Today was a quintessential British Summer’s day. Perfect weather for being near or on water. Either by the sea shore or by or in a lake (or even, as I found my granddaughter when I got home, in a paddling pool! Ed) But sailors are demanding folk and need wind as well as warmth and sunshine. The warmth grew gradually during the morning and by early afternoon the sun was fully on parade! Definately a day for high factor sunscreen. But little wind :(.

BY 1000 the team of volunteers had a sizeable fleet of dinghies in the water and sailors started to arrive soon after the Day Briefing by David Mckee the Session Manager. Alas the two Martin 16s which we had hoped to be ready for use were still in their final stages of testing after a major bit of maintenance. Nevertheless the lake gradually filled with sailors and the Race was able to start shortly after 1100. The course was up on the Board and each sailor was told the course (and every volunteer was told the course! Ed) which was: Start / Finish Line in the middle of the lake between Buoy B and a Distance Marker with a yellow flag; a beat up to the Windward Mark A, left to starboard; then a run downwind to Mark C left to starboard; followed by a Reach across the lake to Mark K, left to starboard, followed by a beat through the start/finish gate before starting a new lap beating to Mark A.

Here is a video of the Start of the race. Try and work out where you are in the video and then decide how well you sailed in comparison to your competitors.

Start of Race 5 of the Spring Series

After an momentary lead by Martin Norman (Liberty White Sail #23), Kim Sparkes in 303 Red Sail #10 grasped control sailing across the fleet on Starboard Tack and only the wind was going to beat her. The rest of the fleet followed in her wake with each contender closing the gap whenever the wind favoured them on the downwind leg from Mark A to Mark C and they were behind…..but they were never able to get ahead. The wind conditions were not easy. The strength varied from a tickle to 8 knots and Alex Ross – a new WS Volunteer (Your knowledge of sailing and racing will be a great addition to the WS Racing Team Alex. Ed) – who was in the Race Hut with Fleur Bryant and myself, said that there was a 90 degree wind shift during the second lap. That means there will be winners and losers. The winners are those whose Tack/Gybe or Reach can be made more direct to the next Mark IF the sailor notices what has happened and adjusts his/her sails accordingly to make the most of the new wind direction – whatever strength it is blowing.

Here are some more photos of the race – in chronological order so you can see the boats nearest to you…..

We had 9 entrants and we had 9 finishers and we had 2 volunteers getting used to the dinghies (and enjoying themselves! Ed). The last boats’ positions were calculated from their time for just one completed Lap. The Race Result is known and the winner is shown below sailing to victory on her to complete her third lap.

The details below have been added to the Summary Scoresheet.

  1. Kim Sparkes 303S Sail #10
  2. Derek Preston Liberty #24
  3. Mark Cayzer and his crew James Thomas 303D #11
  4. Peter Wagner Liberty #25
  5. Geoff Taylor 303S #3
  6. Imogen Fletcher and her crew Peter Moore 303D #4
  7. Trevor Monk 303S #2
  8. Martin Norman Liberty #23
  9. Tom Phillips 303S #7

Well done to all these WS Racers and the volunteers who enable the Race to be run.

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