Race Report - Saturday 28 Feb 2015

The last races of the 2014/2015 Winter Series promised to be interesting. We had Force 3 winds from the South East, with gusts of Force 5 at times. Although there were periodic wind shifts, the prevailing wind direction was fairly constant.

With a force of 13 GP14, and one solitary Laser, there was a lot of competitive spirit, and a few points to be awarded.

The South Easterly wind typically gives the OOD headaches (in fact, this very scenario is being covered in the OOD training course Learning to be an OOD - 12 Mar 2015). Whilst the simple solution is a beat to buoy No2, that can also result in a few exciting moments when the boats heading upwind come face-to-face with the leaders heading back downwind !

After a lot of thinking, we re-located No1 next to No2 to give a spacer pair. At the opposite end of the lake, we moved No8 to become a spacer next to No7. This gave us a course of 1(P), 2(P), followed by 7(S), 8(S), and then 6(S) and 3(P).  It was an unusual pattern, but everyone seemed fairly happy with it - the fleet spread out well, and there were plenty of tactical choices to be made.

The first (Gold + Silver) race commenced with a fairly clean start; just one boat OCS, who came back very promptly.

Karen/Wiebe led the way to the windward mark, closely followed by Keith/Michael and Roger/Will. After rounding 1+2, it was spinnakers all the way to 7+8. Some helms chose the middle of the lake (where there was probably more wind), and others stayed closer to the Southern shore. The fleet soon spread out, with Karen & Wiebe increasing their lead.

The first race finished after 45 minutes with Karen & Wiebe crossing the finish line first, followed by Roger & Will, then Keith & Michael. Tomasz came home as the only Laser sailor. Congratulations to Karen on a decisive win.

Although we had feared that the wind would change strength during the afternoon, the second race (Bronze) started in very similar conditions, using the same course. This time, the fleet was well behind the line on the gun.

This time, Ali Lambert led the fleet home. The first three Bronze sailors were Mick Printemps, Wiebe and Caro. Congratulations to them.

The Winter Series has been exciting for the numbers of incidents, and the changeable weather.

Here's looking forward to the next Series.

A special Thank You to Andy Wadsworth, who helped design the course, and managed the safety boat with Andy Shrimpton. Thanks also to Fred, who manned the committee boat, and to Sam who helped both on the committee boat, and the standby safety boat.

Dennis Adams, OOD