Monthly Archives: May 2022

Early Bird Finale – 22nd May 2022

There was lots of sun but no wind when the sailors turned up today. As befitted the final race of the season 8 boats competed for the series prizes with Danny and Andrew E making strenuous efforts to rearrange other commitments to make an appearance in order to qualify in the series. Series leader Neil was missing as was Nick Speller, leading the slow fleet, who needed the points to qualify.

By the time the boats launched, a tidy F3-4 had set in from the south-west. Nigel’s small course was expanded to suit, but Steve in his RS700 still managed 5 laps in under 40 minutes. Even so he was behind all 4 Lasers on handicap with Danny well ahead, Andrew just getting the better of Jake after close racing throughout, and Robin in 4th.

As the wind had swung to the west, NIgel reversed the course and extended the run for Steve in the second race to give him a chance to make the most of his spinnaker and he pulled ahead promisingly on the first beat along the shore in very shifty winds. With Danny capsizing after catching his buoyancy aid on a tack all seemed to be going well for the RS700 until a big windshift and capsize at the first mark letting all the Lasers past. Passing Lasers on a spinnaker reach is a challenge, but after nearly capsizing on Andrew and Danny Steve managed to pull ahead; by then he had lost too much time. Other capsizes followed – Andrew and Basil – and the final result was almost a repeat of the first race but with Jake in 2nd, well ahead of Andrew in 3rd. Special mention must go to Basil who finished two races for the first time in a creditable 8th place.

Two firsts gave Danny the series win with Neil dropping to 2nd and Andrew taking 3rd place ahead of Robin. In the slow fleet no one managed to sail the 9 races out of 20 required to qualify so no prizes there. But a challenge to all the novices out there. If any one person had started 9 races they would have been crowned the Slow Fleet Winner and been awarded a £20 Force 4 voucher. £15 and £10 vouchers are also up for grabs for the second and third places, so turn up and win! Next Sunday is a Down Channel Cruise and the Summer Series starts the week after with a race round Sully Island.


Early Bird Series – 15th May 2022

Some confusion ensued on the off of race one today, the lights were out, yet there was a minute to go! Fortunately the sailors managed an “all clear” and were headed close hauled for the first mark. Andy thought he’d hit the jackpot and was making it in one tack, but it wasn’t quite to be. A short tack later and Robin was on his heels. The Topaz too was hot on their heels, and maybe Nick thought he’d have those lasers with a broad reach and spinnaker, but alas it didn’t quite untangle.

And so it was for the duration of the race, with the lasers clustered and boats just about changing places by making different courses rather than becoming strung out. Carmel’s Radial was almost keeping pace and for a moment downwind there was almost opportunity to call for water on Robin at the mark. But while those two tangled Andy swooped wide on port and off he went surfing a wave, the Radial in pursuit. Andy made the right decision, keeping away from the shore, and crossed the line ahead.

The Topaz took Andy’s quicker line and again Nick was in the mix, but Alun in a chasing laser having practiced man overboard drills all morning was now showing signs he wanted to test the safety crew… Or perhaps the water was particularly pleasant for swimming lessons?

Needless to say with a solid start for all in race two (we won’t mention Robin was over), Alun decided to really test our mettle- by spinning on a dime, he went from downwind back up wind through the fleet. “I’ve lost control!” was his plaintive bleat, while bearing down to T-bone the Topaz and Robin’s Laser! The boats separated, with a crash gybe by Robin looking almost intentional, all evaded the wayward laser- Beware those who sail her, that pesky lip on the transom will grab your main sheet at every opportunity.

And so it was 5 boats were whittled down to four. The Radial had the advantage, avoiding the wayward laser, it had just pulled away downwind, but pride comes before a fall, and a spectacular one it was.  A lolloping laser dead downwind and sailing by the lee was no match for a wave side on and over it went, windward side to turtle.  Carmel’s head popped up at the transom, to the view of three more making haste to get away. From there it was a well fought battle by all to hold their place, but who was it that won in handicap? It was just too close to call…

Thanks to the Patrol Boat crew and especially Dave Turner on the water and with the trollies.


Early Bird Series – 8th May 2022

A lot of sun and not much wind, but a record number – 8 boats – racing (plus one cruising). Jake had a lightening start and streaked ahead sitting on the foredeck of the Laser, where no one older than 30 dare sit. He left Danny, Andrew and Neil fighting for 2nd place, far behind, and Steve messing things up sailing in amongst them, unable to sail the RS700 anything like as fast as his handicap would expect. Surprisingly the race went to 2 laps and, after an incredibly close last mark, Andrew emerged ahead and finished 2nd followed by Danny and Neil who failed in his attempt to squeeze inside the others at the last mark.

The second race promised less and delivered. Jake didn’t quite streak as far ahead as in the first race, largely because he had been told that it was against Laser class rules to be in front of the mast (a sensible rule in the opinion of the over 30s). As the wind dropped half of the sailors decided not to risk sunburn and dehydration and retired and as the wind dropped further and the back tide increased, Patrick in the Race Office decided enough was enough and shortened the course to one lap. Steve regained some dignity by finishing first on the water (but last on handicap) and Jake again took the honours ahead of Neil and Laurence.

Danny still leads the series but on OOD duty next week and unsure of whether he can come the week after, his place is in jeopardy. Neil in second has plenty of results but Andrew in 3rd has sailed his last race in the series and will lose it all if all scheduled races are sailed. Behind, Steve and Robin tie on points and could still end up in the prizes. It’s not so much about who wins the next races, but who turns up!


Early Bird Series – 1st May 2022

A wet morning with a SSW F3-4 breeze. A more pleasant wind direction, but less pleasant weather with rain instead of the sun which we’ve had the last few weeks. 5 boats again with 2 Lasers (but Neil and Andrew E instead of Danny and Andy T), a Topaz, a Comet and an RS700.

Andrew was off to a flying start forcing Neil and Steve to crash tack (Steve into the start mark), Steve also hit the first mark and after doing all the turns was half way to the 3rd mark before managing to overtake Andrew. Neil spent the race trying in vain to catch Andrew who held on to finish 1st with Neil 2nd and Steve 3rd on handicap. Lawrence and Teilo battled it out for 4th and 5th in the Comet and Topaz.

Race 2 started with Teilo daring a port flyer that didn’t quite pay off, but the first 4 boats closely following from the line with Lawrence holding a port tack. This saw him making gains upwind, which the whole fleet took advantage of on their second laps. Steve was quicker to pull into the lead this time. The lasers were again very evenly matched with Andrew slightly ahead at first, but in heading towards the windward mark he chose to go up the middle and Neil was able to make the gains he needed to finally make it past, and had a solid lead at that point which Andrew just couldn’t eat into.

The Topaz had some trouble making it round the windward mark with the tide hampering efforts several times. This allowed The Comet to pull away for a finish that was heating up the heels of the two lasers. Steve on the wire with his kite was pulling ahead of the lasers but as the wind swung more to the south-west he couldn’t make the marks; it wasn’t to be a spinnaker finish and again he finished 3rd on handicap behind Neil in 1st and Andrew 2nd.

Overall Danny remains in the lead in the series, followed by Neil and Andrew.