On Saturdays the PY fleet all starts together. On Tuesdays it starts in two halves, Laser and other PY.
This year the committee increased the gap between the starts to 6 minutes. Last year it was three and things seemed to generally work out, but with a six minute gap the two halves of the fleet really do seem to sail in different races, particularly on evenings when the wind is fickle and variable.
This Tuesday was particularly bad, but the OK Dinghy was glorious in defeat. Starting with the mixed PY boats in near total calm, the OK Dinghy sailed out ahead of Finns, RS400s, Mermaids, etc., and led up the first beat by quite a margin. But when the wind kicked in shortly after the Lasers started the OK Dinghy now had no chance of a good result on corrected time. The six minute head-start had become almost nothing.
The video shows the GPS tracking for a Laser (Paul Keane, in Blue) and the OK Dinghy (in Red) as if the two boats started at the same time. As you can see…the Lasers got wind much sooner and the race was effectively over on the first leg.
Still, racing continued and the OK Dinghy managed to finish ahead of all the other boats on the water, including an RS400. Now that’s not bad. There’s glory even in defeat, sometimes.
On handicap it finished behind every single Laser. That’s not so glorious.