A beautiful summer’s day yesterday, sunny but not too hot, and a gentle force 2-3 wind. Neil and I were on race duty so that put two Fifteens off the water but still eight came down to have some fun. For most of the day the wind was coming from the south east but veering slightly during the afternoon race. This effectively put the race-box out of use but, by leaving the committee boat on its mooring, a course starting with a beat up to C was possible. Then a run down to L then back up to I followed run back to B then across to a special in front of the committee boat.
In the fairly light winds, just three laps were achieved with Paddy taking the lead after the first beat. From the committee boat, and having to concentrate on all the other fleets, it was even more difficult than from my usual position at the back of the fleet to keep an eye on the progress of the boats during the race but at the end of the first lap Robin was in second place.
Paddy and Amanda managed to continue to lead the fleet throughout the race and took gold but Geoff and Jim overtook Robin and Gio on the second lap, dropping them into bronze position, while taking silver themselves.
The usual mass start in the afternoon, and over a smaller course, four Fifteens took the starting gun. We had tried to set a course that would give a variety of directions to achieve a beat. reach and run by going up to I then back to M, across to B and down to L before returning to the special mark off the committee boat. Clearly too complicated for Eric, or I suppose Bill will have to take to blame, but they declared UDI and decided to leave out B. All well and good if they hadn’t been the lead boat at the time. Like a load of lost sheep, most of the other competitors just followed them. Geoff and Jim, and Richard Page in his RS, took the correct course and Gio and Robin, having passed the buoy on the wrong side, did an about turn to put things right, but this resulted in lost, valuable ground which they couldn’t recover. On the next lap Eric realised his error and retired to the shore leaving Geoff to buy the teas (I think).
Anyone at Bewl yesterday couldn’t have failed to see that the new Versadock had been installed on the middle slipway. (You can just see it if you click on the web-cam on the club website) A great achievement by Mike, our commodore, and others within the club to get the grant funding to purchase this facility which should allow launching at all states of the tide in future. The present configuration is the suggestion of the installers but it can be changed by the club based on needs and experience.
There are still some additional cleats to be fixed and a hoist to aid disabled or ancient sailors getting in and out of their boats. (A disabled badge or bus pass will need to be shown before using it after, of course, having first passed a test and obtained the necessary certificate!!) One useful feature of the dock to Fifteen sailors, ducks and sea gulls, is the raft out in the lake. This can be used for mooring to at lunchtime and, once the fleet has raised enough money through jumble sales etc and purchased a Portaloo, we can have picnics there as well to save even coming ashore for lunch. I am also working on a business plan to install a sail-up bar. Sponsors for this project will be sought so if anyone has any contacts please let me know.
Next Sunday is the last of the current series so if you need points to clinch that valuable trophy you shouldn’t miss it. See you there!