Sunday 19th April 2015
Sunday Series – New Finns need a slower handicap
On Saturday I decided it was too windy to sail and didn’t rig the RS300.
There were some plucky sailors preparing to battle with the 30 knot gusts, however, so we gleefully watched as they prepared to launch.
Linda was the Race Officer and clearly not happy with the conditions. Jack Acton had stolen some of Gary’s testosterone pills and was raring to go. A few others looked on nervously in the hope Linda would cancel.
Drew launched his Oppie first. We prefer to send an Oppie or an elderly out first in marginal conditions to see if it’s safe. He survives.
Gary then launched his Laser. 15 seconds later, because of his performance, Linda abandons the race. We amuse ourselves for the next 20 minutes watching Gary’s Laser trying to punch holes in Westerly Centaurs as he flounders helplessly in the moorings.
On Sunday there is less wind so reluctantly I decide to sail. It’s cold, I have just my Summer wetsuit and I’d rather paint my cruiser. I haven't bothered to work on my positive attitude training tip from last week.
Gary has written a strange looking course but because everyone else is launching I just scribble it down and prepare to join them.
Andy is sporting a brand new Finn. Rory is in his Laser and he’ll be a threat. Luke, my arch rival and nemesis, is nowhere to be seen. It’s a good turnout with more than 10 boats in our fleet. The big Ginge gets a splinter before he launches and is late for the start after receiving sarcastic first aid from his Dad.
We start at the dreaded number 4 buoy with a short beat to number 3. For once, we have enough water and I decide to take the un-favoured leeward end of the line to avoid the melee at the pin end. I also hate lane-holding with Finns.
1st tack onto port and I’m behind Andy’s Finn but manage to cross ahead of everyone else. I sail on then tack back onto starboard just below the lay line. Andy comes back on port but he can’t cross and tacks to leeward. We hold formation to the 1st mark and I round ahead.
The next leg is a close reach which suits the RS300. I stretch away with Andy struggling to keep Rory’s Laser at bay. The pattern is set for the rest of the race. Unlike Tuesday, the wind is being kind to me today with most of the shifts and gusts working to my advantage. Gary’s weird little course with lots of pirouettes around marks and very few beats also helps. Basically it removes most of the tactical decisions (which I’m bad at) and grunty upwind sailing (which Andy claims to be good at).
42 minutes later and I’m finished. Andy and Rory are at least 5 minutes behind so the result turns out in favour of the 300. Rory finished a close second, having chased the Finn all the way, with Andy back in 3rd.
Back ashore we are entertained by a 2 hour discussion amongst the Finn fleet about the technical issues that prevented Andy from thrashing us all in his new boat. The unfair course takes some of the blame but it appears the builder has somehow managed to move the whole boat aft by 20mm, which has buggered everything. I expect the Finn team to be working well into the evening with tape measures and tension gauges, but normal service is restored when they discover there is food and beer available.
Andy, apparently, is going to get the Big Ginge to tune up his boat this week. I may ask Stevie Wonder test drive my car. The outcome will probably be the same.
What went well:
I overtook a Finn on a beat.
There was no Luke to remind me that I’m a crap RS300 sailor. On my own I’m blisteringly fast.
The Finn’s mast cost £2000 more than my entire boat
Ela beat Gary
Nobody sabotaged my boat. Where have the aliens gone?
Things to work on:
Deal with the grumpy email from the Finn fleet that says:
- New Finns should be given a better handicap because they’re not tuned properly and they may also be 20mm further aft than old Finns
- Finns should be given the same handicap as a Scow for reaching legs because this is how fast they go compared to Lasers and RS300’s on reaches.
- Any leg of the course than isn’t a beat or a run is unfair and the race must be abandoned.
Remind the club that crap courses and missed time limits are a consequence of people not turning up for our Race Management Seminars.