Once again the Dublin weather wasn’t kind to OK Dinghy sailors. With a forecast of wind rising later in the day the plan was to get out early and get Beastie back on the water. But the wind got there first. 28 knot gusts and 6 Deg water temperatures made it an inadvisable moment to return to action. This must be the third or 4th time we’ve gotten “Beastie” ready to go before changing conditions forced a re-think!
Meantime, the skipper of the Mikly Bar Kid was again asked to step in and sail a Finn. With the wind now going from 10 knots up to 28 knots in the gusts and the harbor walls making the wind direction very unstable even the experienced Laser sailors were looking with some apprehension at the conditions.
But…on we went. Conservatism was the order of the day but despite hanging back at the start the borrowed Finn was leading the PY fleet within about 45 seconds and was well ahead at the windward mark. Although trimmed for the gusts down the runs, none actually passed until just around the leeward mark. At that point the skipper noticed that the luff panel above the cunningham was separating under load. So followed a retirement rather than bring a damaged boat back.
Retiring was a pity, but Richard Tate in the other Finn won the racing, which was good and well earned in the conditions. Learning of the day? A Finn may actually be easier to sail than an OK Dinghy – as long as you can handle the sheet loads. Heavier, slower to react, less unstable. But we still haven’t sailed one in a sustained 25 knots. That’s gotta be a different story.