The wind returned to Chipstead! WS Racers turned up from 10am and were astonished to see Sails flapping on the dinghies and wind-gust induced ripples running across the lake. The volunteers had launched and rigged enough 303s and Liberty’s for those who indicated they would be coming and Ann Frewer’s appearance at 10.30am meant that her Hansa Access 2.3 was readied for the battle to come. We even had sunshine. Another beautiful summer’s day for sailing.
With the wind direction wavering between S and SW and at times veering to W, the Start Line was set on the north side of the lake between Mark C and a distance Marker. This Start line was also treated as a gate for the racers to go through on each lap and the Finish Line. The Upwind Mark was A and the Downwind Mark was K (which had been dragged into a more central position).
There are lots of small things that need to be done to get everything ready to safely start sailing and racing, such as cleaning the Pontoons of bird dirt and having Buoyancy Vests ready….
The race started at 11.05am with the first Gong of the 3-2-1-START sequence and as often is the case only a few boats were close to the Start Line when the final Gong sounded. Take a look to see if you were close to the line or 20/30 seconds back from the line from this video sequence from the Start until when the leaders rounded the upwind Mark (A).
The wind managed to keep blowing, albeit in strong gusts at times, and everyone had an opportunity to keep their dinghy moving. It was especially good to see Captain Bob Fisher back at the helm of Access 303 Blue Sail# 11. (Welcome back Bob! I hope you will feel the urge to send us some of your inimitable thoughts about proceedings as you get back into the cut and thrust of the WS Racing scene. And it was also good to see Keith Eeles and Jon Beck back on the water and getting strong enough to resume racing when they feel ready. Ed)
The main observation of the Race was the temporary absence of our Race Leader Kim Sparkes in Liberty Yellow Sail # 22 when her main sheet started to jam. Fortunately this was rectified quickly by her “pit crew” on Pontoon 5 and with an increase in the wind strength she was able to rejoin the Race and sail her Liberty through the middle of the fleet and overhaul the leaders to regain outright lead on the water and go onto sail an extra Lap. (Which turned out be 1st also even after the PY Handicaps had been applied by the software to the times recorded for each boat as they cross the Start/Finish line each lap. Ed)
Here are some photos taken during the race which show the close racing at each level of the fleet. (Absolutely right! You don’t need to be leading by miles to miss out on the fun. The toing and froing between dinghies at every Mark and on every Leg – up and downwind – is what makes sailing so much fun. Ed)
The Result of Race 9
- Kim Sparkes – Liberty Sail #22
- Rachel Ibbott and her Crew Paul – 303 Sail #9
- Peter Wagner – Liberty Sail #24
- Steve Farmer and his Crew Helen Fairfax – 303 Sail #8
- Ann Frewer – 2.3 Sail #279
- Mark Cayzer and his Crew Alan Cayzer – 303 Sail #3
- Imogen Fletcher and her Crew James Thomas – 303 Sail #7
- Bob Fisher – 303 Sail #11
- Tom Phillips Liberty – Sail #25