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Thought for the Day - First competitive race of 2023

The forecast for Sunday was grim as far as the rain was concerned and so it proved to be. I spent the whole day in a SouWester which not only kept my neck dry but also my glasses.

Hampton Courts Model Yacht club on the Rick Pond is a delightful setting in the middle of Hampton Park positioned between the private golf course and the River Thames. Despite the location and the proximity of major towns like Kingston it is a remarkably quiet, unspoilt area. Maybe the rain had something to do with that. The lake is long and only has trees at one end which had little impact on the wind today. The wind which was top end of A rig all day blew slightly off one side of the lake which meant we mostly zig zagged up the lake to get some decent beats and run down its length. The length of the lake meant we all got some decent walking in so earned our lunch and tea. Our race officer and his team did a marvellous job and handled the odd wind blip with aplomb. My hearty thanks to them all especially given that they sacrificed their day to stand out in the rain for our enjoyment of the racing.

The racing was close with the odd mistake being punished severely. 5 of the top seven overall scored a race win but each posted one bad result which was discarded. Getting the start and the first beat right was so important and as I mentioned previously in posts and on the web site, positioning in relation to the boats around you, off the start, approaching banks and mark would ultimately determine success or failure in the race. I was fortunate to have 3 wins and a second to Julia Hancock, but struggled to pull through when back in the pack. With lots of racing to come, I hope to build this skill.

There was one glitch on the boat. I had not allowed enough adjustment in the elastic of the jib topping lift so being unable to tighten it, the topping lift caught the spreader in the first race but thankfully without serious impact. A temporary elastic band fixed the problem for the rest of the day. Other than that the boat and radio pot remained bone dry and everything worked perfectly.

Next stop is the Marblehead GAMES at Chipstead to see how my boat goes in a breeze if we get any.

Here are the results:

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