Great conditions at Gorleston for Act 6 of the Autumn series. The day started with sunshine and a warm F2 from the South and ended with overcast skies and a F3-4.
The day didn’t start too well for Phil when he realised he had forgotten the sail for his Contender so made do sailing the club Solution, despite the complaints of having to hike.
At the start of racing the upwind legs were aided by the flood tide. Team Ed shot ahead in the Spitfire followed by Curtis in his 700 and the 400’s with Dave & John just ahead after the first lap. Behind, the single handers were led by Steve in his Europe, just a few seconds ahead of the Laser Radials. With Team Ed lapping the entire fleet they got to sail and additional lap. Dave & John held their lead over the other 400’s to the finish and Steve extending his lead over the Lasers to just over 30 seconds. On corrected time Steve just beat Richard (Laser Radial), with Dave & John third.
By the start of race two the wind had increased to F3 with an increase in the sea state. Team Ed once again stormed ahead followed by a closely bunched RS fleet. After lap one Steve led the single handers just a few seconds ahead of Keith in his Laser Radial. Team Ed was on a mission and again lapped the entirely fleet. With the increase in sea state the off wind legs were providing some exciting surfing opportunities, particularly for the asymmetrics. With the faster boats completing extra laps the race team did another great job finishing everyone within a few minutes with Tom & Christine in the 505 finishing first after 42.20, which happened to be identical to their finishing time in race one! On corrected time the top three places were identical to race one.
During the racing the committee boat was joined by a visitor who spent some time watching the boats round the leeward gate!
The final race started at slack water. With both wind and sea state increasing slightly it was unsurprisingly to see a few capsizes. Richard & Robyn (RS400) led for a short while until overtaken by Team Ed. After the first lap the Spitfire was well ahead with Curtis heading the RS fleet. Steve once again led the single handers but with Phil, now getting to grips with the Solution only a few seconds behind. Team Ed couldn’t quite lap the entire fleet again but were close. At the line Richard & Robyn led the RS fleet, Steve leading the single handers and Phil holding off a final lap challenge from Richard in the Laser Radial. On corrected time Steve and Richard made it a 1,2 hat trick with Richard & Robyn taking third
Steve’s great form today now sees him lead the series by ten points and with only one more week to go looks hot favourite to take the series. However, the next five places are close so all depends on the final week. Many thanks to the race team for an excellent days sailing also acting as photographers for the day with over 80 pictures on the club Flickr site.
Fortunately the ‘summer’ weather continues and we enjoyed another warm, sunny day at Gorleston. With a warm F3 conditions were promising although the Easterly wind stirred up the sea to provide an interesting first 25 metres! The Solutions were out in force with all three club boats sailing and Steve was testing his ‘tin’ rig in his Europe.
In race one Phil A continued his good form from last week and led from start to finish in his Contender. Phil H, back from a windy RS700 Nationals which resulted in his boat now needing medical treatment, was sailing the club Solution to good effect finishing less than a minute behind with Richard, also in a Solution just behind. Once corrected times were calculated five seconds separated the first two boats with Phil H first and Steve second with Richard third.
In race two Curtis, also fresh back from the RS700 Nationals led from start to finish closely followed by Phil A. Things were closer in the chasing pack and after lap one only four seconds separated the next three boats led by Steve. However over the next two laps Phil H took over the lead with David, sailing his Solution a short distance behind. On corrected time Phil H made it two in a row with Steve recording another second and David third.
An exciting days sailing and a good day for the Solutions taking most of the podium places. Thanks to the race team for a well organised days racing and the ‘beach’ team for assisting in launching and recovery.
It was a beautiful sunny start to the day at Gorleston with a F2-3 from the NW and the sea a smooth as a broad. With many of the regular members either on holiday or attending championships the fleet was slightly reduced in numbers.
