The wind was from the west two markers set at the western end of the lake and a start line at the eastern end, the course was a box all marks left to starboard. Racing was close a lot of bumping and boring at the top mark and a lot of turns to be taken by some of the yachts. Unfortunately Andy had to pull out with rudder servo failure and Rick had to leave for domestic commitments after race 5 . Derek’s set up was out, although he sorted it towards the end and Tim only found his extra speed in race 7 and my Jib tension was lost with a broken luff wire. All these woes left David to come out on top at the end of the day.
Today’s wind was again from the south west,with a course set east to west, one mark to the west and the start to the east. Handicaps today included Tim getting hooked on the mark line and then picking up weed. Also my radio stopped controlling my yacht’s rudder and I had to change over to using to using the ‘elevator’ movement on the control lever. As this is an up-down motion, rather than side to side it required a certain mental dexterity to keep the yacht on track. All of these handicaps left David top of the class.
Three new members who also sail at the Norwich club joined us today and dominated proceedings in a wind that got up during the morning to the top of the No1 sail range. They showed our regular members that we still have a lot to learn. It wasn’t so much an issue of boatspeed, rather that the top three consistently started well, made fewer mistakes and read the wind and water better. All things that come with experience and practice, but maybe after we have plied them with enough coffee they will give us backmarkers some tips.
To his credit Tim did manage a second place in one race, but congratulations to Vinnie who was first over the line almost every time. He wasn’t even fazed when I removed the finish line by accidentally hooking up one of the buoys and towing it into the bank.
Success in today’s racing was all about reading the flukey winds around the upwind mark and, less positively, about the risk of picking up a the mooring warp of a marker buoy and retiring. One of our jobs is to find a better way of sinking the ropes so that they don’t get picked up by keel bulbs.
Pete showed his big boat racing pedigree by consistently finding the best way to tackle the tricky upwind legs, with David a solid second and Stuart and Andy not far behind. Rick struggled with excessive weather helm all day but hopefully the plentiful advice that he got afterwards will help next time out.
Luckily racing stopped just in time for us to be sitting in the coffee shop before a rain shower blew through, presumably the same one that drowned the start of the Grand Prix at Silverstone!
We were pleased to welcome two members who sail at the Norwich club into the fleet of eight one metre yachts, the largest fleet the club has seen so far. A light southwesterly wind saw commodore Nick set a diagonal course across the lake to take best advantage of the water that was not in the windshadow of the trees on the southern bank.
Obviously his buoy positions were not to everyone’s liking as one yacht had a go at hooking its keel on one of them and towing it around the lake. (Our buoys are temporary and quite light, requiring good field athletic skills to throw them a decent distance out into the lake each Sunday.) Having sorted this all out and retrieved those competitors from the car park who seemed to think that they were just here for a pleasant Sunday chat, racing commenced.
It was immediately apparent that the Vinnie Zammit was in a class of his own with his V9, particularly on the upwind legs. In fact Vinnie went on to win all eight races, although other yachts did manage to get close to him at times. One of these was Andy who had a superb sail in his self-built wooden yacht to finish second in race two. Just goes to show that you don’t need to have the latest and greatest high-tech hull to be competitive.
Our treasurer, David, put in some consistent performances to achieve second place overall. Sadly our commodore Nick and webmaster Stuart let the club down by managing to achieve last or second to last in most races. At least Nick had the excuse of equipment failure, Stuart had none, other than his usual “Lintels don’t go well in light airs”, but then neither does Stuart.
Overall a great days racing, with even the occasional attempt at playing dodgems around the buoys not taken too seriously. The coffee and cake afterwards went down very well, and we look forward to welcoming more visitors and new members.
From time to time I race online using the Sailx racing simulator. In Sailx you race against other sailors and it simulates the effect of many real-world factors including windshifts, windshadows, wakes, etc. But most usefully it applies the rules automatically so you instantly know whether you were in the right or wrong. It is also great for tactics – some of the guys on there are really on the ball – and just like the real thing I often end up behind everyone else without knowing exactly how I got there. But with Sailx you can’t blame it on the boat as they are all identical. Give it a try here.
From time to time we will be taking a break from racing while Nick arranges for us to practice different scenarios under the sailing rules actually out on the water. For most of us this is much a much easier way to remember the rules than trying to visualise diagrams or descriptions in a book.
The CMYC Summer Series will be held from Sunday 1 May until Monday 4 September, for a the first ever CMYC Trophy. The high-point scoring system will be used, with 4 discards allowed.