August Anniversary Series Race

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Dull, warm, not much breeze. Not very dramatic I suppose, but maybe I'd think differently if I had a Solo... The wind was going up and down in patches, and dropped to what probably counted as F0 for the fast start... Not good for timing your run to the start line, but it gets even more difficult if a certain successful Solo sailor parks his boat in front of you when you are already thinking you might have left it a bit late. Name omitted to protect the guilty... And then the breeze got up again (well, in relative terms anyway) for the slow start, and came in from an odd direction to such an extent that the leading Solos had overtaken some of the "fast" fleet starters by the windward mark...

It was that sort of race really, a lot of parking lots, a lot of holes in the wind, a lot of compression gusts on the downwind legs... Its difficult to think of much to write about it to be honest... I guess it summed up the race for the rest of us that as soon as the first 3 or 4, which in any case included the first Solo, crossed the line the wind promptly picked up to the best it had been all morning to bring the slower boats across in double time eliminating any chance of faster boats saving their time on those behind...

Still no complaints: I benefited from a weather and race situation that benefited me the other Wednesday so what goes around comes around. Anyway Gareth Griffiths won, and the entire top 6 was filled with Solos, the rest, in order, being David Lawton, Quentin Andrews, Mervyn Cinnamond, Peter Cottrell and Cj Cavallari. The only thing stopping a complete clean sweep by the Solos was that Caroline Baldwin's Byte tied for 7th with the last Solo... Personal Handicap results featured many of the same names: David Clark won, from Caroline Baldwin (Byte and the only non-Solo in the top 6) then David Lawton, Quentin Andrews, Mervyn Cinnamond and Peter Cottrell.

Full results are here.

Later in the day I was luffed by a Solo on the run when sailing the Canoe... I have no objection to this, I can appreciate the desire to protect one's wind and discourage faster boats covering you to windward while overtaking. I also believe that in general "gentlemen pass to leeward", but the run is a special case... If you are in a boat that sails dead downwind on a run then I suggest the last thing you want is for a faster boat which sails hotter angles to overtake you to leeward, because as soon as they establish an overlap they are entitled to sail their proper course and come up to whatever angle they need to sail to get to the mark fastest. And that might take you a long distance out of your way and lose you a lot more ground than you would have done had they gone past to windward: I've sailed boats that in light airs are best sailed 45 degrees higher than a dead run... So on a run it's in both parties advantage for a faster boat which sails angles to overtake on the windward side, because the deep running boat will not be diverted from their desired course and will get the minimum amount of disruption.

Oh yes, Gareth mentioned last week's cycle race from the point of view of not having gone to the club. I went, and I think its worth commenting. Now from what I understand traffic in London was nightmarish, and locked up solid, but I took the M25/A3/Cobham Junction/Seven Hills Road/Hersham roundabout route up to the club, leaving about half an hour earlier than normal and the traffic was very light: I certainly arrived at the club earlier than normal.  I believe the traffic - mainly in cycles - was pretty thick round Box Hill and Dorking, but for the rest there seems no especial reason why we need to close the club for the main event next year: I'm not sure huge numbers of people will drive into Surrey to see a tight pack of cycles hurtle past in 10 seconds flat... The time trial even on Wednesday 1st August, however, which will come much closer and round three sides of the club might be another problem. Having found the schedule the men's event, which would have been the greater problem, is scheduled to finish at 11:30 am, so its route shouldn't bother us. The Women's time trial is scheduled to finish at Hampton Court at 4:15 pm and they'll be coming up from Cobham on the old A3, into Kingston, right past Thames SC's gate I reckon, and then through Kingston and back to Hampton Court. Its hard to believe that any traffic is going to be moving round Kingston for two hours after the finish. In theory our club ought to be accessible, gridlock permitting, but I reckon Thames might as well just erect a grandstand on their carpark and sell drinks to the public rather than plan any sailing...