Gavin Watson wins the first of the SWD Summer Series sailed @ Longham Lakes
Photo courtesy of Mike Millard
Read the report below submitted by Andrew Cherrett and then view some of Mike Millards brilliant photos by viewing on the link:
Sunday morning presented a challenge for the race team at PRYC – with winds gusting in excess of 50mph, large waves and a WNW forecast for winds to remain around this strength for most of the day – it was difficult to move racing marks in these conditions. Fortunately a test sail found the pre-set course was just about sailable on storm rigs. A few helms cancelled due to weather and other reasons, and the usual 2 fleet entry was reduced to 12 boats.
All helms wisely opted for storm rigs and no one changed up all day. The mornings racing was occasionally suspended as strong gusts came through but my lunch 7 races had been completed on a WNW course with the only change being to move the leeward mark away from the lee shore. Racing was very sporting with all helms coping well in the conditions and remarkably few gear failures in such testing conditions. One of the days favourites, Josh King, unfortunately suffered a hull crack in a racing incident at the leeward mark forcing him to retire after only one race. Bob Conner lost his jib following an incident with the blue mark taking him out for a couple of races. Nigel Clark also joined him on the same mark but suffered no damage.
Craig Richard, 21, won the first race with his own design Greyhound and despite being pressed by Tony Edwards, sailing 88, and Gavin Watson, 44, Craig held onto first place at the lunch break with a series of consistent top 3 places. Tony sailing an unfamiliar Britpop and contending with a winch that occasionally decided to misbehave did well to hold second place and Gavin after a slightly poor start began to put in some good results and lay in 3rd place. The beat to the windward mark from the start seemed to favour a port approach as starboard approaching boats struggled to make the rounding without having to put in another tack. This led to some incidents as port boats took avoiding action and boats stalled or missed the mark. The second beat gave more opportunity to try different tactics although there did not appear to be any clear advantage to any particular approach.
After lunch the winds reduced very slightly and the hailstorm was replaced with weak sunshine. The fleet was reduced to 9 and the battle between 21, 88 and 44 with Bob Conner joining in restarted. Gavin Watson had the most consistent afternoon winning 3 of the last 4 races. Tony Edwards also had 3 wins in the afternoon. The final results had Gavin Watson in first place, Tony Edwards second, Craig Richards third and Bob Conner fourth. Poole’s Jim McGregor did well to secure 6th place having just arrived back in the UK off a long-haul flight and thinking he was there for a morning club racing!
Thanks to the PRYC team for first class race management and providing hot drinks and food which were most welcome and needed throughout the day. From a initial forecast that suggested that little or no racing would be possible, 16 races were completed so a good outcome especially for those who had driven some distance to compete.
Thanks to Peter Wiles for going out in the safety boat to rescue boats in the most arduous conditions. Finally congratulations to Garwin Watson for winning the day and making the long trip from West Cornwall worthwhile.
Andy Cherrett – PRO”
Photos – courtesy of Mike Cooke. Race Report – courtesy of Tony Edwards.
A lovely day for IOMs at Sutton Bingham Y&DMBC
Yeovil Model Boat Club aroused from hibernation to host the last of the One Metre South West winter series events. A hazy start blossomed into a glorious ‘spring’ day and after a short delay for the mist to clear a light and variable wind from the ESE sector gently arrived presenting the race team and competitors a constant challenge. A simple windward/leeward course was set with the pre-start side of the line initially limited by a couple of fly casting fishermen who could not be convinced that the trout were actually elsewhere! Relations remained cordial.
The 14 skippers sailed as one fleet and the 2 lap plus beat to the finish course produced 5 different individual race winners during the day. The wind varied in direction and pressure sufficient that no one place on the start line gave consistent results but during the morning Richard Aucott benefitted most from good starts to the extent that by lunch he had won 6 of the 7 races sailed. At this stage Bob Conner was the only person to break Richards’s winning streak although several; others came close.
After the lunch break Richard’s consistency wavered a little. Shaun Priestley left for other duties as did Trevor Annels (Topper duty) after race 10. Rupert Preston won race 8 after returning at the start, sailing hard right to the previously unpopular starboard side of the first beat and found a zephyr to hit the front for a moment of glory. Craig Richards, recently transferred from SA and sailing his own design Greyhound managed a couple of wins during the afternoon and James Edwards also added 2 wins to a string of 2s and 3s.
Richard Aucott of Sedgemoor also managed a couple more wins during the afternoon to seal a deserved overall victory counting only 17 points from the 14 races sailed. James Edwards, Yeovil, was a clear and consistent second on 29 points and Bob Conner, Woodspring, completing the BritPOP trio on 42 points. John White, Bideford managed an excellent 4th showing some good windward speed in the later races and just 1 point ahead of Craig Richards in fifth.
