A great day out with some stiff competition and well run meeting by Mike Kemp and his team. Thank you all. It was a most enjoyable day.
The wind was perfect for the open meeting. A rigs all day. Our venue faced north with two islands to the left and right. The wind fortunately was straight into our faces from the other shore with a clear run across the lake. Although this was the best direction there was a bank of trees on the other side of the lake that had a keen influence on the wind which came from one side of the trees and then the other.
For me, it was a difficult day. The boat was going OK but seems to have lost a fraction of pace but more on this later. The start line lay between the shore and the left hand island. It was a gamble to start towards the Island to pick up the port hand lift off the back of it. Starts were tight with the majority of the boats on the line at the gun. I was over just once which is a first for a while. The punishment for being over the line was severe. As I eased my sail to try and slow down a boat came between the boom and the boat and locked in for a while as we watched the fleet sail away. Race over.
It was a mixed day for me with some good results and some bad but my biggest issue was with the softness of the jib leach. As we tacked onto port off the line in a gust and I eased the sails, the boat would stall and lacking any acceleration was buried by the fleet. There was an imbalance with the main and the jib which I would not be able to fix until I got home. However it did not stop me winning a couple of races and would have won a few more but lacked the pace and was overhauled.
The reason for the slack jib leach - Last week, I replaced the jib tack line holding the jib to the boat as the previous one showed signs of fraying and had not noticed I had moved the pivot point forward on the boom. A small movement of the jib tack line on the boom makes a huge difference to the jib leech tension. The replacement is marked and measured and will do nicely for the ranking event this weekend.
Other than that the boat was going nicely.
Results reflected the vagaries of the wind. One race, I round the leeward gate 1st, took the wrong side of the gate with the three boats behind choosing the other gate which were only 10 yards apart. I got becalmed and the three boat rounded the other gate and sailed away on a huge lift in wind. By the time we got to the weather mark I was 50 yards behind. We live or die by our decisions.
One of the challenges for all on this day was how the fleet approached the windward mark. The wind would often head as we approached the mark on starboard forcing people to tack into starboard boats. Because the mark was so far away it was difficult to judge and there were several rafting incidents.
Through the day Pete Walters and Robert Wilson kept their cool and posted the most consistent results. Dorian Crease pipped me by .7 point. Well done to the three of them.
In summary, days like these require patience, the ability to stay out of trouble and think fast on your feet to position your boat for the ever changing wind and keep sailing fast and free.
I am steadily progressing but have a long way to go.