Monthly Archives: March 2023

Earlybird Series – 26th March 2023

A north-easterly wind, plus 45 degree wind shifts; force 2 inshore, gusting to force 4 further out with a highish high tide 20 minutes after the start made for some interesting racing.

Race 1: Danny set a reaching start and the fleet was split about where to start. Aran started by the yellow mark, Steve in the middle of the line and Neil and Pete near the shore with the Teilo and Pietro just behind. Steve was first to the first mark closely followed by Aran, Neil and Pete. Neil fell out and capsized at the second mark and then had a job to pass Pete on the beat before setting off to catch the leaders.

Teilo was suffering on the beats getting a lot of weather-helm with two in the boat. However, downwind with the spinnaker up the boat was flying.

Aran and Steve split on the beats with Aran going left, staying further out in the stronger wind but against the tide, and caught Steve on the beats but with Steve gaining a few metres downwind. On the second lap Aran passed ahead of Steve and tacked to cover but Steve managed to get the inside line at the windward mark and re-passed Aran with the help of the tide. On the third beat both boats headed right, tacking on the wind shifts with Aran gaining and then losing the lead, but both ending up way off course not noticing that Neil, sailing the fastest course inshore, had caught up. There was then a frantic dash for the finishing line with Steve, Aran and Neil finishing in that order, less than one boat length apart.

Pietro finished a creditable last in the slowest boat, and suffering from the cold decided to call it a day.

Race 2 started the same: again Aran started at the yellow but with significantly stronger tide, Steve in the middle and Neil, Pete and Teilo near the shore in less wind . Steve again got to the first mark first, ahead of Neil, followed by Pete with Aran trailing, struggling against the tide

Teilo and Jake struggled even more to get to the mark, taking 14 minutes by which time the faster boats were coming round a second time.

Aran passed Pete on the reach and was the first to tack off on the beat. Steve and Neil ended up in a hole in the wind allowing Aran to get the lead at the end on the first lap, with Steve and Neil in very close pursuit.

Pete had dropped back on the beat and Teilo was finished after one lap to save him from having the ordeal to the first mark for a second time.

Aran, Steve and Neil were close for the whole of the second lap but positions didn’t change until the third lap reach when Steve got a gust before Aran and sailed past, starting the last beat in the lead. From then on it was tactical with Steve covering Aran but making sure that Neil didn’t get past and the three finished again within seconds in the same order.

In the series, with two discards added for effect, Steve is clear ahead but things are close over the next 4 places.

Race report with thanks to Danny with his copious notes on the back of the race sheets.


Earlybird Series – 19th March 2023

Andy’s forecast was partially right. We had glorious sunshine, at least initially, but the light breeze was replaced by a force 4-5 westerly which made things tricky for some.

In the first race Steve and Danny were close up the beat until Steve’s extra weight allowed him to pull ahead. Danny surged back on the run and was just behind at mark 2 but his traveller block kinked and jammed on the gybe allowing Steve to get away enough to stay away for first place. Behind, all sorts of things were happening. Jake and Teilo in Teilo’s new Topaz Race X were fast upwind but short spinnaker sheets prevented them from flying the spinnaker downwind (well that was their story!).

On lap three Pete somehow passed Robin on the beat to the first mark. Although Robin came back on the run he couldn’t quite get an overlap before Pete shut the door at the gybe mark in a move reminiscent of Max Verstappen. Unlike Max he was still trying to gather in his main sheet once round the mark which left Robin, who had much better cornering speed, nowhere to go and there was (allegedly) contact between bow and rudder.

Having been brake checked, things went from bad to worse for Robin as he capsized a lap later he finished 5th, behind Teilo in 3rd and Pete 4th.

In second race, Pete obviously felt bad for Robin so decided to give him a head start by wrapping his tiller extension in the mainsheet and capsizing seconds before the start. Although Pete managed to overhaul Jake and Teilo, Robin stubbornly refused to repeat his capsize and stayed ahead to finish 3rd with Teilo in 4th and Pete 5th. Lawrence’s dogged determination earned him a sixth place

Things are going Steve’s way in the series but it’s much too early to call and anything could happen.

Finally thanks to Jean and Neil who helped with our trolleys in their dry clothes, as we were short of a slipway volunteer, and got wet feet. Your dedication saved our day.


Earlybird Series – 12th March 2023

It must have been the warmest day of the year so far but the wind was not so great. The promised south-westerly force 4-5 was dying as the 5 boats launched and faded to Force 2-3 for most of the morning, dropping to nothing as Carmel tried in vain to finish her second lap of the second race.

The course was set large in anticipation of a good breeze. The first race saw Steve, Neil and Robin in Lasers and Charles in his Scorpion fighting for the lead in close racing dominated by the strong tide which varied across the long legs. Steve pulled ahead but it was all to play for for the other 3 until the last mark in very strong tide. Robin ended 2nd with Neil close behind in 3rd. Carmel put on a late charge to finish 4th.

The wind swung more southerly for the second race and Charles pulled into the lead. As the wind started to veer he misjudged the racing line letting Steve past for another first place. Robin and Neil fought a close battle for 3rd with Robin finishing in front.

Steve leads the series with Robin 2nd and Charles in 3rd.