Metoffice.org.uk promised a SW 12 gusting 30 so there was always going to be potential for a real Fireballling day, and so it was.
Turned out to be a day of settings. Standing in the lee of the club house had a distinct 22′ 8” feel about it however since I trust the mathletes computer at the met office we put the pins in and went to see what it looked like round the corner.
Race 1. Decent start off the starboard end with the strategy of a long leg and then looking for the fabled Hensborough port lift into A left us 2nd as Colin and Karen (and everyone else) bang the right hand corner and rocket around in the gusts coming over the dam wall. Run to M in the breeze and then C&K chicken out and down the kite! A wide gybe and off to B on the port backer which had now arrived. Gybe and into a flying 3 sail reach to T, power on with the fat boys no2 kite. Noticed Capt’n Bob had the kite up as well down to B and watched the resultant luffing match. Surf down to E up to P across to S, gate and round again, breeze building nicely so no fancy stuff this time, speed and bang the right hand corner it is, gusts and all. Lost sight of the rest of the fleet in the spray at this point so contributions gratefully accepted……:) Third lap breeze up really nicely now depower boat stand on cunningham, massive kicker, cars out, board up, main on quarter. Wind veered ,strategy go left , no idea if it worked compass all over the place . No kite to B. Gybe flat, kite up and off to T awesome 3 sail reach, become aware of being silently stalked by the carbon knight, the chase for the 20 knot prize was on, and then he returned to the waves quicker than he’d arisen. Two goes at a gybe round T which turned into dead mans corner as the wind headed and refused a clean gybe.
Looked like there’s real good battle going on behind us but don’t have time to watch…Looking for a conservative finish until crew decides its fast enough to go water skiing, rescue mermaid and head for finish and lunch.
C&K sailed the race on 22′ 8” with an alto mast…..must have been real hard work.
On way in Paul and Helen fall in with Paul testing giving the boom an engineers stress test with his head. Medical examination later on for concussion inconclusive as tester talking same gibberish as usual, boom passed fine
Race 2, big breeze now so its more pins in and a bit of strut action for 60mm+ of pre-bend. Port biased line, bear off and out the middle flat out. Loads of big gusts around making the boat skip through the waves. Bear off at N to deadman’s corner again and broad reach to F, beat back to P, high speed two sailer, crew standing on transom to X , gate. Alto boat owners seen stretching halyard to fit on shore so keeping an eye on Helen and Capt’n Bob. Reaches not as exciting as this morning but probably best as we’re now surfing in up to 30knts at times. Team work counts as real wash off potential now with bow wave way down the boat. H&P lose it on dead mans’s corner on lap 3 I think. Capt’n Bob and Paul do a decent bit of yachting and come home behind us, quote “could have done with a bit more rake….”
Cuppas from the nice tea lady behind the bar, could have eaten lots of cake.
How its really done:
A good day, sleep well everyone.