A perfect, 12-18 knot easterly all weekend provided excellent conditions for a steep learning curve for some, and blew away the cobwebs for others.
8 'C3' races were held over 2 days testing stamina and concentration. With 15 teams entered, there was no need for a pre-qualification round and it was straight into racing with no practice runs. Teams consisted of sailors from ages 10 to 65.
On day 1, Rob and Michiel dominated the fleet with superior boat speed and a very fast crew according to eagle-eyed OOD observation. The first start saw the whole fleet shy of the line but this improved as the weekend continued. Teams had the chance to improve their skills and confidence in a safe environment and were competitively twin wiring at speed or just learning how to survive the gusts.
There were several capsizes from almost all of the fleet, some caused by errors and others pushing the competition to the limits. A leaky boat stopped 1 team, a painful capsize halted another and over the weekend, race participation went from 15 to 7 teams. Stronger winds are certainly less forgiving! Errors such as dropping the main sheet, leaving the sheets cleated during the tack, weight in the wrong place, lack of fleet awareness, not watching the gusts, etc. were all punished!
Day 2 saw some initially flukey, patchy, oscilating winds in race 1 but it settled to something constant with some occasional, beautiful gusts. There was also more opportunity for tactical manoeuvres, both up and down wind due to the longer course making racing interesting. The first 3 boats rotated places. The rest of the fleet also enjoyed changing positions avoiding processional sailing. Starts were more competitive with some individual recalls. Teams were collecting bruises but warming up, gaining confidence and making wonderful sailing memories.
All in all it was a fantastic 2 days of really fun, eventful sailing, which inspired everyone to sail more often and boost the sailing activities. THESE EVENTS ARE NOT POSSIBLE WITHOUT VOLUNTEERS. Thanks for:
Event organization - Rob Niewenhuijs
OOD and results- , Dave Clark, Roel Berendsen, Steven Martin and John Amos
Day 1 photos - Roel Berendsen (Sorry we didn't get any on day 2)
Maintenance - Sailors boat checks and repairs (as taught on Helm CC we are all responsible) and maintenance and 'spares courier' team Hugh Thomson and Chris Smith, Dave Clark
Thanks to ALL SAILORS FOR PARTICIPATING and making it such a great event.
Finally CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS, Rob, Michiel and Joelle - well done!!
To all sailors,