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DF 95 at Chipstead

Probably on of the most infuriating days sailing I have had apart from one day at Manor park where I completely lost it.

Chipstead is a great sailing club lying in a valley with the lake running West to East. When the wind is running down the lake there is no better place to sail but when it comes from the south one is into a long game of snakes and ladders. The wind having traversed down hills lined with trees and houses and over a car park and club house can shift 40 degrees or more, leave large areas in total calm or gusts at 15-20 mph on the odd occasion.

There is no need to talk about equipment as all the boats are the same, although there are only slight nuances which can be applied (see Craigs notes on this web site). Any speed advantage was negated by the variable wind. Get in phase and you were golden, climbing ladders. Get out of phase and you plummet down a snake. I was leading one race by a good margin and sailed into a hole in the middle of the lake. By the time the wind found me I was 5th, but always in my head were the thought there would always be another opportunity and sure enough there was. Sometimes it was an advantage to be behind as you could see what the wind was doing with the boats ahead.

The biggest lesson from the day was to stay cool until the end. Unfortunately I lost it a bit in the afternoon and having traded blows with Craig Richards in the morning to be 3 points behind, I faded in the last 4 races but still good enough to finish second.

Next up is a Marblehead ranking event at Chipstead next Saturday followed by the DFTT at Lincoln on 23/24 March with a first outing for my DF 65.

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