Race one started with a good flood tide still flowing causing a few late starts! The fleet split with some going inshore and some taking mid course route which, for a short while looked to be the best option as the wind filled in the middle of the course but unfortunately this was short lived and the inshore route proved the fastest to the windward mark. After lap one Team Ed, in a Spitfire were leading just ahead of the 505 of Tom and Angus. The wind became quite fickle for a while and on lap two Tom and Angus took the lead followed by Team Beckett in a RS400, finishing in that order, with the Spitfire third. As the rest of the fleet made their way down the final run to the line the wind shifted and increased turning the leg into a good broad reach to the line. On corrected time Team Beckett claimed victory with Richard second in his Solution (despite the fact he mistakenly put his small sail on) and Tom & Angus third.
After a quick adjustment to the course (Thanks Jamie & Pawel) race two got underway. Team Ed quickly established a big lead eventually lapping all bar ’Quick Phil’, who led the chasing pack.
The wind was now a good F3 from the NNE making for a much better sail with the asymmetrics planning off wind. Team Ed earned an extra lap for being so quick with Phil in his Contender a clear second across the line and easily winning on corrected time with Team Ed second and Team Beckett third.
It was almost slack water at the start of race three and the wind now a F3-4, with a few white horses (ponies really!) . Richard was no longing complaining about his sail choice ! The Spitfire once again shot into the lead and after three laps had a comfortable lead however, on the final lap helm, ‘Old Ed’ had an untimely dunking when the hook on his trapeze harness broke resulting in him leaving the boat in the sole charge of ‘Young Ed’, who was until that point enjoying his first ride in the catamaran! Although Ed managed to take the helm ultimately the cat capsized. Old Ed was about 50 metres from the boat but was eventually reunited with some help from the Safety crew. Back to the race and Phil was continuing his good form from race two and leading the fleet to the line. Second to finish was the consistent Team Beckett with Darell showing a good turn of speed in his Contender finishing third, which turned out to be how things finished on corrected time.
The Safety team were once again called upon for a rescue, this time it was only a hat which Richard lost when he and Keith capsized on their final gybe.
Once again the day concluded with lunch on the prom in glorious sunshine and temperature around 20 degrees, and the good news is that the forecast looks good for next Sunday!
Several photos of the days racing on the club Flickr site.
A busy weekend at the club which hosted the Solution Nationals. Thanks to everyone who gave up their time to help out making for a successful and enjoyable weekend for the club and hopefully for the Solution fleet.
Joe’s great Yachts & Yachting report below which he earned the right to compose having finished third overall !
After a grey forecast leading up to the weekend, 15 Solution sailors turned up to a sunny Norfolk coast for the 2021 Solution Nationals hosted by Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Sailing Club (gygsc.org.uk). Much to the trepidation of the pond sailors and sea sailors alike the first task of the day was getting into the sea. With F3/4 dead onshore and the launch scheduled at low tide, getting off the beach through the shorebreak and surf would be a test in itself. Fortunately a team of GYGSC members were on hand to lift each boat in, add the sailor and give them a shove between the waves to send them on their way, whether they were ready or not. The North Sea was on form offering the full sea sailing experience with large swell, some chop and flowing tides. The course of choice for the class this year was a P course, which gave the sailors a chance to test every point of sail.
Race One got away cleanly with Josh Hamer claiming his first of many bullets, with Kevin Clark second and Joe Crabb in third sailing the very first (of two) boats Kevin Clark had made in 2006 when starting the class. An impressive swift recovery from a capsize saw Kathryn Partington-Smith get back to 4th.
Race Two saw Josh with another win, followed by Jack Turnbull and Joe in third. Race 3 saw Josh step aside for Jack to take the win with some impressive upwind speed, with Josh second and Kathryn third. Lots of surfing waves and long reaches gave for some exciting sailing with surprisingly few capsizes.
The next job was to get back on shore safely with the surf still rolling onto the leeshore. Sailors queued up taking it in turn to sail downwind directly at the brave GYGSC members who were standing waist deep in the surf ready to catch and turn boats head to wind and lift them out.
