes to see if we can find settings that are faster or at least to allow us to choose what to optimise.

 

MINCE PIES AND MULLED WINE THIS WEEK so be sure to come! Looks as if we may have decent weather after the storms. You probably want to check your boat is still secure so why not plan to sail...J

 

 

Regards

 

Gareth