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:

  1. Kelly Tripp and her crew Viv Holder – 303 Sail Red #10
  2. Noah Potter and his crew Oliver Davis – 303 Sail Yellow #4
  3. Bob Fisher – Liberty Sail Yellow #22
  4. Steve Farmer – 303 Sail blue #9
  5. Peter Wagner – Liberty Sail White #24
  6. Derek Preston – Liberty Sail Blue #25
  7. Geoff Taylor – 303 Sail Blue #11
  8. Russell West and his crew Peter Moore – 303 Sail Yellow #6
  9. Mark Cayzer and his crew Alan Cayzer – 303 Sail Blue #2
  10. Trevor Monk – 303 Sail White #7
  11. Imogen Fletcher and her crew Angie Flory – 303 Sail Red #5
  12. 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.

3 comments on “WS RACING – SUMMER 3 – August 19th

  • Phantom writer comments. Very entertaining race, Peter went off like a rocket and maintained his lead until the 2nd to last Mark. Although it has been mentioned that he very sportingly did 2 x 360 for hitting the mark twice. I can confirm from secret drone footage that this is a dubious claim. It has been suggested that Peter was sailing so well that he decided to do a few laps of honour before the pack could catch him. Either way great sailing Peter. The 303’s were sailing really well and congratulations to the crews for doing so well.

    Just before the race I heard a conversation suggesting the best advice was to avoid the trees as much as possible to avoid the wind flat areas. I tried to gain a competitive advantage by spreading a rumour that the best course was near the trees, but this failed miserably. Also telling people the wrong course didn’t work.

    Great to see Peter Gregory on the mend and hope to see him and his jet propelled red power boat back in the water soon.

    One of the highlights for me is the excellent banter, amongst the racers. It wouldn’t be the same without the some of the funny comments out on the course.

    After lunch Steve Farmer and I went out with a very brave Skipper, John. We had a really excellent afternoon and Steve sent me a note later saying he had slept Better than he had for a long time. He thought this was because of the effort we had put in, I suspect however it might be because of the several times he decided to plant a ”Glasgow kiss” on the swinging boom. John was an excellent teacher and we really enjoyed our afternoon.

    Another great day and once again many thanks to all the helpers for their great ongoing support. From the moment we arrive to the moment we leave we are very well looked after, tea, cakes, great advice. Etc

    Many thanks guys you are very much appreciated.

  • Thanks Phantom Pirate – Great insight of what actually happens ‘out on the water’. Fortunately most of the helms have learned not to pay too close attention to all the advice they are given 🙂 by fellow competitors but I expect the advice will continue to be given out of the goodness of your heart! I wonder who the “John” was and what class of boat you were sailing? One John with vast knowledge and sailing skill is Mr Masters – if it was he then you were in very good hands learning how to sail – was it a Stratos or the lugger? In any event, thank you John. Onward….Ed.

  • Avast their, he be Cap’n John Ahab of the good ship Stratos, aka ThePequodl out of Massachewbits. Good looking Skipper , looked a bit like that James Bond Fella. A great skipper, a bit like Blackbeard only slightly greyer. Would have made a great pirate if he didn’t get seasick. We saw a scurvy bunch on the good ship lugger with Capn Helen at the helm and were about to board her when Queequag (Farmer and I got hit by the boom. is that why they call it a boom?) The Capn said duck, but we never saw any.
    Finally how do you know we are Pirates? Because we ARRRRRRRRR

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