So today was the first "decent" Ent open of the year, hmmm... not the best forecast, warm, overcast and light breeze... well thats what we got!
So it was great to see James (and Callum & Nat) and to go for a proper sail with him... that was really cool. Sutton SC (in Birmingham) is a really good club (redecorated since I was last there I think) and it has a lot of very friendly members, what I really like is they seem to be very very dedicated to getting the kids sailing and encouraging their fleets and with some serious sailing rock-stars members there too it makes for a very cool club.
So got there about 10am, James had got most of the boat rigged (thnxs James), finished things off and grabbed a coffee while we registered.
15 other Enterprises turned up... a fair few from Sutton but also about 8 visitors so the yachters were certainly gonna make a good race of it!
So the wind was light (up and down like a whores draws!) and really shifty although there was a pattern to it all, I think.
So Race 1.
Start was average, got into a good position, racing was close-ish but no real major hassles, the wind was tricky and it felt you could never really get into you stride properly... the course was a complex round-the-cans affair, with pretty much a beat on each lap, but with the varying directions the beats were of questionable quality (the races were well run though). So the race proceeded normally, me and James were a bit rusty we got into second place for a while then back to third which is where we finished..no drama, nothing to report...sorry... Pepperdine won, Mr&Master Venables 2nd and us third.
Had a good lunch, chilli&cheese baked spud and more coffe, caught up with a few people and had a good chat.... wind didnt improve unfortunately but back out for more punishment!
So crap start for race two, far too close to the club and just not enough moment in the patchy breeze, we werent last off the line but we werent far off! But, on a day like today patience can help... we sat still, kept the sails well trimmed and the boat heeled, the breeze filled in, we didn't fight it, went with the shifts rather than tacking and ended up into around 3rd place by the windward mark :-) you can't second gues the results here! So a little more close racing, we never got close enough to the leaders to really worry them, but we didi manage to drift our way into 2nd place for a while, then at the mark outside the club, us slightly becalmed and Venables coming down to the mark in breeze, I thought we had enuff space and momentum to tack across to the mark well clear of them...ermm, we didn't, millimetres from them we just managed to tack back withought a splitting collision, but we did incurr a 720... Venables and Pepperdine were well gone, but we only lost the one place (just) and by the end of the next couple of legs we were back up with them.. but not close enough to do any better than another 3rd...grrrrr
So quick coffee, some cake and a chat and we were backout for the last race... course was changed radically and the breeze seemed to be up 1/2 a force, which was good yeh?
So in amongst the shifts we had one general recall and then the second start got off cleanly...either Venables or Pepperdine could win the event (both had a 1 and 2) and we were fighting for 3rd place.... Not a great start but managed to strike out into clear air with Venables, Martin Daviews, Barry and Bottomley all up with us at the windward mark, the race settled into being a fairly follow-the leader affair, with little place changin but depressingly Martin Davies, whose best result today so far was 4th, was leading...a 1st or 2nd would put them 3rd overall... by the end of the race (1hr 15mins!) we hadn't managed to haul our asses any further up the fleet, Martin Davies had dropped back one place, but that put him on equal points (6) but his 2nd place beat our consistant 3rd....
So, not happy particularly, well done to the Venables boyz for winning the event and for the Pepperdines good 2nd place....4th with two 3rd places counting... I was robbed :-)
1st Steve Venables & son(s)
2nd Nigel & Richard Pepperdine
3rd Martin and Lauence Davies
4th Ant and James
So, not sure if that was good practice for the Inlands next weekend @ Burton S.C, certainly it showed us what areas of boat handling etc we need to focus on so fingers-crossed next weekend will be better....please?
Right, its time for bed, I've consoled myself by buying a cat in second life... its got a trapeze...wicked... blasting in the ocean in 10knts...
sailing boat soulsailor