Yesterday saw the comeback of the Access 303s! Well done to Kelly, Noah and Steve for sailing so well in a better than expected 11/14 knot WNW wind and bright conditions. Although it was rather cloudy when we arrived at the lake at 0830 to get everything ready for the day, that soon changed and there was more blue in the sky by 0945 when the Volunteers’ Briefing by the Day’s Session and Safety Managers was held and even some sunshine breaking through by 1000 when the first Sailors and their families and carers started arriving for their day on the water.
There were a dozen Racers milling around the Start Line ready for the 3 minute Gong which sounded at 1100. At the final Gong the leading boats were well back from the Line (Perhaps put off by the Race Officer’s eagle eyes checking for Racers transgressing the Start Line before the “Off” – as demonstrated in last week’s Video! Ed) but some were moving faster than others and immediately Peter Wagner (Liberty Sail White #24) was building up a substantial lead. Here is the video that shows Peter and the rest of the fleet tack their way up to the windward mark (Buoy B). It is noticeable in the video how many ways there are to “skin this cat” (Apologies to PETA. Ed) and how important it was to give a generous allowance for the sideways drift of a dinghy when approaching the Mark on a port tack. A number of helms found they missed the Buoy – even by inches – and had to start their approach again. After rounding B there was a very broad reach across to Buoy C where a gybe was needed before running down to the leeward mark Buoy D. The video ends with Peter Wagner having established a 50+ metre lead on his run to Buoy D. But was that lead going to be held onto?
Chatting yesterday about the videos of rounding the marks in last week’s Race Report, a Racer said to me “We don’t want to make this too professional!” I did appreciate hearing that reaction since my and Fleur’s and the Trustees’ aim is to create a balance between giving anyone wishing to race each week a chance to have some competitive fun and to help them improve their sailing knowledge and skill. However, I did say that knowing and adhering to Sailing Rules is perhaps even more important for Sailabilty sailors so that they can rely on their fellow Racers behaving in a certain manner that will avoid collisions and not impede the progress of helms who have created a deserved advantageous position on the water. But please continue the discussion! Ed
Talking of which the sight across the lake throughout the Race was superb. Most of the race was held in bright sunshine lighting up lots of colourful sails spread across the water. At times there were groups of boats (e.g. immediately after the Start) sailing closely together vying (and possibly praying) for the wind to waft them in front of their immediate competition! There are some photos but first a video of a tightly bunched part of the fleet running down and rounding the leeward mark Buoy D – great sailing by all. (Except perhaps the Jolly Roger that got in the way of filming this super spectacle. Ed)
There was some surprise when the results were announced because there were three 303s in the first four positions. Where were the Libertys that had crossed the Finish Line first? Well that is what handicapping is all about…Sailing uses the Portsmouth Yardstick (PY) to put different classes of dinghy on the same footing when sailing the same course in the same conditions. There can be variations in the condition of the actual dinghy and of course the ability of the Helm/Crew. So a BIG well done to Kelly Tripp and her well-chosen crew Viv Holder and to Noah Potter and his crew Oliver Davis and to Steve Farmer for taking the fight to the bigger, faster Libertys!! No doubt we’ll see a fight back from the Libertys next week – but to all 303 Helms – Kelly has shown you that a win is possible!
To help you see the differences between the boats we have in the fleet at Wealden Sailability, here are the various PYs:
- 2.3 Single handed = 1925
- 303 Double handed = 1660
- 303 Single handed = 1630
- Liberty = 1550
- 2.4m = 1240
- Martin = 1315
- Stratos = 1095
- Venture = 1092
And here is an image of the spreadsheet showing HOW the PY is applied to the Lap Time data that is recorded during a race by those in the Race Hut. The sheet also shows how small the “time” differences are between each position – e.g. Bob Fisher was just 1 second per lap slower in his Liberty than Noah Potter/Oliver Davis were in their 303:
Nearly finally, here are a few photos. Some of individual helms and crews, others of close-quarter battles being fought and a few long distance ones to record the beautiful day and setting.
This report could not end without mention of a demonstration of some selfless sportsmanship when Peter Wagner did 2 X 360 dg penalty turns (to attone for two rule infringements that nobody else saw!) and as a result he slipped down the leader board from an useful lead on the final lap (Just what I would have expected Peter. But X2 turns is a bit showy! Ed)
Result for Race 3 of Summer Series is:
- Kelly Tripp and her crew Viv Holder – 303 Sail Red #10
- Noah Potter and his crew Oliver Davis – 303 Sail Yellow #4
- Bob Fisher – Liberty Sail Yellow #22
- Steve Farmer – 303 Sail blue #9
- Peter Wagner – Liberty Sail White #24
- Derek Preston – Liberty Sail Blue #25
- Geoff Taylor – 303 Sail Blue #11
- Russell West and his crew Peter Moore – 303 Sail Yellow #6
- Mark Cayzer and his crew Alan Cayzer – 303 Sail Blue #2
- Trevor Monk – 303 Sail White #7
- Imogen Fletcher and her crew Angie Flory – 303 Sail Red #5
- Tom Phillips – Liberty Sail White #23
Everyone had a terrific day and there was some very close racing. Thanks to all the racers and the volunteers who crewed and who helped with all the other jobs needed to keep the show on the road including Angela Cartwright for her assistance in the Race Hut.