Thursday, May 29, 2014
The weekend of the Volvo Sailing Academy still lingers in our thoughts, writes Rex Frost.
Having Helena Lucas doing a coaching session in the car park and then on the water was brilliant. The two 470 girls Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre also had a RIB each and in truly blustery conditions coached the club members in strong wind technique, to the delight of viewers near the marina entrance.
A recent weekend dinghy sailing event was cancelled due to lack of safety boats, but the cruisers on Tuesday had another great evening.
The slow fleet again set off on a reach-reach course and Little Sante (Rob Masters) sailed a good race only being caught by others near the end. Fable (Bill Gott) was also going well, but suffered from having the much larger Matthew Flinders (Hedley Saunders) overtake to windward and kill their speed, close to the end.
In the fast fleet Red Fox (Colin Leach) and Nemesis (Malcolm Lynn) battled side by side around the course, while Maybee was never caught. The tight spinnaker reach from two to three tested several boats and Exehibitionist (Jen Miller) elected not to fly a kite as their crew expertise was on the low side, which left their duelling partner Electra free to sail away. On the second beat, with boats closing up together, there was a big footer which allowed Jenesis (Stuart Hills) to slip through ahead of Footloose and turn downwind first.
Unfortunately the new wind direction was not allowed for as the kite was hoisted, and lack of pressure swung it round the forestay several times slowing them and forcing the overtaking pack to gybe off clear. The final reach turned out to be too tight for spinnakers, with even Chris Rhodes dropping his, but with newcomer Red Eye (Jeremy Moore) holding onto his, just to prove a point.
The Wednesday night course for dinghies was again to number ten buoy, but with a two fleet start, less centreboard crunching ensued.
Tony Brewster led the trios for some time, but eventually fell foul of the tide at number ten, and of overtaking boats, allowing others to slip through. Bill Gott, sailing for the first time with Collette Horlock had a variety of problems, mostly of his own making, but ending with his crew also slipping and ending up in the bottom of the boat.
He was however, not the slowest trio and for a first outing this season did well.
Uncharacteristically, Iain Horlock sailing with ‘new crew’ Charlotte Jones came only second!
The handicap fleet stayed well together, apart from Chris Rhodes 400, and Josh Geare battled it out with Paul Beer and Ann Way, to stay out of the tide and in clear air. The shenanigans at number ten nearly put paid to his good position also, as bunches of trios competed to round the mark at the same time, but with some luck he separated himself and came round still ahead. In the aftermath of the number ten melee, crew will be delighted to know that the course direction has been changed for the future. For full results go to; http://www.exe-sailing-club.org/