What a perfect day for a race! A little warmer would have been perhaps better but overall the best conditions of the season so far. Great to see 15 boats on the start line, it is making for some interesting races and lovely for us to see that you are enjoying this side of the group.
The start gun went with no boats over the line, which was great. Don’t be afraid to push it a little closer though, you may get it wrong at times but being on the line, at speed, when the gun goes off really does give you an advantage. The most notable start went to Steve Farmer, well done. Best start we have ever seen from you and put you in a really good position going up the first beat. Mike Blatchford and David Mason continued their rivalry both nailing great starts to begin their dual up the first beat.
Peter Gregory then found a really nice line sailing himself to the front of the fleet, once again. He was not having it all his own way though with Mike and David not far behind. First to the windward mark within the Access fleet was Rachel Ibbott who sailed a fantastic first leg followed by Tom Phillips.
Once everyone was safely round the windward mark, attention could turn to the downwind leg which for this race had been layed much more downwind as opposed to the reach that it normally is. The idea being that there would be more opportunities to cover other boats and allow for more exciting racing. This was certainly the case. Peter Wagner sailed a storming leg overtaking 4 boats on his way to the third mark, getting up close to Peter G. Martin Newman took a similar line and again overtook a number of boats. Steve equally had a brilliant leg overtaking Tom but still leading the pack for the Access’ was Rachel who was sailing brilliantly.
Looking at the statistics of the race, the most interesting thing to note is that after all the place changes at the start and on the first beat and downwind leg, there were no on the water place changes at all for the rest of the race. Lap times varied a bit, most notably for Fay Watson, after a difficult first lap, Fay sailed brilliantly for the 2nd lap improving her lap times by a minute and a half from lap 1 to 2 and then again from 2 to 3. Great sailing. Derek Green again improved by 2 minutes from Lap 1 to 2. What these statistics show on this race was how important the start and first 2 legs were. It can be daunting on a start line with so many boats around you but go for it, sometimes you may get it wrong but when you get it right, it will give you a massive advantage as well. The more times you practice this, the less times you are likely to get it wrong.
Overall a great race, great conditions and great racing. It’s lovely for us to see some of the ‘on the water’ rivalries that have developed, it makes the races really fun which is what is all about. Well done for coping with another more challenging course. From what we could see, everyone completed it no problem and for the first time this season, no-one missed the gate. Only one small point from this race, once you have finished the race, can you keep the line and the area leading up to it and just afterwards clear. It is only fair that every racer has space to decide where on the line they want to finish. It also means that we can clearly see the exact moment when each boat crosses the line. I know that after a race, you are keen to get in and the finish line was close to the shore but if you could keep it in mind, it would be much appreciated.
Have a great week. Look forward to seeing as many of you as possible next week.
The results for this race are:-
- Rachel Ibbott
- Fay Watson
- Steve Farmer
- Tom Philips
- David Mason
- Peter Gregory
- Martin Newman
- Peter Wagner
- Mike Blatchford
- Louise McSweeney
- Kelly Tripp
- Paul Hagan
- Imogen Fletcher
- Derek Green
- Bob Fisher (retired