Tuesday, 1 March 2016


A very decent blast round was had by 6 Fireballs on Sunday, with another boat's-worth of our boys on the committee boat.

Race 1: F3, course F, P, J, OL
This was a great 4-boat battle for the lead which lasted for at least 2 full laps before Mo & Holly broke away to eventually win the thing, There were places to be won and lost up each beat, and some real damage was done on the runs too, mostly to me. Peter & David pinched 2nd place at the end from Colin & Karen, leaving me and Paul to claim 4th place. Further back were Helen & Richard who had misjudged the start time massively, and Jane & Pat who had a tendency to reach up the beats but otherwise looked good (and fast) in the new blue boat. Memorable points were the Optimist training session which dictated your route up the beats, and the 2-sail reach to J which occasionally looked to be kiteable, whilst generally turning out not to be just after you put the thing up.
Having enjoyed ourselves in the morning and braved the totally crowded wetbar at lunch, we all turned out for the PM race too. 

Race 2: F3-4, course G, F, X, P, E, J, OL
This one was a real blast, although less competitive as the wind dictated the results quite early on. Beating up from OL to G, it was all to play for as we approached the far shore on starboard tack. I decided that going on up under the shore would be a stupid idea, so tacked off and headed towards Toft Bay. Peter & Dave carried on to a point close to the shore before tacking, whereupon a dark line of wind appeared on the water parallel to the shore like a motorway leading directly to G. P&D promptly scorched off along this path, going faster and pointing higher than anyone else, and were never seen again. Mo & Holly pulled a crash tack in front of me when the wind shifted about 45 degrees, and we both trekked off to G together in the freshening breeze. Round G, kite up, over to F, then a dead run down to X. We did these alongside Mo & Holly and Jane & Pat, then broke away somewhat on the fast 2-sail reach to P. At this point it was really quite chuffin' windy, and respect is due to everyone who didn't capsize (ie, everyone). But the windy stuff takes its toll on the lighter crews and the wobblier boats, and the race became a bit processional after that. Still, after beating up to E we had the consolation prize of a cool 3-sail reach right across the lake to J, and the opportunity to sail through the Optimist training session which was neatly parked en-route.
After a couple of laps of this, the wind was dropping again, the finish line loomed, and having had the kite up from E to J to OL, Paul and I decided to leave it up for the little bit of a fetch to the finish line. In the event, it turned out you couldn't lay the line with the kite up, so we Aussie-dropped it (and briefly the crew too) for the last few yards, much to the amusement of Bob & Paul on the committee boat. Mo & Holly were next, then Colin & Karen, then Helen & Richard, then Jane & Pat.
Good racing in a sensible amount of breeze, and although the temperatures were around 5-6 degrees, I was occasionally too hot and had to remove my woolly hat at one point. That's what happens when you have to work hard at your sailing!

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