Once dry, there was a short AGM discussing exciting developments with a new boat builder Peak Dinghies (www.peakdinghy.com ). This was followed by what could only be described as a banquet of food and drink put on by GYGSC at the sailing club enjoying beachfront views. As everyone hobbled/ stumbled back home, to their tents in the boat park or hotel, Josh was sitting in first, Jack second and Joe in third. During the evening Joe was to learn that the unwritten rule in the fleet was who finishes third and has to write the report!
Day Two was Day One ‘lite’, with 8 to 10 knots from the East. Launching and recovery was the same slick operation but less adrenaline fueled. The race officer opted for a Starboard rounding course to work with the tide, this certainly stopped people getting stuck on the windward mark, but did make for some interesting boat on boat action at times.
Race 4 saw Josh and Joe OCS, they were kindly informed a couple of 100m up the beat and after ducking back tried their best to get up through the fleet. The caliber of the whole fleet was clear to see as gaining places once at the back was easier said than done! Kathryn took the win, followed by Iain Wilkinson and Mike Gower in third (sailing the second Clark -built boat).
By Race 5 saw the two Clark boats leading the fleet with with Mike leading Joe for the first lap, Joshes up wind speed shone threw taking the win ahead of Mike and Joe in his usual spot, the tide was starting to kick in across the race course and the wind was easing at times, with many sailors being caught out and a lot of place changes as a result.
The final race saw another win for Josh, followed by Kathyn in second. Mike finished in third showing he clearly has form in the lighter winds and maybe a sea convert being a local sailor at the inland Hickling Sailing Club!
Overall we saw a clear winner (taking the win even if you didn’t give him a discard!) Josh Hamer who learnt his trade at GYGSC many moons ago now from Glossop SC taking both the National Champion Title and the Masters Trophy. Kathryn Partington-Smith also from Glossop taking second, Joe Crabb from Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Sailing Club taking third along with writing the race report “award”. The Ted Funnell Memorial Trophy for the centre of mid fleet went to Stuart Jones and a special shout out to Tim Clarke, winner of the “Sheep Dog Trophy” chasing getting everyone around every race.
Thanks go out to GYGSC which did a fabulous job at hosting some excellent courses set in a timely manner by the race management team, so many club members volunteering their time to catch and launch sailors on the beach in addition to providing rescue cover and preparing and serving the wonderful meals. Please do come and visit GYGSC; with prevailing southwesterly winds, the task of launching is rarely as exciting as it was this weekend. A personal thank you to GYGSC for having a club owned Solution and allowing me to take part in an excellent weekend of racing with it and thank you to the Solution Class for being so welcoming. Also thank you also to all the competitors taking time to travel to Norfolk, a county that is beautiful but famously far from everywhere in the UK.
With such a friendly and sociable fleet, with everyone sharing tips and people improving throughout, the weekend made for some close racing throughout the fleet. The Solution is a wonderful boat to sail, I would recommend everyone try one out or persuade your club to buy one! It has the additional perk that the Solution has a very similar PY to a ILCA 7/ Laser (1092 vs 1100) so you can enjoy fleet racing with them but in comparative comfort. (http://www.solutionclass.org/ or facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/151010924993/
The Safety boat team were busy taking photo’s with over three hundred on the club Flickr site :- GYGSC’s albums | Flickr
By popular demand the Thursday Finale was held allowing one more evening sailing session. It was overcast but warm with a NE F2-3 breeze making for a pleasant evenings sailing.
All seven boats were singlehanders with the Lasers being the biggest fleet.
After the first lap in race one the first four rounded the leeward gate only a few seconds apart with Joe leading the pack. After the second and final lap Joe and Richard led across the line making it a Solution one, two finish for the Solutions however the Lasers were only a few seconds behind with Mark beating Richard by 2 seconds on corrected time.
