While the DF 95's were fighting it out at Gosport with their A+ rigs, we had a perfect 15 mph straight down the Slipper pond. You could not have asked for a better day.
Jonathan Clarke was race officer and created a perfect course until one of the spreader marks decided to up sticks and sail past all the competitors in the control area, but the was soon fixed.
15 very competitive boats and a shortish start line at the top end of A rig conditions made for a great mornings practice. I ended up third, 2 points off first and that could be laid down to T-boning 2 port tack boats at the windward mark. In the first instance I was on the point of rounding the windward mark and had nowhere to go and in the second was 10 yards from it. After both collisions I was clawing back up the fleet from 10th or so. The resulting collisions dropped me back to 5th or below in 2 races by the finish from what should have been wins. Having said that the windward mark was a long way away but the port tackers were chancing their arm.
The results did not matter as much as the experience. It is rare you get a steadyish breeze at the top end of the A rig and I learned a little more about set up. In the first 3 races the sails looked a little tired with a wide open jib leech and I was lower and slower than the lead boats. At half time I tightened up the shrouds, flattened the sails slightly and instantly saw an improved performance. In both cases with the looser and tighter shrouds, the boat was well balanced but in the first instance it would not maintain height upwind and the jib leach would sag uncontrollably.
So a great mornings sailing and the last until I get to Hampton Court's RSC charity open a week on Sunday when I think I will break out the new rig. Wish me luck.