ISO/ Buzz Easter Eggon – KGSC - 9th / 10th April 2011

The forecast was for very light airs, which we assume accounted for the low turn out for the first event of the season. But would it be a low weekend ?

The promised KGSC welcome took shape with teas, coffees and the bacon butties without which no sailing event would be complete ! Things were already on the right track.

The inland airs strengthened with the rising sun. Clear blue skies and a good F2 Easterly awaited the competitors. Did I say good ? KGSC on Easterlies – famously shifty !!

First race, with everyone on the line raring to go. John and Juliet in, Tinky Winky and Jony and Tom in 8 vied for the lead, with new pairing Bob and Gary in 814 making them work for it but steadily dropping back. 8 broke something in the strengthening breeze and retired giving 2nd place to 814.
2nd race and more aggressive starting, with this time 814 getting clear and forming an early lead. 8 had returned to the fray. 1003 and 8 continued fighting it out for 2nd and 3rd all the way round. Could 814 hold the extended lead or would the wind drop at just the wrong time ? Last round and 814 missed a shift allowing the other two to close some of the gap – but held a comfortable lead to win.

With full sun and the wind holding strength but not direction, 80 degree shifts being all too random, 8 took a port ender to take the lead off the line. This was a day where the winning move was definitely made on the line or very soon after it. 1003 and 814 went left and into a tacking dual to the top mark, staying together for the bear away. 1003 went right, 814 followed, gybed out and caught a gust just winning out to the bottom mark. More duelling followed while 8 extended their flat wiring lead. Finally 1003 broke clear as 814 tired. Time for the bar.

Sunday morning broke the same as Saturday, clear blue skies – but now wind. Just as well as the first event of the year had stretched all crews and woken up the Winter muscles the previous day. What was that about a light wind forecast ? No way, it had been full on flat wiring most of the time.

The 10.30 start loomed and the wind picked up enough, still on Easterlies. It built during race 4 with 814 duelling with Tinky Winky again and again Tinky Winky breaking free to take a small lead. 8 needed a coffee of two bringing up the rear – with the Buzz's on the same start line putting in much too good a showing !!

The wind moved round a bit for race 5 resulting in a minor change of course. A close start with all boats together and plenty of calls. 1003 and 8 went right with 814 choosing the left side of the course. It was 1003, 814 and a close 8. 814 searching for the advantage took the left side, found the gust and went low to the mark – but not far enough to lead 1003. After much jostling for position 8 came through leaving 814 to settle for 3rd.

The conditions eased a little with some lulls and bigger shifts for the last race. The racing remained tight with everyone looking for the shifts and advantage up and downwind. Gusts were good and strong putting boats up on the plane for short bursts and the advantage for a while, to slow right down and change direction. Final race saw 8 and 814 on equal points so 2nd and 3rd were still up for grabs. John and Juliet in Tinky Winky aced the day but not without working for it from both 814 and 8. Jony and Tom pulled away from Bob and Gary.

A great weekend's very competitive racing which, just for fun, the RO noted the times for a handicap result. Ian, Bridget and Jess Staples in Buzz 919 took those honours. Must have been the fresh crew !
With thanks to the King George SC PRO, Keith for some nice prompt race starts and the shore crew for the catering.

And you thought it was going to be a light wind weekend ?? Come along next time, it was good sailing in Costa del Chingford –

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Bob Ladell, Gary Hill
ISO 814

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