Race two saw the Solutions in the lead after the first lap with Richard just ahead of Joe. Rob, sailing the club Phantom was also in the mix having realised he hadn’t put any rig tension on in the first race. In the final lap Joe sneaked past Richard to take line honours and another win, with Richard in second beating Mark by 8 seconds. As they say, every second counts.
Back onshore the evening was drawing in and Richard had come prepared with his late night boat packing tool, his son’s headlight which proved extremely useful.
With the temperature still in the high teens we decided to finish the night testing Phil’s new lighting system by having supper and beer on the prom. Many thanks to Phil and Des for arranging the nights racing, a great way to finish the seasons Thursday evening sessions. Good luck to our Solution Team of David, Joe & Richard as we welcome the Solution fleet to our club for their National Championship this coming weekend.
There was a lively Northerly blowing down the coast on arriving at the club, with the forecast suggesting the wind would be increasing gradually throughout the day. With the Open meeting next weekend being sailed around a P course the race team, after some discussion announced they would give this a try.
Eleven boats lined the beach awaiting their turn to be launched as the surf was on occasions more suitable for surfers!
The flood tide made for a tough beat which saw Richard & Ed (RS400) and Phil (Contender) quickly open up a good lead over the rest of the fleet. With two reaches the ‘P’ didn’t favour those with spinnakers as the wind and sea state had become more challenging. Rob and Tom (Xenon) had been coping well in the conditions until their jib halyard failed which resulted in a tow back to shore. The RS400 finished well clear but on corrected time had to settle for second behind Steve (Europe) who had managed to keep ahead of the Lasers and Solution..
The wind was a good F4 at the start of race two and a few had decided to head for the shore. Richard B, in his nice new shiny Solution led from start to finish but not far behind was Richard F in his Laser Radial who won by just four seconds on corrected time.
Thanks to the race team who apart from having to lay twice the normal number of marks also had quite a busy time assisting a few who took to the water.
It was the first of the Autumn series at Gorleston but thankfully the weather was still in summer mode with sunshine and temperatures in the mid twenties.
Richard and Joe were seen on the prom with a tape-measure checking settings and comparing notes, only three weeks until the Solution Nationals!
The day proved a testing time for all with a shifty and gusty F3-4 Westerly, resulting in several capsizes. Three races, three different leaders at the windward mark (all 400’s) and three different race winners, all single handers !
Twelve boats launched with the majority singlehanders ranging from a Europe to a RS700
Race one- Phil & Lorna, fresh from their success in winning the Summer series were first to windward mark. Dave & John (400) slipped past on the run to lead up to the finish. Carl (Laser) sailed a great first lap rounding the leeward gate second but eventually overhauled by Phil (Contender) and Steve G (D-One) but winning on corrected time by a minute and a half.
The pre-race bimbling obviously paid off for the Solutions who claimed the next two places with Joe finishing just over ten seconds in front of Richard after a race long battle.
Race two- Joe, along with Don and new crew Angus port tacked the fleet at the start of race two with the latter leading at the windward mark. Curtis (RS700) stormed down the run to take the lead after lap one. Dave & John slipped into the lead after lap two closely followed by Steve G. Behind Steve W (Europe), having fixed his main halyard during race one was keeping in touch with the faster singlehanders to win on corrected time with Joe second and Dave & John third.
Race three- Dave & John led at windward mark maintaining this to the finish. Behind, Phil and Joe were only a few seconds apart after lap one but Phil, showing a good turn of speed upwind opening up a good lead at the finish. On corrected time it was a Solution 1, 2 with Joe beating Richard by 30 seonds and Steve W finishing third.
After the first days sailing Joe heads the leaderboard, one point ahead of Steve W. Thanks to the Race team for a cracking days sail and for a few, some swimming. And to end the day many of us enjoyed dinner and a beer on the prom in glorious sunshine.
