Autumn Series Act 4 – Wind first from the west… then from the east!

Despite being mid September the sun was shining and the temperature around 20 degrees, so it felt more like the Summer series than the Autumn. As we rigged the boats on the prom the water was only 20 metres from the ramp, and it was still not quite high water! Twelve boats launched onto a very flat sea, the wind at this point was off shore which usually means shifty conditions.

Nick (D-One) won the hotly fought pin end of the line at the start of race one. With the remains of the flood tide still evident most boats headed inshore initially before tacking for the mark. Richard & Robyn (RS400) stayed further off shore and found more breeze and out-paced and out-pointed the entire fleet to round the windward mark with a clear lead which they held to the finish. Dave & John finished next, over two minutes behind followed by a closely packed group with Karl (Laser) just edging Richard & Tony (Xenon) for third place on corrected time.

In race two Ed & Joe (Spitfire) led the fleet and after lap one had established a good lead.  However on approaching the windward mark on lap two the wind became light and patchy which does not suit the cats at which point they watched their lead diminish as Dave & John and Nick caught them up. They did hold onto the lead to cross the line first with Nick making a late surge overtaking Dave & John just before the line and winning on corrected time. Dave & John were second with Anna & Keith third having enjoyed a great second lap, in fact the only boat to achieve a sub 20 minute time on lap two. By compassion Ed & Joe’s first lap was a sub 13 minute and their second lap was over 21 minutes.

Just before the final race was underway the sea breeze kicked in requiring the race team to perform a quick coursectomy. By the time we started the wind was a pleasant F2-3 Easterly and provided the best racing of the day. Dave & John slowly edged ahead crossing the line with a small lead to win, close behind were Richard & Robyn with Nick third.

We are now halfway through the Autumn series and the RS400’s are laying down the gauntlet to the other classes with a clean sweep of the podium places.

Full results here

Autumn Series Act 3 – A good Northerly…..for a while !

As we travelled down the Acle straight towards Gorleston we noticed that  none of the wind turbines at Scroby were moving which was a little disconcerting considering the forecast of 15 mph. As we were rigging the boats on the prom the wind gradually picked up and by the time race one got underway there was a nice F3-4 from the North.

Twelve boats launched with two opting to cruise around while ten lined up at the start line. With the race starting just before low water there was the remains of the ebb tide which assisted the upwind legs. Nick (D-One) led after lap one closely followed by Dave & John (400). Behind a three way battle between Richard & Robyn (400), Simon & Bruce (400) and Steve (D-One). Although Dave & John managed to pass Nick on lap two Nick stormed up the third beat to regain the lead which he extended on lap four crossing the line well ahead to take the win on corrected time with Dave & John second.  Just behind the rest of the fleet of asymmetrics were the singlehanders of Karl (Laser) and Steve (Europe) who had remained in contention with Karl beating Steve by six seconds to claim third place.

Race two started in slack water with a lumpy swell from the NE now evident. The wind by this time had decreased and become shifty. After lap one Dave & John had a small lead over Nick who was just ahead of the rest of the fleet led by Richard & Robyn and Keith & Jack (500). Positions remained unchanged for the next two laps but on the final lap Dave & John found some extra pace opening up their lead crossing the line clear ahead and winning on corrected time. The singlehanders were again close enough to edge out the other asymmetrics with Karl claiming second and Steve third.

During the race we enjoyed the sight of the Minerva tall ship, which was in Yarmouth for the Maritime Festival sailing out of the harbour and staying just offshore to our sailing area before heading back into the harbour.

The flood tide had set in at the start of race three. Whilst it had remained dry there were some ominous looking clouds inshore and to the north with signs of rain beneath. Three 400’s led the fleet up the first beat. In the shifty conditions the lead was changing regularly with all three taking the lead at some point. Fifty metres from the windward mark Simon & Bruce had a small lead however lost out following a big shift allowing Dave & John to sneak thro to round the mark first. After the first lap Dave & John, Richard & Robyn and Nick had opened up a gap on the rest of the fleet. Simon & Bruce unfortunately suffering downwind as they no longer could use their spinnaker. On lap three Dave & John managed to open up a gap and which they maintained to the finish. Nick hooked up to a good breeze on the final downwind leg and almost caught Richard & Robyn at the finish.  On corrected time Dave & John recorded their second win but the positions of the next four boats were close with Steve this time beating Karl for second.

