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A day away in Eastbourne

Whenever I have been to Eastbourne, they always deliver a brilliant day. Imagine sailing in 15 to 30mph of wind straight down the lake, often in the pouring rain, but the race team ignored the weather and delivered 20 closely fought races on a course in the Eastern half of the lake. There were past IOM stars in the fleet and a variety of designs racing on a true windward leeward course with windshifts to keep you on your toes.

First my heartfelt thanks to the race team who endured atrocious conditions for our enjoyment, well I think that what it was. Thanks you to all who volunteered. You did a magnificent job.

I sailed my Alioth for the third time and a first in B rig conditions. In the morning my set up was poor and I made a lot of mistakes, but after a good lunch I came out all guns blazing but it was not quite enough to beat Dorien Crease in a Cheinz who won by 3 points. A superb win in challenging conditions and no one was more pleased than me to see he won.

My mistakes could be classed as stupid errors in the morning and I should have known better. In the first race I hit a port boat on the 1st beat and we locked masts and watched the fleet sail away. In the second race I attempted a port end start and jumped the gun. 3 more contacts in later races one I was in the right and two in the wrong nearly spoilt the day, but in the afternoon I had brushed off the rust and got my act together. I have the winter to get these silly errors out of my system and they are destroying my chances of winning events.

It was my first time out with the Alioth and the B rig. In the morning various bits eased as sheets stretched in but in the afternoon the rig looked good. The boat took on an egg cupfull of water after 5 or 6 races which considering at times the boat was vertical up to the mast in water in the puffs was not bad. I am still using the slow winch which makes fine adjustment difficult and hope to replace that next week.

In summary I am impressed with the boat in a breeze. At no time was I lacking boat speed and the issues in the morning were purely of my own making with the rig.

I have a few adjustments to make:

A spiral winch drum

A new winch

Sand and varnish the hull

Lengthen the spreaders to better stabilise the mast as the ones I use on the Britpop are for a narrower shroud base.

Now the big question, Do I start printing my own boats.

One thing I am happy about from today and that was resting the Britpop as it would heve taken quite a beating today but it will be back for the ranking and national events next year.

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