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Thought for the Day - Vancouver Cup - how long does it take to learn basic lessons

Updated: Jun 15, 2022

What a fantastic day. Sunshine, good wind, no weed, great race management and 25 races in all. The results show 21 so I am not sure where the other 4 went.

When I last went to Eastbourne the wind was blowing gently across the lake and proved challenging. It was with trepidation that I returned but I am so glad I did.

The day started well posting results in the top three in the first 7 races. The wind was mid A rig and the boat easy to control. But things started to go amiss when the wind built to the top end of the rig and I found it a struggle to keep perfect control. Results became inconsistent as I had a number of collisions and silly mistakes, all of which were avoidable. I had to count a few 6th place positions which scuppered my day. Racing was so close and it was easy to go from 1st to mid fleet if you got on the wrong side of a shift.

By lunch time the wind was at B rig level and all bar 2 changed down. I was back in control again and started posting better result. At the end the scores were close. Trevor Binks 57 points, me 62 and third was 62.1. Results are below but I think there are a few races that should be to the right. If you average the results Trevor was 3.35 and I was 3.65 which was a reflection of how competitive the fleet was. I guess it is OK being beaten by an IOM world champion.

Lessons learned

Overall - Need more experience of sailing in the upper wind range of each rig.

Wind shifts - When I look at a venue for the wind shifts, I tend to follow the wind on the water and send my boat in that direction. However there are areas on the pond where you cannot see the wind but it is there and often has a favourable shift. I have to be more open minded and explore those areas more.

Starting - I had some great starts as did the fleet and found it relatively easy to hold to windward of a boat or drive over the top. However I found myself often starting to leeward as the wind shifted to the right. I did the same at Chipstead. Need to be more courageous starting further up the line. There was plenty of room.

Running - Beginning to find the right lanes and ability to sail the boat faster downwind by sailing the right angles. More work to do but big improvement.

Steering - still using excessive stick movement when sailing fast down wind.

So at the end of the month it is ranking time and a cluster of good skippers will be there. At least a dozen are ahead of me on the ranking. Time to shape up and stake my place in the field. The boat is quick, is the skipper?

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