Expectations were sky high when volunteers arrived at the lake to launch and rig the fleet. Windguru’s forecast would result in a very exciting day on the water for everyone coming to morning and afternoon sessions. The wind strength would grow from a gentle breeze to a challenging 14 knots by 1100 just in time for the Race. Here is the view from the Race Hut at around 0830..
By 1000 many sailors were on the water and enjoying some interesting and exciting sailing in a blustery wind ?. Ten WS Racers turned out for the first race of the Summer Series and they were joined by a guest racer, Jessica Eeles. Here you can see them milling about by the Start line, working out where the best place would be to cross the Start line and on which tack to get to the windward Mark A as quickly as possible.
The strong wind forecast had not arrived but at 11am it was blowing at about 10 knots which was plenty to get everybody going quickly when the race started as you can see from the video…
The lap timings showed that the wind strengthened a knot or two during the second lap and then subsided a bit in the fourth and fifth laps. The trees on the south side of the lake created barriers for the SSW wind that produced multiple gusty channels for dinghies approaching the windward Mark A. (I heard lots of sailors at lunch bemoaning the difficulty of sailing around A and after lunch, when Malcolm Hill and I went out in the Martin 15, I totally agreed with them!! So well done to all the sailors in being patient tacking to and rounding that Mark. Ed)
Here is a video of the fleet, led by Derek Preston (Liberty Sail White #24), approaching and rounding Mark A on the last lap…
Derek Preston and Kelly Tripp (303 Sail Yellow #3) started the race very well and immedialtely found good wind on a port tack. They were followed by the rest of the fleet and Derek gradually started to use the power and pointing ability of the Liberty to get away from the others. He used a windshift to gain distance to the Mark and eventually tacked in just the right place to come in close to Mark A on starboard tack and after rounding the Mark, start the Reach to Mark C. The video shows how important it was to judge ones approach to the windward Mark. Some boats appeared to have arrived but when they tacked – argh…where has the wind gone! And to rub salt into the wounds other boats, like Martin Norman’s and Peter Wagner’s Libertys (Sail White #23 and Blue #25 respectively), came steaming past and rounding A. (I hope the videos of the Start and the roundings will help you to see what you may have done differently. Ed)
Derek Preston led the race from start to finsh (Brilliant effort! Ed), but behind him the race unfolded into a number of sub-races and in particular the battles between the Libertys (Martin Norman, Peter Wagner and Bob Fisher Sail Yellow #22). I have tried to put the following photos in chronological sequence but the main plot line for the Libertys is: Martin chased Derek unsuccssefully for the first lap and a half but was then overhauled by both Peter and Bob over the course of the second and third laps. Peter managed to pull away slightly from Bob, finishing 1 min 20 seconds ahead of him after 5 laps and Martin crossed the finish line inches behind Derek but with only 4 laps completed.
The other battle was between the 303s (Mark Cayzer Sail Blue #2, Kelly Tripp Sail Yellow #3, Steve Farmer Sail White #7 and Jessica Eeles Sail Blue #9). The 303 battle ended extremely closely with Mark crossing the finsh line after 42 min 30 secs, Kelly darting across 3 seconds later and Jessica just 3 seconds behind her. Steve had become separated from that trio and finished some way back. Geoff Taylor (303 Sail White #8) tried to sink his dinghy early on in the race when caught out by a gust and before he could release his main sheet, a few hundred litres of the lake had joined him inside his dinghy. So, very slowly, Geoff sailed to seek assitance from the volunteers on the pontoon to pump out the water! Geoff gamely rejoined the race and completed 3 laps. Ann Frewer (2.3 Sail Striped #279) was late to the start line due to a traffic jam of boats on the pontoon being launched but she completed 2 laps in the remaining time available and, with specially adjusted time keeping, Ann finished in ninth place.
Here are some photos highlighting the 303s….
Mark, Jessica and Kelly approaching windward Mark A Derek at A with Jessica, Trevor and Geoff in pursuit? Derek at Mark C with Mark Cayzer and Jessica in attendance Derek running down to lap Martin with Mark Cayzer trying to keep close to Derek’s transom
Result for Race 1 of Summer Series is:
- Derek Preston – Liberty Sail White #24
- Peter Wagner – Liberty Sail Blue #25
- Bob Fisher – Liberty Sail Yellow #22
- Mark Cayzer and his crew Mike Cartwright – 303 Sail Blue #2
- Kelly Tripp and here crew James Thomas – 303 Sail Yellow #3
- Steve Farmer – 303 Sail White #7
- Martin Norman – Liberty Sail White #23
- Trevor Monk – 303 Sail Red #10
- Ann Frewer – 2.3 Sail Striped #279
- Geoff Taylor – 303 Sail White #8
As an extra …Here are two short videos of some of you approaching and rounding the Leeward Mark D. See what you make of them and do ask if you want to chat about the rules (what is allowed and what will result in a penalty) of rounding Marks. Ed.
So all in all another great day on the water. Thank you to all sailors and volunteers who make this fun possible. Have fun and see you next Thursday!