Spring Series Race 4: 30 April

It looks like there is no stopping No 71! After 9 races the result was (71) David 14 points,(20) Nick 19 points (120) Rick 21 Points.

With an easterly wind the course was set at the southern end of the lake, but after five races it veered southeast and then was all over the place, providing some challenging conditions.

The series standings are now:

Spring Series Race 3: 23 April

With the recent warm warmer weather weed patches have started to appear on the lake. However we were able to sort out a largely weed free course once Nick in the dinghy had finished recovering the yachts of inattentive helms from weed patches and tree branches.

We welcomed Pete for a few races, but he did not get settled in enough to start threatening David. And neither nor Nick and Stuart could match David’s consistency.

Scores from eight races with one discard were: David (71) 10 points, Stuart (66) 14 points, Nick (20) 18 points, Pete (95) 30 points.

So the overall Spring Series positions so far are:

Spring Series Race 2: 16 April

Milton Country Park have now put buoys down the centre of the lake in readiness for triathlon events, which means that Nick doesn’t have to do a tour of the lake in the dinghy beforehand, laying out buoys.  (Although we suspect he quite enjoys his little cruise, especially now he has electric outboard power!)

The northwesterly wind, meant sailing from the east side of the lake, using a couple of the triathlon buoys to give a triangle and a sausage course.  Once again David was on top of his game to come first, but Andy’s excellent form continued with a very close second.

Scores from nine races with two discards were: David (71) 11 points, Andy (46) 12 points, Nick (20) 15 points, Rick (120) 22 points

So the overall Spring Series positions so far are:

Spring Series Race 1: 9 April

The 2017 Spring Series will consist of 11 race days, with 9 to count. Last Sunday was the first of the Series. For the light southerly wind Nick and David wisely moved the course further down the lake, out of the windshadow of the trees, which resulted in good race conditions. Nine races were sailed, with two discards available.

David’s extra hours of practice compared to the rest of us told again, with a best possible score of 7 points, followed by Andy on 14, Nick on 18 and Stuart bringing up the rear on 25, just three points shy of the worst possible score! (In his defence his mainsail wasn’t sheeting in properly.)

So the overall Spring Series positions so far are:

David (71) 1 point
Andy (46) 2 points
Nick (20) 3 points
Stuart (66) 4 points
Others 5 points

Race Report 19 March 2017

Despite skippers getting used to the rather flukey wind patterns on the lake at Milton Country Park, David came out on top again today.  Full marks for consistency go to Chris, who was second in every race he started, but couldn’t quite get the better of David, despite David having some winch issues.  

Unfortunately Rick had more than issues with his winch, which failed after just one race. However he is on the case with repairs and hopes to be back on the water very soon.

 

Our new rescue service in action!

Milton Country Park lake is bordered with overhanging trees and bushes, which are great for trapping wayward yachts.

Fortunately the ranger has a great little aluminium dinghy which we are able to use as a rescue launch.  Here Rick and Stuart return from a voyage to retrieve Rick’s yacht from a buoy and Stuart’s from a tree!

 

Race Report 25 September 2016

We were pleased to welcome another new member today. Nick very kindly spent the morning advising Chris on preparing his own boat and he loaned his own boat to initiate Chris into the joys of racing.

Arriving in the car park it was clear that the No1 rig would be appropriate as the morning had dawned calm. However the wind got up as the session progressed and after about an hour both Nick and Stuart’s boats suffered detached sails due to the wind strength. At this point there was an exodus back to the car park to change down to No2 rigs. However the exodus did not include Stuart as his No2 rig had gone off in the car with his wife Kate, who had given him a lift to the lake.

Taking away Stuart’s sailbox turned out to be a stellar piece of strategy by Kate, as the wind eased off somewhat soon after the fleet returned to the lake. Stuart’s Lintel with its larger sails, was then easily quicker than the other yachts, leading to him winning three races in a row. Since moving to the lake at Rectory Farm Stuart has hardly ever won a race, so a hat-trick, even with a unfair advantage, was beyond his wildest dreams.

NB. Because of the number of skippers missing races, I have used ‘average position’ in this week’s results rather than total scores. But however you calculate it, Andy managed to equal Stuart for first place, despite Stuart’s big sails, well done Andy.

Race Report 11 September 2016

The seven of us were presented with a beautiful sunny morning, but with very light winds. Tim and Derek had bought along their 6 Metre class yachts, with their massive lead keels requiring custom transport trolleys to haul them around.

We weren’t sure whether the One Metres and the Six Metres would be able to sail together as one fleet, but in the conditions they proved remarkably well matched.  The larger sail area and waterline length of the six metres presumably being offset by their being slower to get going because of their extra weight.

So it was purely through skill that Derek was able to lead the way for us today in all bar the last race.  In that race, Derek being the gentleman that he is, was assiduous in doing penalty turns, which pushed him down the fleet.

Our club members tend to sail for enjoyment as much as the pleasure of winning.  To that end we like to eschew protests, protest committees and the emotions that can follow, relying on each sailor to do the honourable thing when they believe they are in the wrong.  In fact we are so honourable that it is not so unusual for both yachts to do turns after a coming together!  In the rare case of penalty turns not being taken, sarcastic comments from the rest of the fleet are usually enough to shame the offender into action.

Behind Derek’s six metre, Nick’s one metre was consistently the best of the rest, while most of us tended to see success when we caught the start and the wind right and the back half of the fleet when we didn’t.  Although finishing at the back, new member Andy did an excellent job of keeping up with the rest of the fleet and will clearly be competitive once he has some more experience under his belt.

Race Report 4 September 2016

With a breezy southwesterly blowing across the lake, a course was set on the diagonal and everyone rigged their No 2 suits. The conditions made for exciting sailing, but once again David adapted best and most consistently, winning every race he started.  The wind became more blustery as the morning progressed, reaching the top end for No 2 sails.  This seemed to help Tim who managed to get closer and closer to David as the races progressed.  It was a tribute to everyone’s eyesight and skill that we all managed to sail cleanly around the distant upwind buoy in these conditions.

The back of the fleet was populated by Nick and me.  Both of us managed to display a lack of boat speed, coupled with unwarranted degrees of inconsistently.  For an example of our day, take the first race…

Nick managed to tangle with David on the start line and by the time they had sorted themselves out, I was the clear leader.  However the pressure was clearly too much to handle and on the verge of winning I hit the second last buoy.  With my keel tangled on the mooring line, I sat there helpless while everyone passed me by.

Nick did try and even things out by changing the course and then disqualifying the rest of the fleet for following David the wrong way round a buoy, but to no avail.

More important than the race results, we were pleased to welcome Andy, a new member to the club, and thanks to Derek who gave up his racing to spend the morning coaching Andy on the lake.  Unfortunately his Triple Crown looks worryingly quick!

 

 

Race Report 21 August 2016

A depleted field this week due to holidays, with just three yachts on the lake. But what a wind we had – a strong southwesterly producing 6 to 8 inch waves and No 2 sails all round. The start was set in the North Eastern corner and the windward mark was towards the end of the Southern bank and a spreader was set on the Eastern bank. Andy was the best of the day; he was super fast in the high winds. Andy was followed by Rick, whose trick of taking on extra water balance as the race progressed didn’t do him much good, while I could not get the set up right for these conditions.