Last week the OK Dinghy got dumped out of contention by a change in the wind just after the start. This week we were happy to get a solid race in, and quite a lovely race it was too. Sun, moderate breeze. Lovely. There were still differences in the wind at different times, making the fleets expand and bunch up like an accordion, but it all evened out in the end.
The committee decided to keep racing inside the harbor rather than on Scotsman’s Bay. Probably a good call and we had a glorious evening with mostly 7-9 knot breezes.
A good fleet turned up too. Several RS’s, several new Lasers and the usual OK Dinghies and Finns making up a good fleet. Everyone launched early expecting a start in Scotsman’s Bay, and had plenty of time to set their tune and trim set for the evening. The committee set a course of 4 triangles and a very short and moderately pin biased line.
In the non-Laser start the OK Dinghy timed a nice starboard run for the pin end but found an IDRA14 trying an ill-judged pin end flyer. Fortunately the OK was able to tack and clear the onrushing starboard boats while the IDRA went to do turns. Tate’s RS400 recovered from a poor start and just led the OK Dinghy at the windward mark, with the Finn and RS200 not far behind. Onto the reaches and the speed of the 400 showed. Tate and Foley were – as they say – “Outta here”.
The Laser start 6 minutes later saw about 5 Lasers all mid-line at full speed. O’Leary and Keane were first to the windward mark, starting a ding-dong battle that continued around the whole course. Regular winners Craig and O’Toole were further back in the shifty conditions.
The final results were very tight. The OK Dinghy pipped Keane by about 30 seconds on the water, with Tate’s RS400 and O’Leary’s Laser a few seconds further back in a dead-heat for 3rd place. Three boats in 21 seconds.
However, the results only tell part of the story and we have GPS tracks to tell the rest. The OK Dinghy, Keane and Tate have all been using GPS phones for self-coaching and these boats made up the top 3. Coincidence? Maybe.
It’s interesting to watch the race with the 6-minute starting gap removed and all boats starting on the same virtual line. You have to imagine the marks (easy after the first lap) but Tate basically buggers off into the distance, with recent training paying off. Meantime Keane’s Laser and Sheehy’s OK play snakes and ladders throughout the race. The lead changes several times and the OK Dinghy only ultimately re-takes the lead about 50m from the finishing line. Tight stuff!