The Race team were also busy taking pictures with over ninety now on the club Flickr site.
With a strong sea breeze and a few white horses there was some deliberating before a late call to go out sailing. However, by the time everyone was lining up for the start of race one the sea breeze had eased to a F3 and had shifted from SE to S. For the first half of race one there was a nasty short chop to deal with but eventually the sea flattened out as the wind steadily decreased throughout the evening. The initial thoughts of a P course were changed and we reverted to the standard W/L.
As the boats prepared themselves for the first start the tide was still ebbing. Everyone decided to cross the line on starboard with Phil & Lorna (RS400) quickly tacking inshore as the others continued offshore. At the finish Phil & Lorna had a good lead and held their time on handicap to take the win. It was a close finish for the Richard’s with Mr Brown in his Solution just beating Mr Foster (Laser) over the line by two seconds but on corrected time Mr Foster claimed second.
By the time race two got under way it had become overcast with the wind now a F2 with a hint of west in it. With the last remains of the ebb tide still evident everyone headed inshore up the beat. Phil & Lorna, in the fastest boat rightly led the fleet round the course. Richard B and Phil (Contender) were only a few seconds apart for the first two laps rounding the leeward gate together on lap two, but on the final lap Richard opened up a short lead on Phil. As the boats finished the wind had dropped to a F1 making for a very leisurely end to the evening. On corrected time Richard B claimed first with Phil & Lorna second.
As we headed back inshore the sun was setting and any longer on the water may well have it necessitated navigation lights. Once ashore many of us stayed to indulge in a beer and Chef Brown’s cooking.
With just two weeks to go one point separates the top two, Richard and Mark, with Phil & Lorna still in striking distance. Will it be Solution, Laser or RS400 that takes overall glory?
We arrived about 5.30 and it was still a bit windy, the forecast was for it to drop so we got the boats round once we had enough people , by the time we were on the beach and ready to launch the wind dropped off (a bit too much) but still a lovely sail, it was a lovely warm evening, young Angus done well again, Joe was on form again making the club solution fly again First over the water in both races
Thank race team as per the forecast the wind dropped, it dropped a bit to much but still a lovely sail. Thanks Phil Alison helping us launch and waiting for us to come in !
Despite earlier forecasts of possible thunderstorms the day passed without any rain or thunder. It did however start and finish with restricted visibility as a light sea mist arrived. Thankfully, for most of the days racing we could at least see the windward mark!
The race officer suggested four short races rather than the usual three race format to provide some additional starting practise. A small but select fleet launched with a light NNE wind which shifted just before we started race one. This set the scene for the days sailing with the wind direction and strength changing regularly. The race team quickly moved the windward mark and racing got underway.
David B, sailing a Solution set the pace in race one managing to hold off the challenge from the two RS400’s right up to the line, with Richard & Robyn crossing just ahead of Phil & Lorna. On corrected time it was a 1,2 for the Solutions with David H, sailing the club boat second.
The RS400’s owned race two quickly establishing a big lead on the rest of the fleet which was led by Adrian sailing his D-One. At the finish Richard & Robyn just beat Phil & Lorna but both were over four minutes ahead of the next boat resulting in a 1,2 for the 400’s.
The fleet were evenly split halfway up the first beat in race three however a shift favoured those on the left hand side of the course with Richard & Robyn the biggest winners rounding the mark well ahead followed by David B. At the finish Richard & Robyn had built up a sizeable lead and completed an additional lap, comfortably winning on corrected time with David H second.
After another wind shift race four turned into a bit of a drag race at times. The 400’s led the way round but David H was close enough behind to win on corrected time with Richard & Robin second and Ed, sailing his Splash third.
Thanks to the race team for an interesting and testing days sailing and dealing with the changing conditions well. And thanks to all who stayed behind to help relay the ‘ramp’ which now provides a much smoother run onto the beach.
The race team also managed to find time to take a few pictures which are now on the club Flickr site.