On a gorgeous sunny spring morning, today, we had 10 Dragon Force 65s on the water, for 2 full hours of good tight racing. We had one new skipper in Jonathan Blake, racing Mark Jenkins’ DF65, and though he didn’t feel he was doing so well, he completed the course each time,not far behind the pack, which is quite an achievement. Anyway, Jonathan, welcome to the radio yacht racing ‘fold’.
We didn’t keep any records, but it was good to see that the early finishers seemed to change around quite a bit, and with regular changes it wind direction, there was plenty of room for good tactics.
Here are a fewphotos that I managed to squeeze in between trying to keep myself on course.
Although the morning was open to all classes, in fact all 7 sailors brought ‘65s’, so we had good racing numbers, in brisk, top of A rig conditions, in perfect mild spring weather. Even with quite a long Olympic Triangle as a course, we were still able to get through 8 races, or more. I wasn’t counting, or scoring.
We welcomed David Ritchie to his debut, with his newly purchased DF.
Last Sunday marked the first event of the new season One Metre racing on Sundays.
We were blessed with an encouraging weather prediction, which held true to form, as it usually does (?). We had a good racing breeze throughout the morning, which faded as we were packing up, and a fine drizzle sent us on our way.
The morning was dominated by John Tufnall with Britpop 03 ( or 03 Blue), and here is John Bennet’s race report:
Nine sailors (one was late on parade) came along this morning in warmer conditions with a threat of rain that did not materialise. The NE wind made course setting a little tricky, so we tried several !! Twelve races were held without race officer duties which does speed things up a bit but the impartiality is missed at times. First places were shared by 5 sailors: John Tufnall 7, John Bennett 2, Chris Wilson 1, Phil Meakins 1, John Arrow 1.Â A couple of general recalls happened on the start line due to a real bumper car situation for one andÂ a “flying start” when a gust of wind took many over the line a bit earlier than intended for another. The usual fickle air was turning some “runs” into “beats”at the south end of the lake and a few gusts saw some submarining but it was just as likely you would get becalmed. The final beat to the line was tricky/fickle and places were won and lost much to the glee and frustration of the sailors. With seven “firsts” under his belt it was pretty clear who the winner was and with the two discards the results are : 1st John Tufnall 17, 2nd Chris Wilson 29, 3rd John Bennett 32, 4th Julyan Richardson 40, 5th John Arrow 46, 6th Phil Meakins 52, 7th Maurice Clayton 57, 8th Mark Jenkins 57, 9th Peter Luk 73.
The prediction was for a light northerly breeze, increasing during the morning, with some thin sunshine. And so it was, with temperatures just low enough to draw out the woolly hats.
Sad then that there were only 8 of us, but it enabled us to race without umpires.
We had 8 races, I think, in fun conditions, with some long beats, where the favoured side of the Lake changed frequently, and there were many instances where the a backing and veering wind changed the sail order within seconds.
Although we were a relatively small number, the racing was very competitive and in good humour, in delightful conditions, as you can see.
For some time now, I have been trying to source a third race starter, the idea being to avoid having to occasionally rely upon Iphones and wristwatches etc. The designer and builder of our existing two starters, is no longer in production as the technology is obsolete. He can do limited repairs, but that is all.
Cutting a very long story short, I found Phil Harpham, who has now built this two channel starter. I have coupled it with the same type of horn as is on our other two starters, and it also has a deafening klaxon for general recall. I am doubtful that we will ever use that, as we would probably be kicked out of the Park!
Anyway, it is now married up with the little stand that Alan Nash made a couple of years ago, which will give it some weather protection when needed.
There were 11 yachts on the water, at Lakeside, for this, the second of the Alan’s Challenge Series for 2017. We had a very pleasant stiff breeze, with just the occasional nose diving in A rigs.
The morning started with a close inspection of Derek Barratt’s mouldings for his 6 foot Trimaran. This has been in his loft for over 10 years, but now he has been told by Commander In Chief Naval Home Command that it has to be finished or to go. Derek’s answer is obvious. He is still looking for more 4 pint milk bottles to stabilise the gazebo, which wll protect him and the work, as he finishes the job.
There was some exciting racing, and competitive starts, but you can see from the photo of rounding mark 7, that mark room was being given. This must encourage more skippers to take up Marbleheads, as the standard of racing is excellent. This doesn’t mean that new sailors should avoid Marbleheads; quite the opposite. Once you have tried one, you will be hooked. Now, I would say that, wouldn’t I, having a very nice one for sale!