Today we had a completely new crew and we had not been out last weekend. But before that we raced to our double-fifth places on 14th of October. Today’s set of races was interesting as most people were in new positions and had not been out for a while.
A nice short and fast windward/leeward course set by the committee, with a leeward gate, meaning there were early tactical decisions needed.
After a great start, on Starboard from the favoured right end, we were going great guns to the windward mark, rounding in 4th for a bear away set in traffic. We wanted to gybe early to be on the left going down to the gate, but found ourselves trapped in the traffic on the right side of the course. This meant a late gybe onto port to take the gate and avoid all the returning boats coming out of the gate hot and on starboard. We lost a lot of ground on that leg. At the windward mark we were looking at 6th place, but then made a tactical error; we had set up for a gybe set, to go off on a port tack to the left down to the last mark, but the wind had backed slightly allowing a better run on starboard. We dithered and delayed getting the kite up. We should have just carried on with the plan, done the gybe set and gybed back quickly – lesson learnt. We finished eighth with plenty to think about.
The same course as Race 1, but with a slight move of the pin-end of the start line. Also, a port rounding of the last mark to a new finish line nearer the Hamble.
The line was moved with the small wind shift and we hit the line hot on starboard off the middle, with most of the fleet to leeward of us. We stood on starboard and tacked later than the rest, making them get out of way and getting our dirty air. We stayed to windward of most and when tacking again, came in hot on starboard in to the mark, in 5th place. An efficient set up prepared us for a gybe set, this time to get us on to the left of the course straight away for the run down to the gate. It worked well and we came into the gate hot, with a good drop and harden up. Manoeuvres improving, we pulled up to 4th place. There was lots of traffic round the final mark, as we rounded 3 boat lengths behind Zanzara, with Light just behind us. We came out with 3 boats ahead of us and 4 behind. The rear group tacked early. We debated when to go, as we were catching Zanzara, but without enough of the race left to overhaul them before the tack. We went about middle, leaving 3 ahead running on to tack later and 4 out to leeward of us. Unfortunately we were now going slower, not in the same wind as we had. Tacking up to the line, Zanzara was a boat length ahead and pipped us – we came in 4th – a great result and great effort from the crew. We had learnt a lot on Race 1 and pulled it together for a fabulous result in Race 2.
Written by Rab Mulholland