See Dave Allinson report below with picture and results.
After being blown around the motorway in the campervan, I arrived at Chipstead to see black gusts streaking across the water. After receiving the usual warm reception, signing in and booking my Chilli lunch, it was a pleasure to be able to rig the boat in the clubhouse. The question is, was it B rig or C rig. With gusts up to 35/40mph there was no real question. Up went the C rig. As the morning went on, the wind eased and C was replaced with B. Of course the wind built again as soon as the B rigs were in place but it made for a fun days sailing. Tacking was difficult as there was a chop and the boat would stop in the squalls, so tacking in a lull was critical. Downwind was also entertaining as in the stronger gusts, the bow could bury unless you were quick to slide across the wave by running by the lee sometimes by as much as 30 degrees.
Dave's report at the bottom of this post covers some of the racing so I will focus on tactics and strategy.
The boat setup
As usual I stuck to the numbers and the only adjustment was to flatten the foot of the main and jib slightly. After some tweaking with the backstay, the boat was nicely balanced.
Generally there was slight starboard hand bias on the start line most of the day and the favourable side of the beat was usually the right hand side. The best way to come into the windward mark was from the right on starboard and it did not matter if you over stood and reached in because the punishment for underlaying the mark and tacking in a squall was severe and a high chance of loosing control. So the trick was to start as close to the starboard end of the line or further down if you wanted to keep clear of other boats and use the shifts to quickly work over to the right for the last half of the beat. The trouble with the latter approach was you easily get blocked from tacking.
It was noticeable that Peter Stollery started at the pin end of the line every time and had the boat control to hold his boat on station. He was at the windward end and I was further down the line. The punishment for being at the leeward end was severe as you could not tack across the other boats to get the benefit of any shifts. Later as the line was moved to take out the bias I had some success at the leeward end and was able to get across the fleet.
What was impressive was that nearly all the boats were on the line going fast at the gun.
In one race I started badly at the leeward end, tacked immediately behind the fleet on port and ended up near the front having the benefit of the right hand side.
The first beat and windward mark
As I said above the trick was to go right on the shifts and those that did benefited hugely. The final tack into the windward mark was critical and many got into trouble with this.
Apart from one race I got most of the first beats wrong getting forced to the left hand side. You would think I would learn my lesson, but I guess the four previous days playing competitive golf numbed my brain somewhat . When I did get it rightish, I misjudged by less than a yard the long starboard tack into the windward mark and either had to gybe round or in one race tack onto port above the mark and plough out of control into the starboard boats rounding correctly. That race I finished last by some distance after I had finished my turns and unravelled myself.
The run was all about keeping the boat upright in the stronger gusts. I have found some success in maintaining control by running by the lee. Other than that it was straight forward.
it was a fantastic days sailing and great practice for the nationals. Despite being bad tactically my heavy weather sailing has improved noticeably, having had 3 days sailing in a breeze this year. My tiller finger is more stable and control on ingmark round and being on the line going fast at the start much improved.
I should not have played golf on Saturday because being physically tired affects my mental sharpness and in shifty winds that is not good. There were four races where I went from hero to zero at the weather mark and in one race, I forgot the spreader mark, oops, so I knew a better overall result was on offer, however I am delighted with the day for the racing, the camaraderie and the organisational skill of the Chipstead team led onshore by David Allinson and on the water by Stuart Old-Hume. He deserves a medal for taking the boat out in those conditions and was kept busy most of the day. Thank you to all the volunteers who made this such a successful day.
Below, One of my better starts. Note you can see the wind lifting at the far end of the line. Thats Peter right at the windward end with the bow just pocking ahead of the blue boat no 73. There is some good action at the bottom of the picture and I and not sure what happened to 51 but he looks on trouble. Thank you Stuart Ord-Hume for the picture
Dave Allinsons report
Chipstead SC IOM Open Meeting & M&S Championship R-1 Report 6th February 2022
Sixteen sailors arrived at Chipstead SC on a very breezy Sunday morning to contest round one of the Met & Southern IOM championship and the club Unicorn trophy, Whilst there was a light drizzle, the breeze was westerly mid-twenties mph gusting into the high thirties mph.
Whilst many sailors rigged in the comfort of the large clubhouse, the race team laid a 130 metre windward leeward course.
Following the briefing, racing commenced with all but one boat sporting rig-3. All the sailors were, eager to race and this resulted in three general recalls before the fleet got under way. Race one was taken by Peter Stollery, chased home by Trevor Binks and Nigel Barrow. Peter was sailing his Isotonic as a pre-Nationals setup exercise for his son Oliver. Race two was gusty and was taken by Vernon Appleton followed by Dorian Crease and Julia Hancock. Julia took race three with Dave Cockerill just a couple of metre behind. Vernon was back on form for race four and it was John Taylor sailing his immaculate wooden Rubix who took race five.
Seven races were accomplished before lunch was taken at 12:20hrs.
Garven Mckie assisted by Robin Aldcroft served up a delicious hot Chilli con Carne with rice and French bread.
At the lunch halt, positions at the front of the fleet were tight. Vernon took the lead with 24 points closely followed by Peter and Martin Wilson on 25 points. Nigel was just behind on 28 points. Three boats were in the thirties and four more in the forties.
Racing recommenced at 13:30 hrs with several sailors changing up to rig-2. This was a brave and challenging move as the gusts were comfortably in the nose diving range. Nigel was quick to take race 8, followed by Dorian. Trevor took race nine with home club sailor Peter Crisp in second place. Peter Stollery now found his pace winning four of the next seven races. Dorian and Vernon also had consistent afternoon sessions. A very special thanks must go to Chipstead club sailor Stuart Ord-Hume who manned the rescue boat all day and was kept busy collecting boats which had ceased to respond or had locked together with another boat. A great job in winds gusting into the low forties. Sailing came to an end around 15:30 hrs after sixteen races had been sailed. Sailors packed away their boats and sails and adjourned to the clubhouse for a welcome hot drink and cake whilst results were being calculated.
PRO and club radio lead Dave Allinson presented the prizes down to sixth place with a bottle of wine,
First Chipstead SC boat prize - Peter Crisp.
First lady and sixth place - Julia Hancock.
Fifth place – Trevor Binks
Fourth place – Nigel Barrow
Third place - Dorian Crease
Second place – Vernon Appleton
First Place – Peter Stollery
(Full results are listed below)
Peter Stollery thanked the Chipstead race team for the days racing praising the club facilities, the hot lunch and the great racing.
Many thanks to Chris Heath, Garven Mckie and Stuart Ord Hume and Robin Aldcroft for their help in running this event.
Result of the Unicorn IOM Open Meeting & R-1 M&S IOM Championship
PRO & Chipstead SC – Radio Lead
Peter Stollery (2011 IOM World Champion) receiving his trophy from Dave Allinson. His boat (an Isotonic) to the left