Solo News 8 July 2012

 

Well that wraps it up for the spring series – roll on autumn – (no I hadn’t noticed any summer yet either).  Next week is Commodore’s day which marks our boundary from Sprint to Summer – even if it is just after the longest day.

 

The spring series results are on the web site but the podium is:

1.       Gareth

2.       Mark

3.       Peter Cottrell

As usual Peter and Mervyn are almost inseparable – just a point between.

 

We had 17 entrants but I notice some only did an OOD – for which we are very grateful but we would love to see you on the water.

 

I know some do Saturdays but I’m slightly disappointed in the numbers on the water recently – what can we do to make it better? We had  a great attendance at the training day but if you don’t practice it won’t stick.

 

Should we do more training days?

 

Should we have some alternative format?

 

By the way now that the Trysail are becoming more independent there may be more opportunity for cruising / coaching on Tues evening.  

 

Sunday – looked when I got up to be miserable and wet – but when I got to the club there was a nice northerly wafting over the water and the rain had (almost) stopped. The course set starting at 4 beat to 1, reach to 8, run to 7 beat (ish) back to A in the middle run back to 6 and reach to 4. Trying it before the start – I’ve said it before, Jim Hunt said it and I’ll say it again – to know what’s happening you have to be on the water in plenty of time but as the fast handicap 4 minute sounded (our 8 minute) I see three solos just casting off... Before the start I like to sail on each leg to get a feel for the wind angles – for example finding I could just fetch 7 to A or whether it was a bare away or a gybe at A, and how was the wind shifting round the start – keep testing where can I point from the end of the line. Is it shifting and going back or progressively shifting. The forecast had a steady progression westwards but was that happening... If you aren’t out there and you don’t know if the wind has lifted or headed recently how can you plan which way to go at the start...

 

At the start it looked very pin (outside end) biased – almost a beat down the line.  Mark A was in front of me crawling down the line. At about 20 seconds to go I was closing on his transom – three options – stop hard (back main) and make a space, drive over (but risk being luffed over the line), drive hard through his lee and then push back up to the line. All carry risks – stopping could leave me in irons and hard to make much gap as Mark was almost stationary so I ruled that out. Drive over – possible but for sure he’d try to power up and push me high over the line- we already were close to it so I went for the leeward option (two dangers – will I get through and will I then be too soon at the pin).  I was already moving significantly faster and I sheeted full power on.  If Mark had seen this coming and reacted a shade sooner to get moving I would probably have switched strategy and tried to stop, but with speed on I was able to get clean through and then start to gently harden up. Because I had established an overlap from behind I have to give him time to react. Mark in the meantime was trying hard to accelerate and blanket me but also having to keep clear as windward boat. The result was that we heard two guns – I knew I’d pushed Mark over the line but I strongly suspected I was also over and we were right on the pin so I figured I’d circle back as a precaution but I’d still be ahead of mark and right at the favoured end.  (In fact I didn’t need to go back but was very close). Peter C was now close to the end on starboard but as I circled the distance mark he tacked.  Because I was rounding up with full power as he tacked I was able to squirt through his lee and pop out into clear air. Mark in the meantime had to round behind us and ended up trapped in Peter’s backwind before he could tack for clear air. Despite circling back, by being at the right end and moving fast I still came out with arguably the best start. As we progressed up the beat it was evident that Gareth and Mark were pulling clear  - not sure what was happening behind (I was too busy trying to pick a path through the shifts and watch what Mark was doing).

 

During the race the wind piped up for a bit – much more than forecast to give some fast planing between 6 and 4 – so much so in fact that Peter and Mervyn decided it was above their comfort zone.  Gareth eventually pulled away from Mark and ended up catching some of the lasers.

 

This coming week Commodore’s day on Sunday, the following Saturday 21st SAIL FOR GOLD.

 

Please tell me you will be coming to the sail for gold – either to help or to sail (or a bit of both)! It should be a nice fun event without the stresses of a regular race start.

 

See you soon

 

Gareth

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