Fluky Winds, Fluky Results

The forecast for today was light winds in the morning and stronger in the afternoon. As it turned out, it was light in the morning bu in the afternoon, after it picked up it decided to shift, bend, die, gust and everything else it didn’t do all year.

But let’s start from the beginning. On the first race I had an awful start, after I managed to place myself in what initially seemed a good position on the line, but i turned out to be at the leeward of the rest of the fleet where I was getting dirty wind. So with a bad start and with Tom firing on all cylinders, he was so close to me that we were battling all the time. Unfortunately, at some point my extension came off the tiller and I lost a few boat lengths before I managed to put the extension back on the tiller. Then later on I had to clear my rudder because I had picked up a small branch. Finally I finished 8th out of 9 behind Tom and ahead of James.

On the second race, I had a much better start. I was to the windward of Ben on starboard tack while half of the fleet was on port end and they were trying to squeeze between us and the pin end. I managed to gain on Ben and he was squeezed between me and the port tackers who had now tacked to starboard. I was at the top for the first leg, but I started falling back soon. I was battling with Chris and Jay and I was trying to get closer to Pete. At some point on the downwind leg I saw the whole fleet bunched up. They had fallen to a hole and I still had some speed. I got close to them and as we started sailing upwind the wind was all over the place.

It died down and it was shifting and bending dramatically. The race officer decided to finish the race early and I was quite glad about it because it seemed like the race would last forever. On the last leg I was beating, then reaching, at some point running, the reaching again. At that point I realised that half of the fleet was coming from the right hand side of the lake while I was more on the left hand side. I was reaching towards the line when I saw Ben, much closer to the line on my right beating on the layline. I knew I couldn’t finish before him because he was much closer to the line, but I was going faster than him. As I was getting closer and closer to the line he seemed to be going slower than I was. As we were both close to the line, Ben at the pin end and me in the middle of it, the wind shifted and Ben had to tack because he couldn’t lay the line any more. I just sheeted in and carried on. I managed to cross the line before Ben. As it turned out, I finished 4th ahead of Ben and Pete, with Steve ahead of me.

It was quite funny and I laughed about it. Obviously it was a fluke and I cannot claim that I can beat Ben any time. The good thing is that both Ben and Pete could see the funny side of it. I did beat the fair and square, but I think I was just lucky. Anyway, 4th out of 11 is still a result and it will count for the series results.