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The IOM Nationals day one - Meltdown or boat commissioning


They say you learn more when you do badly than when you do well.  That maybe true but it is not a pleasant experience.  Having sailed the new boat 3 times before the nationals, I started in C heat, got promoted to B then A and finished 8th.  In the next race I had a couple of incidents and ended back in B heat.  In that heat I caught weed on the last beat and ended last demoting me to C fleet and then in the next heat I struggled in C.  So the results today went from good to bad to uncharacteristically worse. By the end of the day my brain was mush.

 

Of course there is always the offer of helpful comments which I have to ignore unless there is a gem there worth applying.

 

The culmination of slightly chaotic last minute preparation had caught up with me and perhaps I suffered from making too many changes at the last moment but what better event to test them in.  As an result I was mentally unprepared.

 

In summary, the hull is good although I have a leaky hatch cover which is easily fixed.  My idea of less than 10mm prebend in the mast has perhaps been the biggest failing as I could see the jib luff sagging and when the wind was up the jib leech was hard to control.  as a result you make compromises and this makes the situation worse. It was not the quickest set up but early on got me to the front of C then B and then A.

 

So I have managed to take myself from hero to zero and probably dented my confidence but on the plus side I learnt a huge amount about the Alioth IOM.  Yes, I could go back to the Britpop but my goal is to find a setup and hull shape that will give me more speed in open water for the worlds and sometimes you have to fail badly to go forward.

 

Work to do.  24th in the nationals after day one was not my intention.  C’est La `Vie.  Onwards and upwards.


On day 2, I just missed going back to A fleet in the first two races. I missed each time by two boats and that was more through miss plotting the windshifts than boat speed. So stability has returned and if the weather clears up I may risk putting more prebend into the mast to try out tomorrow. The start of optimisation.


Next week I will put up a full story on the new Alioth development. It is a lovely boat and very competitive one.

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