Its a 3 hour journey to Lincoln but thankfully on dual carriageway or motorway all the way. Driving up on a Saturday night made the trip so much easier and stayed by the lakeside overnight with the company of about 50 coots who thankfully made little noise. Better than the 100 plus Canada Geese I experienced at Milton Keynes last year.
After a good nights sleep and cup of tea it was off to the club hut for a welcome bacon butty made by Mick Chamberlain.
Lincoln is so well organised. They started with the bare bones of a squarish test gravel pit and over the years have added four pontoons, a wooden club house and sheltered sitting area, a good boat for laying their well designed marks, along with the paraphernalia for running races and bigger events. I have no doubt there was a lot of hard work put in by volunteers to get to this point. My thanks to Mick, Jen, Tim and the rest of the team for putting on a fantastic day and even providing a little bit of sunshine.
After a briefing by PRO Tim Hand we took to the water in a moderate A rig breeze on a well laid windward leeward course. The wind built and by lunch time it was getting into B rig territory. All changed bar one and there we stayed until the wind eased up for the last two races when we went back to A rigs.
The racing was interesting. 21 boats, mass starts and great practice for the nationals. In the morning we used the East side of the lake and as the wind swung form SW to W we moved to the south side of the lake. The nice thing about Lincoln is you get plenty of walking. My phone recorded 11200 steps for the day.
As to the racing, results were influenced by a number of collisions at the windward mark.
In the first race I set the boat up for what I thought would be a building breeze which failed to materialise. As a result everything was too tight and despite a good start found myself at the back of the fleet unable to progress.
After a quick reset the boat was up to speed. Starts and the first beat went well but I came undone in 3 races because I did not give enough space at the windward mark. In one race I came into the mark first but misjudged it and ended up the wrong side. In two other races I came in fast on starboard at the front of the fleet only to be knocked head to wind by port tack boats. Other than that I kept my nose clean. The results will be out soon and I will post them here.
Overall I came second to Darin Ballington who sailed just that little bit more consistently and stayed out of trouble 34 points to 29 so if I had not had those collision or misjudgements.......... When will I learn that lesson.
Next stop is the M&S District round at Chipstead.
The lake at night
A new event board. Simple but very effective. Note the feet are nailed down