Poole is a lovely venue situated in a park on the edge of Poole harbour. Poole radio sailing club have 3 choices of water to sail on. A sizeable enclosed model yacht lake, a huge enclosed lake and an inland lake. They are spoiled for choice.
The team was well organised even running two sets of results on two computers. The course was windward leeward and the wind was 5 to occasional gusts of 10-12 mph.
On the drive down, the temperature rarely got above freezing but it was up to a dizzy 3 degrees when I arrived. All were well wrapped up for most of the day until the afternoon when the temperature hit 10 degrees plus.
The wind was shifty and required a very high level of concentration at all times so after 16 races we were all exhausted.
Craig Richards and Tony Edward are 5th and 6th on the ranking list so they were going to be hard to beat. Here are the results:
The first 3 races went like clockwork. The winds were slightly lighter, and I know I am good in that so 1,3,1 was an excellent start. We had a break and the breeze picked up and the mistakes kicked in. A little behind on the start a couple of times, pushing my luck crossing starboard boats, hitting a mark, getting lost with the wind shifts. Race 4, 5 and 6 went totally off plan. I was getting good starts and then just sailed backwards. No excuse, just bad sailing. However I settled down after that and put together a string of reasonable results. In race 14, I ran out of battery. The receiver was not picking up the battery voltage so I had no idea how long a 1000mA would last. I know now, 12 races to be conservative.
The good news
Great boat speed with the new spars and BG sails.
Excellent starting across the day
Consistent results but not good enough to keep up with the two front runners.
I have mastered the art of slow tacking and manoeuvring but still a bit wiggly downwind in a breeze
The bad news
When I rounded the first mark in the lead I would be becalmed with the wind bringing the fleet down on me. When Tony or Craig rounded in the lead they found wind and disappeared. The same thing seemed to happen with Peter Stollery at Hampton. I wish I knew what they were doing.
I need to up my game on the first beat. I can beat everybody with good boat speed but I need to get the shifts right and position the boat for the windward mark approach
How do I feel about the Nationals. If I can up my game, a top ten result beckons, however if I make the usual mistakes then top 20 would be a good target. If it is windy with waves, then it is a new environment and anything can happen.