Sunday Spring End series first week (29-5-2011).
Bank Holiday weekend and the wind was (still) blowing hard (we've had splendidly windy weekends for the past three weeks). Only two boats ventured out for the first race of the two-Sunday Spring-End series this year, Hannah as ever, with a huge grin relishing the prospect of a sprightly outing, and yours truly who had commandeered Paul Ellwood as competent crew. On with the older Speed sails (having used the newer Macs on two previous windy occaisions and given them a ducking!) - though not having yet found the time to sort out more kicker travel.
Hannah sets off 5 minutes before the Albacore, so she was well away before we got started. In deference to the possibly-needed rescue service, we only used the nearer end of the Mere this morning, and #6 has been missing for a few days, Mike Hood has had a good look around for it, the conclusion being that in the strong winds, it may have got damaged and sunk - and we thought the new buoys would prove indestructable!
By around the third round, on the run back to #9 we managed to overhaul Hannah and then it was "just" a matter of making sure no mistakes were made which we managed to achieve.
New arrivals at the Mere today were Thomas and Tobias Breithaupt, both of whom have recently crewed in the Albacore, Tobias having crewed 4 windy raceds in teh Oppen meeting a couple of weeks ago. This father and son combination had taken a week's sailing tuition in Elba last summer and having "got the bug", decided upon an RS Feva as a good starting boat, with the potential for Tobias to sail it single-handed.
After the first race, Paul and I went over to look, chat, and offer what little expertise in asymetric spinnaker set-up we could muster between us. It was too windy and not sensible for them to sail today, but Thomas and Tobias did sail on the following day, which was characterised by rather little wind, but a good opportunity to rig the new boat and get familiar with its systems. Welcome both!
Spring End Series - 5-6-2011 completed.
Hannah demonstrated both her commitment to getting out and sailing on the Mere and her mastery of heavy weather over these two Sundays of the Spring End series. The first Sunday was pretty windy, and just two boats went out for the morning pursuit, two for the first handicap race and three for the second handicap. Very gratifying to see Les Green and Alan putting in a showing in their Osprey.
The clear winner of the series was Hannah, with four wins and a second from 5 of the six in the series, she did not need to sail the final race, and has a "perfect score" (there are two discards allowed), but you do have to sail at least one of the pursuits to qualify.
Mike Knight gets a podium finish too by dint of just getting out there and doing it! Well done Mike - improving all the while! These were the only two to qualify, but a total of ten different boats took part in the series.