Wednesday evening 24th August
The last of this year's Wednesday evening series - just as well as the daylight has all but disappeared by the time we're off the water and boats packed away. It looked like it would be quite a blowy outing - just around the start for Streakers and Firefly, the wind switched around through 90 degrees creating a beat for the first leg (had been a reach when I tested it before the race!) and lifted a couple of notches on the Beaufort scale.
However it was not to last - though it did enable the Albacores to make some progress towards catching the tail end Streakers. Great to see John Dale afloat in a borrowed Streaker courtesy of Mike Hood - John was a regular Firefly sailor some 25 years ago.
Cut to the chase - Tony Ridley built a commanding lead in the early part of the race, with Jeremy in pursuit, followed by Paul. These three took some catching as the breeze progressively faded, and the finish was very close with Tony holding on by a 100 metres, Jeremy just making the mark by the allotted end-of-race time of 8.15 and Dave Berger on Jeremy's heels. Paul held onto fourth ahead of Chris Bell.
Paul wins this series which is very gratifying - he'd got rather despondent at one stage with his lack of success, with Hannah a worthy second. Well done Mr. Secretary! And well done Hannah too - who's also just secured her place at Lincoln Uni for the coming year to study Social Policy - should fit well with her voluntary work with the Police!
Blurb for Wednesday evening 17th August
A much quieter evening than last week with a F2 wind from the East. A great turnout with 11 boats on the water. Three had been practising earlier - Jeremy Wood (Streaker), John Rayner and Graham (Osprey) and Tobias in his RS Feva.
Tobias set off first with Paul (Firefly) starting 7.5 mins later, then the Streakers then the two Albis five mins after the Streakers, and the Osprey later than that. Tobias held his staring advantage for most of the first lap before Paul and Brian overtook him, and Paul and Brian Ruston (who had started later than he needed to!) had quite a battle for the lead during the rest of the first lap and a bit. Places were there to be won on the beat from #8 to #1 if the shifts could be read but thereafter it was a question of "cherchez le vent" as the easterly sea breeze started to fade with the lengthening shadows.
Brian Ruston was eventually prised of the lead on round 2, coming up to #7, and thereafter it was just a question of concentration.
Approaching #8 with 3 mins to go, a judgement as to whether Brian and/Paul would catch me suggested that they would, were I to hang around, so another long and slow beat to #1 was needed to cement the winning position.
A fab sunset and putting the boats away in the gathering gloom! Next Wednesday is the last for this season, and the Committee meeting has been brought forward to Weds 31st Aug to accommodate holidays.
Commodore’s claptrap 10th of August 2011
This Wednesday evening race was characterised by quite a decent drop will wind, and an entry of five.
Paul Ellwood arrived and was not particularly keen to sail single-handed, David Berger had arrived and was certainly not going to sail on his own! Hence the dream team! A clutch of Streakers and Chris in his Albacore with Ben crewing made up the full complement of racers. The Streakers all got away to a good start and Dave Metcalfe quickly established a lead which he was able to extend during the race. The two albacores starting five minutes later had a considerable job on their hands, as the Streakers were already screaming away on a reach before we started the beat. The very short first leg to #9 buoy was a broad fetch, provided one started close to #0, and thereafter it was quite a good beat up to #2, and it paid to play the shifts. The shallows being directly on the rhumb line, posed a bit of a dilemma, and the Streakers all favoured to gap between shallows and Swan Island. The leading albacore chose to go south of the shallows, and this certainly paid off. The second albacore somewhat lost the plot, and believing they were making good ground on the Streakers (who were by this time heading for #7), had almost passed #8 before realising their mistake. By this time the leading albacore had reached #2 and was heading off to #8 on a fast reach. It took 2 1/2 rounds to catch two of the Streakers, and though we were gaining on Dave Metcalfe in the last two rounds, the Metcalfe comfortably won the race by around two minutes. The great evening sail and the wind held up, blowing a F3-4 most of the time with occasional gusts of F5 or so. The rain held off, and they all went home feeling we'd had a bit of exercise.
Weds 29th June.
A nice little breeze, not too warm - Les had put his shorts on and was regretting the decision! - and a good turn out. Some notable absentees including the two Albis both of which are due to go to the Birkett
Trophy event at Ullswater this weekend - a celebration of the impassioned speech Lord Birkett made which saved Ullswater form becoming yet another reservoir for thirsty Manchester - see:
http://www.ullswateryachtclub.org and http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/?article=147359 (from 2009).
A great event with upwards of 200 monohulls sailing the 18 miles or so down and back on the lake, on each of the two days. In recent years the Noble brothers in their 49er have dominated, but Albacores and Ospreys have shown good form at times over the years.
Back to the Mere: the two Fireflies started first and held their lead for just the first leg or so time before Hannah (with Brian Ruston close behind) overtook them. Hannah was to hold this place (in the lead) for most of the race. Stephen Sharp clawed is way through the fleet and at around 10 minutes to go was in close contact with the leading two boats, with Brian now in front. 8.15pm arrived and these three were between #8 and #0. Brian appeared to luff up in an attempt to stave off the threat of the Swordfish, however he then stalled and/or got weeded up, letting Stephen through, and Hannah managed to sneak through to leeward following the Swordie. So - a thrilling finish to the first race of this second half of the Wednesday evening series, and Stephen Sharp leads the medal tables!