So just four ladies and a man (!) joined me in a nice gentle breeze of about six knots. Perfect for more, yes more, practice starts.

And the improvements are palpable, with three boats regularly battling for pole position (Liz, Lucy and Ruth) with Jill threatening a couple of times and Toby, after watching the instructor do a race in his boat (who was ultimately beaten to the finish line by Ruth AND Liz, I put it down to my downwind speed being hampered by my less than successful diet) beginning to realise the importance of being at least up to the line pre-start and not 50 metres downwind.

Having said that (about coming 3rd in a race). If there is no video evidence, you have to ask yourself, “did it really happen?” A bit like “if it’s not on Facebook it never happened”.

So what was different this week?

Well more room on the start line certainly helped due to the lower numbers and using a timed run to the start line. Luckily the blue yacht 50 metres (or 15 seconds) from the committee boat came to no damage. Which was nice. Still there was a tendency to go early which everyone does, even seasoned club racers, which means that the pin end can get a bit busy.

There were a few instances where the sailor tacked just after the start for no reason but we are beginning to see tactics coming into it going upwind but then losing it as the windward mark comes into view. I don’t care how good you are, if you just point your boat at the windward mark that does not mean that it will go there, however long you wait. This did mean that now and again a boat went from 1st to “not 1st” as they got sooo close to the windward mark but no closer for a while.

Downwind there is a bit too much chatting for tactics to come into it but we had some really close finishes with the video referee being called upon. Interestingly there tends to be more position changes going downwind than going upwind in racing nowadays. In the good old days the downwind leg was the opportunity to catch your breath or indeed have a quick cigarette. Those days are long gone now, and for the perfect example of that you only have to watch footage of Ben Ainslie sailing downwind in his Laser days to see what can be done with a boat going downwind and the places that can be made up.

After sailing, where we were now, for the first time, inside the club as the weather becomes more autumnal, we had more rule discussions, where it is a slight case of the blind leading the blind so I need to do a bit of homework myself. As for the results, we had seven races and Liz just beat Ruth by one point, with or without a discard, Jill and Lucy were tied on points, with or without a discard, but Lucy got third on the basis of having a better result in her scores. So we have agreed with the club that we can keep using the boats until December 14th so, seven more Thursdays to go!

Weight loss? Angie beat me for 2 weeks in a row, just beating my .5kg loss so 2-1 to her.



Get in touch