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Thought for the day - Great racing last Tuesday

Gosport was bathed in a bit of sunshine with a shifty breeze that ended up, top end of A rig bordering on B rig.

The racing was tight with difficult starts but mostly I was able to master them. The trouble was with he top end of the beat. If you got the boats positioning wrong with the shifts one was severely punished which happened to me on more than one occasion.

The Highlights of the morning

It was brilliant to see Guy Knight in my first Alternative build doing so well. He beat me in 3 of the races and came third overall. Who says home builds are slow. Well done Guy.

James Hadden who won the day, turned up with Chris Ellis's Britpop which he will use for the Nationals. James is a great sailor and has already showed some impressive performances in the last ranking event with his home build Alternative. Not only does he represent the younger generation, he has recent top level dinghy experience and is an accomplished professional sailor and race coach. I gave up dinghy racing in the 80's and can barely remember what it was like to sit in a dinghy let alone race one. The joy of age. It will be interesting to see how he does in the nationals and my money is on a top ten finish if not better.

The good

Cracking starts mainly to windward of the fleet as there was slight starboard bias on the line.

Good speed even with the old sails and smoother manoeuvring

Consistent set of results, 6 seconds and a fourth

Good recoveries from errors made on the first beat with patient sailing waiting for the right opportunities to move through.

The bad

Too many misjudgements resulting in collisions although I put this down to lack of practice because of my golf commitments.

Not at my best day on reading the shifts although I was sailing against people who are regulars at the venue and know the patterns.

The radio pot leaked a bit with my home developed sealing solution. I replaced that with a silicon ring and vasaline. You can get 70mm rings off Amazon. Drilled a couple of small holes in the bottom of the pot and put some super light scouring pad in the bottom to keep the electrics out of any water that does get in.

Drilled a new hole in the bulb to lighten it as the scales were showing the fin and bulb to be 6 gm overweight. It was bang on last year. Curious to know why the gain. Filled the hole with cork and topped with 5 min epoxy. The whole boat is now 1 gm overweight.

Whats next

A little training at Frensham on smooth manoeuvring and holding the boat stationary on a start line. I need to develop a better mindset so when in a crowded fleet I do not go crazy on manoeuvring and keep thinking about the right things. i.e.

Where is my boat in relation to the fleet

Where is my boat in relation to the course

Where is my boat in relation to the wind

Then it is onto Poole where the entry is a little disappointing (11 boats) but there are some great sailors there, so competing will be tough. 4 Kantuns, 4 Britpops, a Rubik's, Alternative and Vanilla. The forecast looks good.

The results

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