January 6th presented a tactical challenge to all the sailors. With a soft easterly coming in over the east pier the big questions were simple. Who could pick the varied shifts correctly? Who could keep the boat moving fast in light airs and keep in clear wind?
Not, apparently, the OK Dinghy which – after managing pretty well on the first beat – went rapidly backwards from there. If there was a good tactical option available then the OK Dinghy used the other one. Not a good day! Tom Murphy seemed to be similarly afflicted in the K1, also finishing unusually far back.
On the other hand O’Brien and Sheridan in the GP14 put on a great display. After a decent first lap or so they then started to pick the shifts correctly and overtook a number of boats as they headed for the overall win by a clear 40 seconds. On some beats they must have gained 50-100m on boats that picked the shifts badly. Impressive to see.
The start had been notable for the way in which Tate’s RS400 port-tacked the entire fleet, a demonstration of guts and timing we don’t get to see very often. O’Hare’s RS400 was also in a good position at the gun and came close to blocking the Tate Flyer, but had been on the wrong side of the line in the last minute and carried a score of OCS around the course for the day. A disappointing outcome.
Notable also was the start of the Lyttle’s 420. Full speed and right on the line about 1/3 of the way along, they sailed consistently and ended the race 4th, just behind the two IDRA 14s of Long and Hamilton.
Tate’s start served him well as he finished clear ahead on the water. With the light winds that turned into 5th on corrected time, a mere 8 seconds ahead of Ryan’s 470 in 6th. The light winds didn’t help the more powerful boats sail to their handicap.
Full results are here.