Thursday, July 24, 2014
Despite the expectation of a dying breeze the cruiser fleet on Tuesday had a great race, writes Rex Frost.
Race Officer, Rick Newcombe set a neat triangle course and the fleet all hit the start line en masse to start the beat to No.2 buoy.
With a tightly packed group there were lots of early tacks, ducking out to get clear air and the fleet spit from then.
At the windward marks Footloose, Jenesis and Redeye had got well ahead while Maybee, Jammin and Electra tussled for a place ahead on the tight reach. Rounding the mark, it was spinnakers for all and Electra and Maybee arrived at the leeward mark together.
Wavelet, leading the slow fleet by miles was given an early finish while the fast fleet carried on for one more round. The second beat saw more boats fall away in the wind shifts, with Red Fox opening the distance on Maybee and Nemesis, while Red Eye and Jammin broached several times on the tight reach to the finish.
The Wednesday night dinghy race saw race officer Steve Best take the fleet across to Cockwood for an interesting cross tide triangle.
The first round saw boats searching amongst the moorings for the gybe mark as they fought a close reach across the tide and then, beating back to the gate, several grounded on Bull Hill in their attempt to find less tide. With the tide changing all the time and the wind shifting in jumps, the race was very tactical and kept all crews on their feet. Wisely, the slower boats finished after two rounds and in the final round there were even more wind shifts for the unwary. As a result, a number of the Handicap fleet overtook the Trios as they were the wrong side of a shift.
For the new competitors it was a little confusing with marks amongst moorings, but the wind was fine and the evening was sunny.
Hopefully they will keep coming out and learning the oddities of the Exe.
Saturday was Go Sailing Day and lots of families turned out for a lovely sunny afternoon.
Unfortunately the wind would not play, so lots of kids went and got wet and Mums and Dads chatted on the beach.
Sunday racing looked like it might be the same, but the wind appeared, albeit from several different directions and three races were completed. Race one was very slow with a fickle breeze and the 400s only just stayed ahead of the fleet until the wind freshened. Race two began with a windward start, but as the hooter went the wind shifted and spinnakers were hoisted for a run to No.17.
As usual, the Lasers (Malcolm Crundwell and Paul Beer) did well out of that, but the RS100s (Nick Pearce and Andy Seymore) were in good form and stayed ahead of the rest.
In the final race, round Bull Hill, spinnakers again appeared off the line and with a strengthening tide the course became more tactical.
The 400s (Chris Rhodes and Tim Graham) got away quickly, leaving the Trios, 200s and lasers to fight it out at the back.
All good fun, and a day to keep everyone on their toes.
Good luck to Victoria Upton going to the Feva Worlds in Carnac.
Busy weeks at the club now, with Summer Weeks for Children and the 2000 Class Nationals in two weeks time. For full results go to; exe-sailing-club.org