Asymmetric Open: Langstone SC (15th / 16th September)

There were plenty of boats for the Asymmetric Open but unfortunately not many ISOs; this was a great pity because the conditions over the weekend offered something for everyone.

Light winds, glorious sunshine and flat water as we completed the 3 races on Saturday. Bob and Luke (sponsored by Cousin Trestec) got off to a flying start in race 1, first to the first two marks, but some excuse about the kite halyard meant everyone went through them at the leeward buoy and they finished in fourth.

Richard and Matt narrowly missed the downwind buoy and took up the position they retained for virtually every race, at the front in first place. The other two races followed a similar pattern with close sailing between the remaining fleet. Lovely refreshments courtesy of the Langstone Club and a pleasant late summer evening to reflect upon the days sailing (although Colin dashed off to Gloucestershire to play a gig with his band).

After the first days racing it was obvious Farter and Chunder were on top form and the rest of us had to sort out the pecking order for second, third and fourth.

Sunday, another day and a completely different game to play. Although the sun was shining there was one hell of a breeze. At 12.45 we all stood on the slipway thinking about the options; to sail or not to sail? Mike Lillywhite suggested we watch the Laser 2000 fleet try to launch before we made our decision. There were a few interesting collisions as the 2000’s left the shore and just after the gust of 25 knots (see CAMBERMET archives) Matt Lewis convinced us we should give it a go. (He would wouldn't he considering the only time I've ever seen them capsize was when the Yellow Peril broadsided them at Calshot)!
Most of us negotiated the head on winds through the old railway bridge piles in time for the start. Over the next hour or so the wind strength varied but remained around F5. From my point of view I'd say conditions were hairy, there was certainly a lot of screaming coming from Serenity and it wasn't Colin! We were first to the first mark in race 4 but I just couldn't cope with the kite drops and we slipped back to third (by default since 1157, Bob and Luke, hadn't made it through the bridge). Mike and Mark (Ride the Punani) retired after coming second when it looked like Mark had broken his finger and went off to hospital. It seemed to get windier for the last race, or was it just me getting tired? Bob and Luke made the start for the fifth race and flew round to get first place, Richard and Matt got second place to use as their discard, and after a tangle with a Laser 2000 resulting in me chipping my teeth on the shroud and the mast getting stuck in the mud, Colin and I called it a day and DNF.

So, every ISO team except Colin and me went away with a glass and a Rooster water holder with a suckling end, plus Richard and Matt got a pair of sailing gloves each. Ah well, perhaps I'll console myself with a fourth position, it's the best I've ever done, pity there were only four boats competing!

Overall ISO Results Here...