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Thought for the day - IOM SW District Open at Poole

First I would like to thank those supporters who have bought me a coffee. The renewal fee for the web site is coming up and is approximately £300, so any support to cover these fees would help me extend the longevity of the site. I know there are a few thousand people from the site statistics who are getting great value out of the site and your help in covering costs would be gratefully received.

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There is a report and pictures and results on the MYA Downwind site on Facebook. Here is the link

I have to say that Poole is a wonderful location for racing. There is an enclosed salt water sailing area, an open sailing area and a lake if there is a problem with the first two. I have sailed on two of the three and not been disappointed.

The racing was interesting from my perspective. I had an overly conservative start in the first seeding race and ended 5th, dragging myself up from near the back. What pleased me was unlike Chipstead, I was fired up, clear headed and could see the opportunities, took them and progressed through the fleet. Then for the next 5 races I sailed as I knew I could with a couple of bullets, one 2nd and two 3rds. Then a strange thing happened. The wind shifted and picked up a little and suddenly my thoughts went negative and I totally struggled for three of the last four races. I can only assume that I got tired as my fitness is still not what it was before the virus. The last results were 11,1,10 and retired. Bizarrely, the win was where the boat had a life of its own upwind, so fast but low, it steamed away from all around and I had little to do other than point it towards the marks. In the last race I knew I had lost it when I got to finish near the back of the fleet, lost my boat at the end and completely missed the finishing line. Strange things happen at sea.

So what were the lessons for me.

1 The new mast works well and matches the luff curve of the sail making it easy to de-power efficiently.

2 I need to rest between races and get fitter. We had two fleets so there was plenty of time to relax but I stood up for most of the day. I suppose I am not getting any younger

3 The preparation of the boat made for an easy day with no gear failure.

4 I need to be more aggressive on the starts. Keeping clear is one thing but giving half a dozen boats the advantage on the line is not conducive to consistent podium results.

On another note Craig Richards winning boat Chimera is his own design and beautifully made. He has added a lot of buoyancy in the front and the boat seems capable of planning downwind which will make life very interesting in a blow and may get current designers thinking.

All in all a good day and if you have the opportunity to come to the next event at Poole on the 21st April you will not be disappointed.

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