As we headed for shore the clouds had cleared resulting in a lovely afternoon and we basked in sunshine as we had lunch on the prom.

Thanks to the race team for managing a good days sailing and for everyone who helped with the landing of the RIBS at the end of the day.

Full results here

Autumn Series Act 2 – A shifty offshore breeze

With the wind coming off the cliffs it was fair to expect that the wind was going to be shifty and gusty. The sea was flat as the proverbial pancake and thankfully the beach was much less crowded than last week. Richard was a little delayed getting launched as he was sailing his Solution this week and the centreboard had jammed which required some force and some unpleasant ‘grunching’ noises as he freed it off.

The race team set a good sized windward leeward course with the addition of a spacer mark. In race one Phil (700) and Ed & Lou (Spitfire) sailed away from the fleet on the first lap with Phil eventually finishing well ahead and easily winning on corrected time. Behind the 400’s of Dave & John and visitors Simon & Bruce were having a close tussle with the former crossing the line just ahead. Richard’s pre-race boat maintenance paid off as he finished close enough to claim second on corrected time.

Phil had another storming first lap in race two opening up a good lead, assisted by a lovely breeze downwind which saw him go almost to the gate on one reach. Unfortunately for the others the breeze eased up as they made their way downwind. Having opened up such a good lead Phil got to do an additional lap and almost caught the fleet up to win once again. Dave & John led the rest of the fleet home to take second on corrected time.

By this time the wind was now becoming very shifty with some gusts blowing across the course making it easy to gain, or lose many places….. or even capsize!  In the final race of the day the fleet were closely bunched as they reached the windward mark.  Phil once again leading the way with Phil ‘Two’ finding the go button on his Contender rounding next closely followed by the 400’s. On the following laps the wind around the windward mark was becoming very unpredictable, sometimes barely any wind and sometimes a good hiking breeze, this lead to the fleet becoming well spread. Dave & John spoilt Phil’s run of wins with Phil finishing second and Richard & Tony (Xenon) putting in a great last lap to claim third.

Many thanks to the race team of Phil, Lorna & Matt for three good races and setting a great course in shifty wind conditions.  Good luck to Phil next week as he travels to the RS700 Nationals, based on this week he is in good form.  

Full results here

Thursday Finale – Encore

The enthusiasm for one more Thursday started early with several suggesting they would be up for one more sail on the ‘GYGSC Thursdays’ WhatsApp group. And with the weather forecasting provided by Phil we were sure to have great sailing conditions!

As it happened Phil’s forecast turned out to be bang on with a warm F3 WSW breeze. Eleven boats took to the water for two races with the Lasers out in force with 5 boats. Although not sailing Chris kindly stayed and helped most of the boats launch as the sea was a bit ‘lumpy’.   With a flooding tide throughout the evenings racing the race team set a starboard  windward-leeward course with a spacer 100 metres up tide of the windward mark.

In race one the Lasers of Tamsin and Keith and the RS400 of Phil & Lorna opened up a good lead on the rest of the fleet, with Tasmin taking line honours and the race win by 6 seconds over Keith.  During the race the wind proved quite shifty and although predominantly WSW was moving between W and SW, so lots of opportunities to make or lose position. Despite this the rest of the fleet remained closely bunched finishing within a minute of each other with Steve, sailing his Europe taking third, just ahead of Richard F in his Laser

Race two saw Richard B, sailing his Solution getting caught out by the tide and over at the start. Tamsin and Keith continued their battle with the lead swapping a number of times during the race. As the leading boats approached the spacer mark on the final lap the wind shifted to the SW and increased to a F3-4 providing a great reach to the line with most of the boats planning through the waves.  Richard B, benefitting from the extra wind pulled ahead of the main fleet and almost caught the two leading Lasers at the line. In the main pack the racing had been close all race and the next five boats crossed the line within 50 seconds of each other. On corrected time Tamsin made it two wins out of two, beating Keith by six seconds again, with Richard B, recovering well and putting in the best lap time of the race on the last lap to take third.

