Bouncing in the bay
The last of the team GBR National ranker regattas which we have been privaliged enough to have been allowed to join in with the guys was held at Halying Island. A feisty forecast greater the fleet for both days. Saturday started off a bit lighter then forecast but Sunday saw no sailing. This meant that the race officer was under pressure to get races in on the Saturday. The courses were set nice and short, and three laps per race all started off a short start line to keep the teams on their toes. From he first race, the races were started under the black flag to keep the fleet under control and not waste any presious time.
Our first rest race started off well, great start at full speed until about 30 seconds after the gun, when we hit a large set of chop. With not room to leeward we worked our way through this set as best we could, but this dropped us back that crucial half boat length and we ended up fighting for the lane. Once we have started to get effected, we just had to,hold on until we got the free lane on port. This didn’t happen and we followed the front row around the weather mark. With some work to do we set off at full speed. Through out the race we picked he boats off one by one, until we got to the last weather mark in the top 4, only to hit a pile of weed which we had to back out of, dropping us to second last… Where we finished. The next race we got the first beat right and team Peters/Sterit got round just ahead of us at the first weather mark, and this is how it finished, with us in second. The next race we were a bit slow off the line a an early gybe at the first weather mark meant we had a bit on to get back in it, after a great lap in the building breeze sometimes gusting near 20 with the short steep chop which Hayling Bay is known for, made it easy to trip up and most teams had a swim somewhere along the way, breaking foot straps or worse, a mast. This gave many lanes for overtaking so by keeping it conservative and upright, you were going to make gains during the race. We managed to get all the way up to 6th. The forth race was a bit windier and after a great pin start and keeping in the front group, we managed to keep it upright and finish the fourth race in 4th. The fifth and last race of the day started with a tired fleet making sure that they didn’t make any mistakes, we had a great start and quick up the first beat where we rounded the first mark in 1st, with a great full speed run, we had a great gybe on a conservative lay line and sped towards the leeward gate as we were getting to the drop zone, we hit a huge set of chop and went down the mine which left Graeme hanging by his ankle with his foot still in the foot strap and Andy tackling the gunwale at speed. On me we got the boat back up, we decided to call it a day and make our way home.
and with Sunday called off at 10am on Sunday, we needed the regatta in 7th. We feel we have come a long way in these conditions and with a bit more time in the chop we can be more consistent and stay in the mix more consistently. This sis a huge boost to our confidence and gives us a good idea of what we need to work on over the winter.
Pour next regatta is this weekend, the Inland Nationals at Grafham Sailing Club, which is bound to be much colder but should have a good fleet in attendance. Stay tuned for more from us!