The weather forecast was looking good for sailing and there was already a brisk breeze blowing across the surface of the lake at Chipstead Sailing Club as the volunteers were getting everything ready for another busy day which would include the WS Summer Series Race #4. The Volunteers’ Briefing from Mike and Steve at 0945 focussed on the high number of sailors who had told Steve they would be coming plus of course their parents and carers.
By 1000 we were all geared up, sailors were arriving and the course was set and written up on the Race Course Board by the entrance to the Club house: Start Line between the Race Hut and a Distance Marker Flag in the middle of the lake; the first leg would be a beat up to the windward mark Buoy D – moved into the middle of the water to try and ensure there would be sufficient wind for the sailors to use; then a downwind run along the lake parallel to the north shore to Buoy B; sailors would gybe around B before starting a very broad reach across the lake to the leeward mark Buoy A in its normal setting towards the south side of the lake. And then tacking round A to beat back up to the START line and on towards Buoy D again. There were eleven entrants to the Race and it started like this…
As you all know, just because you are ahead on the water at one stage of a leg does not mean that you will be the first to get round the Mark for which the fleet is aiming. The video shows this in practice. Peter Wagner (Liberty White #23) got away to another great start (Well done Peter! Ed) pursued by Mike Blatchford (Liberty Blue #25) and they were initialled followed by Mark and Alan Cayzer (303 White #8) and then Imogen Fletcher and David Mckee (303 Yellow #3) down the middle of the lake with Martin Norman (Liberty Yellow #22) taking a more southerly route. But after 2 minutes the wind strengthened to the benefit of Geoff Taylor (303 Blue #2) and Martin who caught up Mike but then stalled as he tacked behind Mike for a better approach to the mark whilst Geoff continued to close on the leader – Peter Wagner – but he was further away from the mark.
The wind’s next big puff favoured the middle and back of the fleet – mainly 303s – and Kelly Tripp and Helen Fairfax (303 Red #10) and Tom Phillips (303 Red #5) came storming through the fleet on a good approach line for the mark. Meanwhile Peter Wagner at the front had tacked to approach the mark on starboard (Hence having right of way over boats on port tack! Ed) and was again closely followed by Mike Blatchford who had found some wind to get away from Martin and Geoff.
The video shows the potential for a massive boat crash as the whole fleet converge on the windward mark but every helm managed to round the mark without any incidents requiring a penalty. In the end the rounding order was: Mike, Peter, Kelly, Martin, Trevor Monk (303 Blue #9), Geoff, Bob Fisher (Liberty White #24), Tom Igoe (303 White #7), Mark and Alan, Imogen and David, and Tom Phillips.
The fleet got stretched out on the downwind legs to the leeward mark (Buoy A) but some helms managed to take advantage of the wind conditions and get away on the beat back up the lake to the Start line and then onward to Buoy D. The leaders after the first lap were the trio of Liberties – Mike, Peter and Martin – followed by Kelly in her 303 and Bob Fisher in his Liberty just ahead of Geoff Taylor who clocked 13 minutes 15 seconds. This group stayed ahead on the water but Imogen and David sailed their 303 quickly enough to pip Geoff and Bob into 5th place once the PY Handicaps were applied to the sailing times. Here are a few photos of some of the boats in the race….
All in all another good day on the water with close racing. As always a big shout out to all the volunteers for getting the boats ready and providing safety support and cups of hot drinks during the day and those who crewed in the race and Angela who helped me to record the Lap Times in the Race Hut.
Result for Race 4 of Summer Series is:
- Mike Blatchford – Liberty Sail Blue #25
- Martin Norman – Liberty Sail Yellow #22
- Kelly Tripp and her crew Helen Fairfax – 303 Sail Red #10
- Peter Wagner – Liberty Sail White #23
- Imogen Fletcher and her crew David Mckee – 303 Sail Yellow #3
- Geoff Taylor – 303 Sail Blue #2
- Bob Fisher – Liberty Sail White #24
- Trevor Monk – 303 Sail Blue #9
- Tom Igoe and his crew Oliver Davis – 303 Sail White #7
- Mark Cayzer and his crew Alan Cayzer – 303 Sail White #8
- Tom Phillips – 303 Sail Red #5
I will add these results to the Summary Results sheet on the website which can be found here – just scroll down and you will find the Summer Series below the Spring Series.