Arriving nice and early in full sun and blue sky, one other D-Zero was being uncovered, and soon a couple more arrived. The wind was hanging back however …
After a briefing at 1030, we hung for another hour having changed as the wind was swinging and filling in soon. Some J70’s played in the East side of the reservoir, and were moving at least, so the forecast seemed plausible.
The wind did swing, and albeit under a postpone flag, the fleet of 6 intrepid sailors decided that we were getting hot enough in our wetsuits on land and decided to launch and set the boats / have a play. Within minutes the AP was down, and the racing was on. Wind was picking up although still light, the roving reporter struggles in such light conditions as tends to oversheet and trim properly. Downwind seems to work well – training needed on light n airy upwind !! Always something to learn…
Race 1 began, a 3 lap affair, triangle, sausage, triangle which everyone thought was a little optimistic, however the wind played ball and we got off to a good start. Said reporter had a good start and kept up with the pack on round 1, though round 2 beat found a couple of holes and slowed whilst some, Tom Southwell in particular, managed to gain a lead from Ian Morgan and round nicely ahead of the fleet and lead from start to finish. Seb took 3rd.
The wind had dropped by the time they had finished and the sniff of wind left meant drifting across the line a couple of minutes behind. Ian gave encouragement as 66 crept to the line !
Then the wind dropped right out and we sat for an hour contemplating life, and how Tom had sneaked into the lead etc. – serious stuff you know ! After a few cyclonic tours of the start area, pushed round by the wind and maybe a little rudder moves and tacks, the wind gods followed the forecast and the wind swung again and raised to a nice level to be able to hike and getting some good speed.
After some swift mark movements, Race 2 was underway with a 4 lap plan, and obviously the wait made us all a little keen and a general recall was made. Lots of good class banter as to who was over the line…
All holding back this time, a clear start was made and nicely hiking way up the first beat, though a starboard call prevented his rounding in 4th, though held with the pack for the downwind. The wind started to drop, the rain came in (who said rain !!) and some more laying down in the D-Z up the beat, which reduced the speed (or did in my case), though by then Ian Morgan had pulled out a significant lead. The wind didn’t play ball and dropped out totally, though Ian managed to sneak round the top mark and drift down towards the Committee boat. Others followed some way off, word was there were some sneaky rudder movements and balance/trim adjustments by one to catch up with others (no names, no role call), although I knew I was actually moving as my movement was noted by the drift pass of some detritus/algae every now and then. With an hour on the clock, the race was abandoned and more wind didn’t look promising.
The fastest everyone went all day was with the powerboat tow back to the clubhouse – that’s weather for you, despite what the forecasters say and were saying, nothing was apparent on the reservoir. Plenty of discussion as to how to get the D-Zero moving in sniffs of wind, and chat around the park as sails were dropped – what a friendly class.
So, 1st Southern Series sponsored by Morgan Sails was won by Tom Southwell, Ian Morgan in 2nd and Seb Prowse in 3rd, full results can be found by clicking here.
Brandy glasses were awarded by Queen Mary, and thanks were made by the furthest traveller for the Race Org, Officers, patrol teams and the club in general. Great location, though we’ll try and book some more wind next time.
Next stop Rossendale Valley on the 29th April for the start of the Northern circuit and Emsworth Slipper on the 3rd June for the next Southern Circuit, with Hunts SC on the 5th May and Largs SC on the 19th/20th May in between – see you all there !