top of page

Thought for the day - Racing at Manor Park. More learning

It seems I still have a long way to go to break into the top ten in the IOM world. Recent events saw me well beaten by Peter Stollery and today by Chris Harris. Both gave an exhibition on how to sail fast and efficiently and were easily able to escape bad starts by sailing fast, free and in the right direction. See MYA District report below and my thanks to Colin Watkins and his race team for organising a brilliant event in testing conditions. It made the trip worthwhile.

It seems no matter how much preparation you put into the boat there is always something overlooked. In yesterdays case was it was a seized mainsheet block which restricted the easing of the boom on downwind legs. You cannot imagine how frustrating it is to see all the boats with their booms out to the shroud on a run and mine only half way there until a little puff filled in and blew the boom out.

I was able to recover the freedom of the pulley block by soaking it in soapy water for a few hours to get rid of the oils and then blasting the block several times with WD40 contact cleaner. Now when the cord is barely touching the block the wheel rotates. Spin the pulley and it runs forever. This will need regular cleaning.

In addition to the seized pulley I realised that the sheet cord I was using was too heavy. Vernon Appleton pointed this out to me (thank you Vernon) and indeed when I check the cord load chart on the BG web site (look in the store and click on any cord for the card) I was using a heavier duty cord. The reason for the heavier line, before I switched over to plastic sheet leads on the boom, I was getting fraying on the sheet though the metal leads I used previously, so I upped the cord strength which is fine when there is wind by no good in very light weather.

Solving the technical problems was easy. and the rest of the set up looked fabulous so my challenge is how to get more speed out of the boat through better sailing technique. Clearly I am doing something wrong.

Here are my observations and reflects on the way I sail to windward


1 The boat appears sticky sometimes in very light weather compared to the boats around around. I was running with 20 mm of jib twist, 15 mm of main foot depth and 25mm of jib foot depth.

2 When there is a little breeze the boat comes alive and is very quick

3 Watching Chris Harris sailing a Venti (not thea Britpop shown in the results), he was often sailing upwind with eased sheets and kept his boat moving all the time. The same could be said of Peter Stollery at Chipstead the other weekend.

4 My sense of the wind is still poor. e.g. There was one race where I took the left hand gate in forth place and the others behind went right. I got becalmed after the leeward mark the the fleet sailed neatly around me leaving me in 2nd last place.

5 I stay in other boats dirty wind for too long which is one reason why I appear to be slower.

6 I may have been sailing with too little draft in the foot of the sails by up to 10 mm. When I set the boat up this morning and measured the sail dept from behind instead of the way I usually do, I found that I had been sailing with less depth in the foot than necessary. it s funny how if you look at things in a different way you get a different result

On a positive note I seem to score better than the rest so it is not all bad but I have work to do this summer to go faster and mix in with the top 10.

Watching the performance of Chris and the other Venti, both showed amazing turns of speed in light weather but until I get my act together and sail well I will not know if there is any real difference. If in doubt, it is ussually the nut on the the tiller that needs adjusting.

So with the sheets and pulley block sorted and measurements adjusted, it is off to Emsworth this Thursday for a test.

Here are the results

Manor Park Sailing report

First you can find the sailing report posted by Manor Park HERE

and reprinted here

2022-2023 IOMMDWCS R3 Manor Park RSC race report.

  • March 5, 2023

Despite concerns at the forecast low wind speeds of 5mph, gusting 6mph, from the North, a team of 13 charming skippers started on the Manor Park SC water at 10.00 prompt. The feature of the day was Bill Green’s new blue Venti, which Chris Harris was keen to trial. The course was laid expertly by Simon Richardson and displayed on the new magnetic course board. There were windward marks 6 and 7 alongside the left of the control area and leeward gate marks 3 and 4 to the left of the island. The light breeze was visible on the water, well away from bank. Gentle thumbs on the radios kept the yachts moving, with some really challenging shifts right close to the windward marks. As these marks were close by to the skippers on the raised bank, there were no collisions, despite the precision manoeuvres. There were no breakdowns or rescues, which is a real measure of the quality of the fleet. Chris Harris didn’t seem to make many adjustments to Bill’s boat and was consistently leading, by judging the wind skilfully. That left Nigel Barrow, Tim Hand and Pete Walters, who a lot more quietly were also leading the fleet, gaining an occasional first place. As the wind shifted the fleet chose the right-hand gate mark to some advantage. In the afternoon the course was shifted 90 degrees so that the windward marks 1 and 2 were over on the right by the floating jetty. Rob Radbourne and Denis Walker, both from Manor Park, then judged things better, taking the right-hand gate and crossing in front of the island. While this was a longer route it favoured the wind, so they gained high places. Denis Walker and Nick Probyn also deserve a commendation for sailing so well with traditional club yachts. The final places show a uniform spread of scores. It was enjoyable to be race officer, with my excellent finish team of Avril Richardson and Graham Whalley. Bill’s Venti has also passed its acceptance trial.

If you enjoy these posts why not buy me a coffee by clicking HERE to help support the WIX web site fees. So far 22% of the next 3 years fees are covered. Thank you if you do.

83 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Club racing at its best

I am privileged to be a member of 4 thriving radio sailing clubs and there is a common thread between them all. You guessed it, the DF95 and DF 65. Whatever you think about the DF designs, you cannot

bottom of page