Late Start

Today, I woke up at 9:30 that is because Lydia called me. Otherwise I would be still asleep. I had a terrible headache last night and I didn’t fall asleep before 5:30! So, this morning was a difficult one. I slept for half an hour more and I got up at 10:00.

I got ready, went to the club and surprisingly the red boat had been left. Nobody was using it, so I rigged that one. I couldn’t find my little bag with my rigging bits (cunningham, clew strap, etc). By that time people were coming in from the morning race and Brent had to go early, so I borrowed his cunningham and outhaul. He has a cunningham like mine and he made an improved “old-style” outhaul based on the Rooster Sailing design with two blocks. Steve was late too and I borrowed the spare clew-strap he keeps in his magic-box.

I got ready and went out. The wind had picked up and there were some people that after the first race wimped out and decided not to sail on the second race. While sailing towards the committee boat I realised I was not wearing my watch, so I decided that I would have bad start. It wasn’t as bad as I expected; I asked a couple of people the time and I managed to, roughly, countdown myself the last 20 seconds. It was very difficult. Quite gusty, but there were parts of the lake with hardly any wind and very shifty close to the windward mark. I practiced running by the lee on the downwind leg and I managed to avoid capsize by following Steve Cockerill’s advice from the “Boat Whisperer DVD“.

Unfortunately, though, the rudder retaining clip was not bent enough and at some point, while hiking, the rudder came off the gudgeons. The foil resistance in the water was much less and the boat came on top of me. I didn’t have any time to react, so I ended up in the water. I brought it upright, got in and it took me a lot of time to put the rudder back in. Now, that I know better, I should have “lifted” the rudder blade before trying to put it in, but at the time I could only think that I have to put it in as fast as possible. The result? I lost two place and I was now, last. On the next downwind leg, I was standing with my leeward foot in the cockpit and the windward leg next to the centreboard. The result was very low wetted surface, therefore increased speed. This way I managed to regain one place. On the next upwind leg I managed to capsize once again but it was a dry one. This boat had a very loose toe-strap and it was too difficult to untangle my feet, but I managed to climb off the side of the boat onto the centreboard and then back in so it was quicker this time.

Still, though, I lost the position I had gained and I was last again! Another frantic attempt to regain at least that lost position and luckily enough I did it! I have to admit that a month ago I would have struggled with this sort of weather and I would be quite frustrated and disappointed. Not today though. I am quite happy, I managed to get out of trouble quite quickly and regain a position twice. I still need to work on boat trim, but I am getting there bit by bit.

After the race, we unpacked two new (second-hand) club Lasers. The Laser Centre had some sort of Sale day, yesterday, and the club bought two Lasers in a really good condition. They have the old style controls and not the XD ones, but still they are good value. Unfortunately there was not enough wind in the afternoon to tempt us to “test-sail” them, but I am going to sail one of the two on Wednesday.

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