Monday, March 30, 2015
Over the weekend of the 28th/29th MARCH Sixteen Squib teams arrived for what was likely to be an extremely windy weekend. The hope was for 5 race series with 1 discard and 3 races sailed on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. Out of the fleet, there were some travellers. 2 boats from Burnham, the Grogan’s 105 and 819 Malcolm and Andy, also Dave Best made the journey from Wales to represent the Abersoch fleet.
Race 1 – With the wind strong but not ridiculous the fleet got away cleanly. 105 cleanly away from the clubhouse end and 16 Ian Keely away well from the pin end. At the top mark, which was a starboard rounding, there was the inevitable crash. 105 leaving water for 16 expecting them to sail round the mark, however 16 proceeded to buy some more room to weather by sailing on catching 105 out making for some interesting discussion’s about ‘proper course’ and all the other rules that could be involved with mark rounding. However, the race carried on with 105 overtaking down the run and extending, whilst Dave best applied the pressure to 16. 1st 105, 2nd 16, 3rd 797.
Race 2 – With the wind still strong. 797 lead round the top, only to broach spectacularly on the reaching leg in front of the Riley’s 73 and the Grogan’s in 105. 797 managed to regain control and nip round the mark, with some good avoiding action taking place behind. By the bottom 797 lead with 73 next followed by the Grogan’s and Ian. Up the beat the Grogan’s managed to nip through and were relieved when the course was shortened as it was getting hard work out there. 1st 105, 2nd 797, 3rd 16.
Race 3 – the windiest of the lot. Only 12 started and 9 finished. Malcolm and Andy made the best of a consistent right shift to start in the right place and lead round the top and disappear. The final podium places were being decided by a dicey battle involving 16, 105, 73 and 797. Ian on 16 managed to make use of a good shift and detach himself from the fleet, whilst the Grogan’s managed to hold of the chasing pack, with the Riley’s getting 4th off Dave, which in that breeze was no mean feat! Owen and Tony in the race box wisely shortened as things as by this point it was very windy.
After a night of free curry and cheesecake put on by the club as part of the entry fee. People nursed there wounds and told the stories about the days racing whilst enjoying some Suffolk ale and rum. In some cases a few may have enjoyed it a little too much!
Day 2 dawned with a forecast that was supposed to be unsail-able, however to our surprise we sailed a pleasant race, apart from the rain, in 5-10 knots. I tricky race due to the patchy wind. Ian on board 16 showing his local knowledge sailed away from the fleet. 797 the best of the rest followed by 105. However, this race was turned on its head by another windward mark water incident. Which, meant 819 was forced to miss the windward mark to avoid collision and Riley’s doing turns otherwise I think this race could have seen the Riley’s and Malcolm and Andy on the podium.
Final race, windiest of the event and with a biased start meant the race could be decided there - and it was. 105 won the start from 810 Richard Sullivan and Dave Best. On the first run 105 went a bit safe and gybed twice trying to avoid the lee of the club house, which allowed the pack to close in, 797 had a spinnaker problem at the bottom, which held the pack up and allowed 105 to break away. On the next run, however, 810 Richard Sullivan and Sue Harper gybed out the top and proceeded to plane down the run eating up 797 and 105, but just missing out on the overlap with 797 at the bottom, which meant the short race was finished, due to increasing wind. Leaving 105, 797 and a well sailed 3rd for 810. However, there were boats still on the run and Denise and Kerr Sinclair on 58 were showing how close you can come to sailing with your burgee in the water nobody will ever know how they kept it pointing in the right direction and up the right way after the roll they had on!
The final positions after a fantastic weekend and a FULL series were: 105, Nigel and Jack Grogan 1st. Ian Keely and Peter Matthews 2nd and 3rd Dave Best and Mark Thomson 3rd.
From a gear point of view. 105 was actually and new hull despite the sail number, so 3 out of the top 5 were in newer style boats. Hyde Sails won 4 out the 5 races. Mast sections were 1st z-spar 2nd super spar and 3rd Canopus.
Thank you WOBYC and all the organisers. We can be sure we will all be back next year and also bringing more travelers. (How many can we fit on Oulton broad???)