Landing back ashore proved interesting with a very confused sea and despite the flood tide still running the water near the beach was clearly flowing north, the best evidence I’ve seen of the eddy formed by the outer harbour. Back on shore we all finishing packing up the boats in semi darkness but all agreed it had been a lovely evening sailing. Thanks to Phil and Lorna for organising supper once again. Roll on Thursday’s 2020.

Full results here

Autumn Series Act 1 – Just have a little patience!

Taking note from a line from a well known Take That track played off for Act One of the Autumn series.  As it approached the scheduled start time we sat on the prom, temperature in the high twenties but virtually no wind. It was decided to postpone the start in the hope of a sea breeze arriving. As we waited the beach was becoming very crowded as people were taking advantage of the Costa Del Gorleston conditions so getting the boats to the shoreline could prove a challenge. The wait proved too long for a few who decided to head home. However, just before midday the first signs of breeze arrived which triggered much activity on the prom as boats were made ready to launch. 

At the start of race one the sea breeze up built to a F1-2 with the sea like a mill pond and just a hint of flood tide. Steve (Europe) was first to cross the line followed by Phil, sailing his 400 solo as the crew had mutinied and had gone SUP-ing! With a couple of boats a tad late getting to the start the race was shortened to one lap. Solo Phil crossed the line first just ahead of Adrian (D-One) and Chris & Keith (500) third. With Steve finishing just a few minutes later he took the win on corrected time with Phil second and Adrian third.

With the fleet now at full strength race two got underway. Phil (700), sporting his brand new mainsail was first to the windward mark followed by Tom & Will (505). Phil (400) had now gained a crew for the race with John swapping RIB for 400. With Phil (700) well clear after two laps he headed off for a third. The race was then shortened with Tom & Will first to finish with the rest of the fleet finishing within forty seconds of each other. On corrected time Steve made it two in a row with Phil (700) second and Tom & Will third. 

Sadly the sea breeze had started to fade as race two finished and with it a change of wind direction to the SSE and so the race team made a quick course change. With the tide now at full flow there was a strong likelihood of an early starter which proved to be the case with two boats over at the start. In the light flaky winds it was slow progress to the windward mark. Despite the difference in handicaps the fleet arrived at the mark close together. Steve, having just rounded decided he needed to cool off and capsized but a rapid recovery meant he lost little distance. It was even slower progress back to the leeward gate ! Phil (700) and Adrian, having immediately gybed and headed inshore were initially looking well ahead of the others and set to  reach the gate in good time. However, as they got close to shore the wind faded.  With everyone now struggling against the tide the race team moved the finish line closer to the fleet. In the light winds spinnakers were becoming harder to fly so most decided to drop them. Steve, having found some wind mid course at one time looked have moved into the lead but that was short lived as the wind moved across the course. After over half an hour Phil crossed the line with Adrian crossing a couple of minutes later. With Steve crossing a few minutes later it was close enough to claim a clean sweep with Adrian second and Phil third. 

It was a slow drag against the tide back to the club. By this time the beach was extremely crowded with the shoreline packed with paddlers and swimmers. Thankfully the on-duty Lifeguard did a splendid job of crowd control clearing a space for us to land the boats and get to the prom. Considering the conditions we probably caught the best ‘wind window’ and managed to get two good races and one ‘not so good’ race in what was a beautiful day which was anything but Autumnal.

Full results here

The Thursday Finale !

With the official Thursday Evening series ending a few weeks ago the keener sailors were still up for a sail on Thursdays, however last week the sea conspired against us but this week conditions looked very good when we first arrived at Gorleston.  A lovely sunny evening with a warm F3-4 wind from the SW. The sea did look a big lumpy but the surf was small so launching was no problem.

Nine boats took to the water comprising of six classes with the Lasers the biggest fleet with three boats.  It was nice to see Don back on the water after a lay off due to a cycling incident and sailing his 400 with daughter Hattie and they were joined by team ‘Phil & Will’ in the new club 400 giving it its first outing of the year.

