2024 – Start of Season

After a very pleasant and warm Saturday there was a chill in the air when we arrived at the club on Sunday for the Start of Season Trophy. However, the sun was out, the sea was flat and there was a F2-3 westerly, so sailing wise it looked pretty good.

Richard mid-gybe

By the time race one started it was noticeably warmer. The race team set the usual windward- leeward course, adding a spacer mark to counteract the flood tide. The offshore wind, F2-3 mainly Westerly, but WNW when gusting.

As on many occasions 700 Phil was soon well ahead of the main fleet but Phantom Nick was going well both upwind and down and heading off the two 400’s who were in hot pursuit, Richard & Robyn putting in a great first lap having been over a minute late to the line. Phil and Nick slowly pulled away from the others and were rewarded with an extra lap. The two 400’s had a race long battle with only a few seconds between them on each lap. Behind, Solution Paul and Phantom Phil were neck and neck most of the race with Phil pulling ahead in the final lap, behind them the two Vareos and Laser were also vying for position with Keith crossing the line first.  700 Phil took line honours but on corrected time Nick won by over three minutes with Solution Paul second and Phantom Phil third.

Approaching the leeward mark – watch out….. RS700 fast approaching

Race two, still sunny, a tad warmer with some slightly bigger gusts. 700 Phil was soon ahead but this time had solitary sail eventually lapping some of the fleet. After lap one Nick was two seconds ahead of Richard & Robyn who were four seconds ahead of Adam & Jordan. Nick managed to stay just ahead up to the line, Adam & Jordan overtook Richard and & Robyn on the second lap and stayed ahead until the final leg to the line where Richard & Robyn just sneaked across the line first. Next were Paul and Phantom Phil who once again spent the race neck and neck with Phil crossing the line just five seconds ahead.  Ten seconds separated the Vareos and Laser after lap one with Keith one second ahead of Richard. On lap three Jamie pulled ahead and had opened up a good lead by the line. On corrected time Paul won by over two minutes with Nick second and a charge in the second half of the race by Jamie took him to third, just 14 seconds behind Nick.

700 Phil heads upwind with the following fleet head for the leeward gate

Race three, still sunny, even warmer and still gusty. It was approaching high water so the tide was easing. 700 Phil made a quick dash for the lead and proceeded to open up a big gap at the line. After lap one Nick was just ahead of Adam & Jordan. A little way back Phantom Phil led the closely packed fleet. Paul led Jamie for the first four laps but on the final lap Jamie pulled ahead to lead at the line. Richard & Robyn were having ‘one of those races’ and performed some very entertaining gate rounding’s, sadly the official photographer for the day was a bit slow with the camera ! The Vareos were having a good tussle until Keith’s main halyard cleat parted company with his mast resulting in a reduced and full rig. However, some on water bimbling made for a good enough repair to enable Keith to finish the race. On corrected time Jamie’s late burst was enough to take the win by eight seconds, with Paul second and Nick two minutes behind in third.

It proved not to be a good day for the faster boats. Three races, three different winners in three different classes.  One point separating the top three, Paul claiming overall victory with Nick second and Jamie third.

By the time we were back onshore and sitting in front of the clubhouse having lunch, sheltered from the wind it was tee shirt weather, more of this please.

Big thanks to Ed for helping out the race team. Next week’s forecast currently looking good, 10-12 mph, somewhere between North and West, depending on which weather site you look at !

Plenty of time if you haven’t already got your boat ready.

Results are on the club web site http://www.gygsc.org.uk/Results/2024/2024SOS.htm

Pictures are on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/gygsc/albums/

Phil practicing his hand signals