Today that was the main thing – stay in breeze. With winds in the mid-single digits, power was everything today. Get a puff and you could gain 30 metres in a hundred. Miss a puff and the losses were as big. With an underlying 5-6 knots these 8-9 knot puffs were hard to spot, but not quite impossible. Not quite. But in any case the wind direction was pretty stable so even if there was a shift the important thing was to stay in breeze. Tack to stay in the breeze, whether you were headed or not!
In Race 1 the OK Dinghy cleanly won the pin end, locking out Keane’s Laser from his attempted pin end flyer. Nice timing from both boats, but starboard advantage told.
Up the first beat and Keane’s Laser and the OK Dinghy swapped tacks a couple of times, with the Laser usually slightly ahead.
Both these boats had pulled ahead of the pack, with Tate’s Finn lagging a little and a couple of other Lasers and the SID Vagos quite a bit further back. It stayed like that up the long beat.
Then, about 150m from the mark Keane’s Laser crossed ahead of the OK Dinghy and went right while the OK Dinghy continued left – straight into a zone of stronger wind. On the return cross a couple of minutes later the OK Dinghy was about 50m ahead of the Laser. Position was maintained like that for the rest of the race, although the Finn caught up with the Laser about 100m from the finish line where they had a little tussle to see who’d get to gybe first to the line. Twas the focus of an interesting rules discussion at the bar afterwards, but no harm and no foul. Results were 1. OK Dinghy, 2. Laser (Keane), 3. Finn, then other Lasers and the Vagos.
After a short break between races, battle resumed.
In Race 2 the line was more crowded, with everyone on the line on time. The OK Dinghy started on the left and tacked back to the right after everyone else, sitting high and pretty above the fleet. Again, it was Keane’s Laser that was the main adversary, though Tate’s Finn quickly caught and passed those two. At the mark it was the Finn, Keane’s Laser, the OK Dinghy, then Conor O’Leary’s Laser all in a tight bunch before a big gap to the rest.
Not a lot of change on the reaches, but a shortened course was announced at the bottom mark, making the beat the last leg. With Tate’s Finn leading and Keane’s Laser chasing, the OK was about 50m behind but caught a line of breeze and made a big dent in the leading two. O’Leary tacked to the left at the mark and sailed into a hole, never featuring again. Meantime the Finn tacked right a little and caught the edge of the same hole, bring that tight leading group together again. 100m from the finish they were all within chatting range. The OK crossed ahead of the Finn and slightly behind Keane’s Laser, which also crossed the Finn.
100m later the Laser crossed the line just ahead of the Finn with the OK Dinghy now a minute behind and clearly 3rd. The area of wind was in the middle this time, with the OK losing out on the left and the Laser losing (a little) on the right but keeping the lead. What goes around comes around!
Keane took first by ~25 seconds, OK Dinghy 2nd, Finn 3rd. The rest were caught out by one or other lull and were quite a bit back. The way Conor O’Leary was dropped on the last beat after just one wrong tack was impressive (though that probably isn’t the word he’d use).
Meantime, the OK Dinghy skipper discovered that his tech skills let him down on the day. No GPS track and the GoPro aimed in the wrong place.
Hey ho – a good day.
Most pics courtesy of Ros Brember on the committee boat