‘El Commode’ and better half were kind enough to volunteer to run the racing and set a Windward -Leeward course. As we started race one the wind decided to ease and became very shifty, coming from the west at times. Despite this being an unofficial race series everyone was keen to get the prime position on the start which saw Tamsin (Laser) pushed out at the start. Steve, fresh from his trip to mix it with the Europes at Overy Staithe nailed the start and led the fleet up the beat, which had now became a little one sided. At the windward mark Dave (300) rounded first, closely followed by Don & Hattie and then the two Lasers of Joe and Keith.   The downwind leg proved testing at times with light winds and lumpy sea.  Apparently team Phil & Will were seen trawling the spiny at some point!  With the wind shifting to the west the race team wisely shortened the course after two laps with Dave claiming line honours with Joe and Keith second and third.

The race team quickly readjusted the course for race two.  Steve again nailed the start and initially led the fleet up the beat, it appears that his weekend trip has sharpened up his starting!  Dave reached the windward mark first closely followed by Tamsin who had picked the best route up the beat to lead the other Lasers by some distance.  Joe had the misfortune to suffer a kicker failure at start of the race and whilst upwind this was not such a problem downwind proved very tricky given the ‘sloppy’ sea conditions. Dave crossed the line first but Tamsin managed to hold her position on the water. On corrected time it was very close with Tamsin winning, Dave a few seconds behind and Steve a few more seconds behind.

Arriving ashore

As we sailed ashore the sun was setting but it was still quite warm. Several said the conditions were usual as the wind eased but the sea remained very ‘lumpy’.  Those who were last to finish packing their boats away did so in darkness. As we sat around the table eating supper our ever enthusiastic Commodore was heard to say ‘what about one more Thursday!’, realistically we agreed daylight hours were now getting a challenge and none of us had navigation lights. Thanks to Phil and Lorna for giving up their sailing to man the RIB and let us enjoy another pleasant evening at Gorleston.

Full results here

3 Buoys Challenge Act 2

It was a warm but cloudy start for Act 2 of the 3 Buoys Challenge series. Although the forecast was for a good breeze the wind was a light, but shifty SW’erly with some gusts. As the eight boats ventured out to the start one boat was seen to take a very early swim only 100 metres from leaving the shore ! There was still a bit of flood tide running as race one got underway. The fleet split with some boats remaining offshore in the tide and others heading straight inshore. As the boats approached the windward mark the first five boats were closely packed with Richard & Carol rounding first followed by Anna & Keith then Phil & Lorna. At the leeward mark Richard & Carol rounded first a couple of boat lengths ahead of Dave & John. These two remained neck and neck with both leading at some point until the fourth beat when the former opened a good gap which they held to the finish. After a slow start Steve managed to up the pace to finish third. By the time race two started the wind had picked up somewhat and continued to be shifty and gusty with only four starters. Dave & John led for two laps until Richard & Carol sneaked past on the run to take race honours again with Steve second. As we headed for shore the clouds cleared so we all enjoyed lunch on the prom basking in sunshine.

 

 

Full results here…

 

Lowestoft Race series

It was a warm sunny day for the Lowestoft Race series with a light breeze. An alternative race format was agreed with the ‘Lowestoft’ mark laid closer to Gorleston with two laps to be sailed.
The two Catamarans, David in his Shadow and Ed sailing his Spitfire quickly opened a lead and after the first lap were nearly 15 minutes ahead of the dinghies. Richard & Robyn (RS400) led the dinghies by a few minutes with the rest of the fleet relatively close together. After the second lap the Cats were 24 minutes ahead with David crossing the line first after 71 minutes and winning on corrected time by over 5 minutes. Richard & Robyn were second and Steve third, proving the new club Phantom has good pace.
For the second race the format reverted back to our now traditional windward leeward course. With both Cats opting to sit this one out it was an all dinghy affair. Tom & Will (505) set the pace leading on all four laps completing the course in 54 minutes and nearly two minutes ahead of Richard & Robyn. After nearly one hours racing only 13 seconds separated the first three boats on corrected time with Anna & Keith (RS500) claiming the win and Richard & Robyn beating Steve by just 2 seconds.