Congratulations to Craig Richards of Windrush club on demonstrating how to convincingly win an event
The change of venue from Poole Park to Longham Lakes did not deter 20 skippers from turning up.
Peter Wiles OOD for the day set a triangular course across the lake with separate start and finish lines.
The weather conditions started with a reasonable breeze of about 15 mph coming across the lake enabling skippers to rig top suits.
With 2 fleets, the racing commenced at 10.00 AM with the B fleet seeding race.
A pattern soon emerged with Craig Richards Josh King and Tony Edwards all showing at the front of the A fleet. They were closely followed by Pete Smith together with James Edwards and Simon Clarke. Mike Cooke was also having a good day showing pace with his own design and build “Rocket”.
The wind gathered pace and by mid morning everyone had rigged B suit and small waves were forming. This was the story of the day as by afternoon the gusting wind got stronger and the waves bigger. Storm suits now decked every boat. Visibility was sometimes a problem when the low sun glared on the water
Peter Wiles changed the course by inserting a gate at the leeward end and after a few retirements the 2 fleets were reduced to a single fleet.
At 3.30 racing finished and everyone retired to the club house for prize giving.
Thanks was expressed to members of the Poole Club for their efforts in changing the venue at short notice and of course for their hospitality that they always show.
Congratulations to Nick Noble on a convincing win at Woodspring
Sunday 9th of December saw 14 competitors arrive at Portishead for the 2nd of the Winter series. However not everything went to plan. The OOD had been ill all night and phoned in sick.
Nick Martin with a borrowed V9 managed to lock himself out of his car with the sails inside and the hull outside. Graciously he spent the morning assisting the OOD until a spare set of keys arrived.
Most of the competitors rigged their boats with 2nd suit only to change to top suit as the wind dropped approaching the 10.00 o’clock start.
With the wind coming from the SW a course of windward, spreader and gate was laid across the bottom of the lake and racing commenced. The course being short 3 laps was ordered with the finish line being through the gate
Nick Noble won the first raced followed closely by Bob Conner and Richard Wills. The mornings racing saw these 3 along with Richard Aucott consistently at the front of the fleet.
Throughout the morning and indeed the day the wind stayed consistent in strength but not in direction. Several major course changes were necessary to accommodate this.
Mark Pressdee had travelled from Wales to try out his new boat for the first time. Unfortunately he suffered a few teething problems and had to retire early.
Richard Wills suffered a winch problem and sadly retired half way through the day,
A 40 minute lunch was given prior to the afternoons racing concluding at 3.30. This enabled people to travel home before dark.
Prize giving included the Annual Memorial Trophy. This trophy is given to the skipper who is deemed by the OOD to have sailed in the most gentlemanly manner (hopefully including good sailing skills). It was awarded to Nick Noble, making him a winner twice on the day.
Many thanks to Nick Crayman for taking on OOD at short notice and for the Woodspring members who observed and enabled the day to run smoothly. Thanks to Huw Gibby for the photos.
Richard Aucott wins the first of the Winter Series by a narrow margin.
Sunday 4th November saw a wet journey to Dartmoor. On arrival the rain stopped and the wind appeared consistent from a southerly direction.
With apologies from 2 skippers who had retracted their entries, 10 skippers took to the water all deciding on top suit.
PRO Jerry Lock had set a long course up the lake consisting of 2 roundings of windward, spreader & gate with the start also being the finish line. With the assistance of John Kiff and the Dartmoor team, observing was executed with precision.
Racing started punctually and continued for 4 races in succession prior to a quick coffee break.
Another 4 races continued mixed with a few small rain showers before stopping for early lunch.
At Dartmoor the weather does its own thing, so its best at this time of year to keep the race schedule running quickly as invariably the unexpected happens.
Lunch time saw Richard Aucott, Bob Conner, Peter Cropper and John White (all from different clubs) in the mix. All was to play for in the afternoon. Dave Morris from the hosting club was consistently 4th or 5th crossing the finishing line.
During the next session the rain showers continued and then at Race 10 low cloud or mist descended to partially hide the windward mark. This was taking sailing to an unknown level and navigation lights would have been useful. Fortunately the mist disappeared almost as quickly as it had come ready for race 11 to continue.
With the odd course change to suit the varying wind directions and another short break, 16 races were completed by 14.30.
After packing up and attending the prize giving most competitors were starting their journey home by 3.00pm following an enjoyable but hard days sailing.
Thanks to Dartmoor for putting on this winter event.