Two minutes is the theme of the winter. It seems to be consistently the difference between what the OK Dinghy with a matched mast and sail will do and what an OK Dinghy with a mismatched sail and mast will do. Ah well.
Meantime, frostbite sailing on Sunday was tinged with nervousness. All the boats expected that the forecast apocalyptic weather might arrive in the middle of the sailing. All left the slipways ready for a blow. We didn’t get it. Instead, we got sunshine and light winds. Far too light at the weather mark, which had been placed implausibly close in to the ferry terminal in almost total wind-shadow. We also got two full races on a trapezoidal course.
In race 1 the OK Dinghy won the start and port tacked the entire fleet. It looked good, but lack of speed and some bad decisions in the approach to the windward mark didn’t help. The OK Dinghy did turns too, when the stop/start nature of the breeze near the mark caused a bad judgement on a tack. Oops.
In race 2 the OK Dinghy went for a conservative start at the boat end, leaving the fleet quite crowded at the pin. There was lots of shouting down there, with several boats doing turns, and the Solo and OK Dinghy emerged looking pretty good. After that, the same lack of speed and similar unfortunate decision making led to a nip-and-tuck finish with the well-sailed Solo. Tight on the water but the Solo was clear winner on corrected time.
Results wise, the OK Dinghy was 2:03 and 2:05 off the pace in the two races, ending 4th and 5th from 13 racers. Not great, really, but in line with the two minute gap we’ve seen far too much this year.
On the happy side, there are now more “non-Laser” single handers than before. A Solo has joined in the racing, helmed by Shane McCarthy – a GP14 sailor, sailmaker, and all around sailing talent. A pity it’s not an OK Dinghy, but it’s another chink in the Laser monopoly. There are now two OK Dinghies, a Finn, a K1 and a Solo proving that there’s life other than Lasers!