Today has been very hot. It is supposed the hottest day ever in UK. Here in London, it has been quite windy so it was more bearable. When I arrived at the club there was a nice breeze. I rigged the red Laser. Last time I took that boat it was a very windy day, I capsized and I was ordered off the water be the rescue boat. As a result I am not very comfortable with that boat. Truth is that Juanma finished 3rd in the Open Meeting in that boat after they had replaced the cleat main block with a ratchet block. I should be OK with that, but still it made feel uneasy. At some point someone asked me if I am the “Laserman”. Do people who don’t know me refer to me as Laserman? If it’s true, please let me know.
Anyway, I had plenty of time to rig the boat, I went to the start line and it was obvious I should start on starboard tack. At the gun I had a quite good start. I was second off the line. I thought it was quite unbelievable, but I was second and I was holding my position, until I missed the first mark! Fortunately, Joe who was ahead of me pointed it out, so I went back and round the mark. At that time I had dropped to last position. Ahead of me was a 10-12 year old boy with a 4.7 rig. Another boat was quite close and I was thinking that I should avoid humiliation and try to overtake at least the boy. It would be great if I could manage to overtake the other Laser too, but I didn’t think so.
It was quite gusty and shifty. The wind had shifted more than 100 degrees and the upwind leg became a reach, the upwind a beat and the reaches became runs. On the, now, beating leg half way through the leg there was a wind shift that you could point “higher” and then “bear away” again. Four to five boat lengths from mark 2 there was a strong shift. It was changing a lot but it was nice and windy. On my last lap, with the boy behind me, I realised I had picked up wind. I was to close to the bank. I lifted my centreboard and the wind pushed me onto the bank. I had to jump off the boat pull it out and then jump on and clear the weed off the rudder. By the time I did that the boy had sailed passed me and I was trying hard to catch up. Although I was getting closer and closer I didn’t manage to overtake him. He was quite excited because he didn’t finish last and rightly so. Good for him.
If I hadn’t missed rounding that mark, I would have been much happier. It was a nice evening, though and I really enjoyed it. I have to find a solution for remembering the race course. The best think was that I had a great start. I now know how to do it, so I have to do it more consistently. Next Sunday we have only one race, BBQ and then a fun race. I don’t know what to expect, but me and Steve have decided to take water-pistols with us. That should bring fun into the race, shouldn’t it?