 

 

Full results here…

 

Last of the Thursday Evening series

There was a fresh and shifty NW’erly for the final outing of the Thursday evening series. Nine boats launches with all but one single-handers. The ’new’ club Phantom (more news about that later) was given its maiden outing in the hands of the Club Commodore.
By the time race one started the wind had shifted a tad to the west making for a port bias start line and hence a busy port end at the start. The flood tide made for a long beat which saw most of the fleet heading for the shore. However, the wind was lighter inshore resulting in little difference between routes. Ed (Spitfire) led after lap one followed by Dave (RS300). Behind, two Lasers were just a few seconds apart with Karl was just ahead of Keith. Offshore was the route to go for lap two with Karl rounding the windward mark first (Ed by this time had decided to the ‘Cat’ for a blast rather than race). In the final downwind leg Dave just managed to take the lead to cross the line first, with Karl just a few seconds behind. On corrected time it was a Laser 1,2,3 with Karl just beating Mark (who on arriving late mistakenly picked up a Radial rig for the club Laser and so was a tad under-powered) by just 6 seconds with Keith in third spot.

The wind had eased a little for race two and was less shifty. The fleet remained fairly close together for the first lap. Dave opened up a small lead on lap two crossing the line first with Phantom Phil next and Keith just behind. Despite sailing the slowest boat in the fleet Steve kept his Europe in contact with the main pack to the finish, however the lighter wind proved a challenge for Mark in the Radial rig who struggled to keep up and was a few minutes behind. On corrected time it was a convincing win for Keith with Karl riding his luck again beating Steve by just a second for second place.
Many thanks to the race team of Adrian and Ed and to Lorna who ensured supper was ready for us .
There were 20 entries to the series ranging from a Topper to a RS700. Lasers were the predominant class with eight entries. Overall it was a Richard 1,2,3. Richard Brown taking overall honours in his Solution. Richard Fryer second in his RS300 and Richard Foster third in his Laser.
Whilst it was the last of the programmed Thursday Evening sailing, it’s not over yet !!
Next week will be Fun Thursday One – which will see a different course set, we have a few ideas and will be racing whilst daylight permits followed by supper in the club.
The Beeb forecast for next Thursday is looking good so make sure you are there.

Full results here…

 

Summer series Act 6 – Shifty winds and some gusts

Sunshine, a warm F2 -3 westerly wind and a flat sea made for very pleasant conditions at Gorleston for Act 6 of the Summer series.
The tide was still ebbing at the start of race one and the shifty offshore wind made for a testing beat. Throughout the race the whole fleet were fairly close. Richard & Carol (RS400) led the charge crossing the line 50 seconds ahead of the next boat Dave & John (RS400). Just behind them the D-One’s were having a close battle for line honours with Steve just beating Nick by a boat length. Karl Buck headed the Lasers putting in a great second lap and winning the race on corrected time with Richard & Carol second. Only eight seconds separated sixth to ninth places with Steve just squeezing sixth.

Start of race 1
Start of race 1

With the wind swinging to the SW the race team moved the windward mark south a tad. The tide by this time was beginning to ease. There were also periods of light wind and some gusts making choosing your downwind course critical although a crystal ball would have helped ! Dave & John were first to pick up a gust which enabled them to open up a short lead which they held to the finish. Richard & Carol and Nick were enjoying some close racing until lap three with the former pulling away to open up a good lead. On corrected time these three claimed the first three places with Karl just ahead of the rest to claim fourth.

RS400's rounding the leeward mark
RS400’s rounding the leeward mark

Race three saw a three way battle between the RS400’s of Richard & Carol, Richard & Robyn and Dave & John. For the first two laps these three were neck and neck with many changes of places. However, on the second downwind Richard and Carol opted to go right, Dave & John left and Richard and Robyn staying in the middle of the course. Unfortunately for Richard & Robyn they could only sit and watch as the others both caught some breeze and sailed away. Behind Nick and Gareth (Phantom) were also having close tussle with nothing behind them after two laps. On the final lap the two leading RS400’s rounded the windward mark together, Richard and Carol just ahead and opting to head over to the left, David & John head right. On the line Richard & Carol crossed one second ahead to claim line and race honours. Karl claimed his second podium place just a few seconds ahead of the next two boats.

Race 3 - close race to the finish
Race 3 – close race to the finish

Many thanks to the race team of Anna, Keith, Chris & Tim for a testing days sailing in delightful conditions.

Full results here…