The 2022 Season finally kicked off with wonderful weather and our first official Sunday Morning training session in a kind Westerly 10-12 knots.. We had Walter (Main) and Paul G (helm) and Adrian (trim) as guests. Barbara was deputising for Maggie in the pit with Christine being trained up to do bow by Paul (the barman). Derek was helping Adrian and Mark was on Mast again. Robin decided to skip the training and met us for the race. We chased Eastlander round a windward leeward lap. Eastland went round K1 instead of K2 which put the foredeck under pressure and they didn’t disappoint ! Some hasty rerigging required and all was well. Nicola trying her hand at trimming the kite. Writing this on a Wednesday it is difficult to remember the learning points … not so for the race !! Ramsay took EUSC out for some spinnaker practice. 3 fully crewed boats training was a great start with no one left on the dock. Might need some more yachts participating if we are to satisfy the demand as things pick up.
Paul G, Walter and Adrian all left us after training for other commitments. The first race of the season was an eventful learning experience for all. With 7 fully crewed boats entered, 15 mins before the start there was only 3 knots of wind. Bounty Hunter were stranded some distance from the start so it was decided to combine the Div 3 start with Div 1. With much more wind forecast a course (FDNFNF) of 9.3 miles was set and 7 minutes before the start the wind picked up to 16 knots which required a change of headsail from No 1 to No 2. We were as a result a little late for the start but soon chased the others down on the beat up to mark D which we managed to round first closely followed by FrumiousBandersnatch (whose tracker was switched off for first 8.5 mins) with Ben, Hamish, Richard and two offspring on board. Reviewing the raceQs replay it appears the 707s were having a right old tussle with Eastlander leading Jetstream and EUSC round the mark all within 4 boats lengths of each other. Bounty Hunter and Auberge (who is missing from the raceQs tracker this week but will have one next week) were also having a close race.
The wind by now had picked up to over 20 knots in just 30 mins .We therefore decided to use the long run down to N to do another headsail change from 2 to 3 which appeared to go quite well until we got to the leeward mark ! The uphaul snagged the jib sheet preventing us sheeting in and then the tack of the jib cam undone causing More lost time which proved to be costly. By this time Jetstream has a 50 boat length lead over Frumious who edged ahead of Eastlander with a neater rounding, EUSC were still on their tails. Bounty Hunter and Auberge by now were between the two older bridges containing their battle.
The wind continued to build as we round F for the first time and headed up to K2. The tide was in full flood against the westerly and there were steep standing waves under the Crossing which caused all boats to have to tack twice before the mark. We rounded safely set up for a bear away set and … yes you guessed it … had a wrap. Christine our trainee bow … her first time doing this role ! was I am sure by now wondering what on earth she had let herself in for. With Paul mentoring her she was in good hands. Barbara also hadn’t done pit on Hardslog much ether. We sailed from the Crossing to Rail Bridge with the wrap (no doubt losing more time to Jetstream on handicap). Releasing the halyard eventually seemed to do the trick as we got to the rail bridge. It was a deadheat with Jetstream at 14 mins and 9 secs for the leg but lost another 50secs on handicap. With two youngsters on board in testing conditions, Frumious wisely decided to call it a day after lap 1 as Eastlander extended their lead to 20 boat lengths over EUSC. As we approached the finish line on lap 2 Bounty Hunter finished their lap 1 just ahead of us and Auberge just behind us. They also decided to head for the marina, having been racing for 100 mins already. Eastlander managed to extend their lead over EUSC in lap 2. As the results for the top 4 weren’t changed it was decided to wind the official result back to lap to give everyone a finish … they all deserved it.
All in all a highly successful day. Much to learn about how we can make it even better. Putting race trackers on every boat has made it more interesting (apologies to Alastiar and his Auberge crew fro not getting them one this week !). If regulars could download and use the raceQs app it will leave the spare trackers to be used for new occasionals. Any comments and suggestion to [email protected] please.