Strong Wind, Bad Start

Today we were expecting wind at just 10 knots. It turned out to be, maybe slightly higher and gusting to 20knots! It made things more difficult than expected but exciting in the same time. There were quite a few capsizes before even the start. The start line was very close to the wall and this caused to many waves from the wake of boats that were sailing in the area and obviously the return of the wake was making things even worse.

I was at the start line area early enough. James had capsized to the leeward of the committee boat and as I was heading on port to go between him and the committee boat, I slowed down to let another boat, coming on starboard, through. I got in-irons and in my effort to get moving again, the cockpit got filled with water. With only 30 seconds to the start, I started moving towards the line, but I couldn’t maneuver and the boat was too heavy with the extra ballast. So my start was really bad. I started accelerating and the first couple of tacks were really difficult with all that water in the cockpit. I had opened the bailer, but it took some time for the water to empty.

After the fleet was dispersed, I had the chance to go on long beats. I managed to focus, hike hard, keep the boat flat(-ish) and gain speed. I managed to pass a few boats and I was on clear air. I think I passed Tom, Chris, Tom and Charmian. The runs didn’t seem very fast, but I think they were fast considering the wind. I was running by the lee most of the time, and my windex seemed to be behaving like a wind gauge rather than a wind indicator. A bit strange, but I managed to stay upright and dry. A couple of the reaches, although short, they were great.

By the end of the race, quite a few people went in because they were too wet, too tired, or both. I was beating towards the finish line when the race officer decided he couldn’t be bothered to wait more, and he started coming towards the top of the Harp giving finishes to everyone who hadn’t crossed the line. I enjoyed today’s racing, and although my start was not good, I enjoyed the strong wind. It turned out that the race officer made a mess of the results, so we had to sort them out between us. He put as 1st and 2nd, people who had been lapped! Anyway, I am sure Steve will sort them out, eventually. No racing on Sunday, since it’s the RS200 Open, so I am racing on Saturday afternoon.