When 6 visitors joined the 7 local boats at Whitefriars, the warm sunny weather was looking great for any outdoor activity other than sailing: the wind was non-existent.
Actually, during the 3 races of the Open Meeting, the wind never varied more than 2 mph either side of the average speed: unfortunately the average was only 2mph!
The first race started in what proved to be some of the best wind all day. Ian and Sarah Yardley along with Jeremy Boddington and his daughter saw the extra wind over on the left of the course and headed that way, while Chris Jordan ignored the advice of his crew Gill, headed the wrong way to the right and slotted into 3rd place at the first mark behind the others. Some boats hoisted on the close reach, while Chris and Gill decided it was a beat, and sailed through to leeward and into the lead – only to lose it again on the next reach when Ian and Sarah went higher towards the next puff. The next lap disappeared in a blur of mill-pond sailing (the only ripples coming from the swans!), until the final mark: when the Boddington’s closed from 100 yds behind in 3rd to 2 inches behind the Jordan’s on a single puff of wind. Chris and Gill just managed to hang on to take the win, with Ian and Sarah in 3rd.
After eating lunch outside in the sunshine, we tried again in the afternoon: this time with a beat in exactly the opposite direction. Chris and Gill started on the left and then went right, behind the first 4 boats who started on the right and went left! However, this left the Jordan’s far enough behind at the windward mark for them to gybe off away from the leaders and head for the next puff of wind (the only wind all race, the only time the spinnakers filled!) which took them neatly to 1st place followed by the Boddington’s and Yardley’s.
The third race started in the same direction as the 2nd: but on a run rather than a beat! Kites up and sail the asymmetric angles: Boddingtons on one side into 1st, Yardleys on the other to 2nd, while the Jordans didn’t bother to hoist and went straight down the middle into 3rd. At the end of the first lap Mark Wilkes and Falco decided to join the front runners: with their kite up and filling while others were drifting they sailed from 10th into 2nd place. With all 3 races to count, the Jordan’s were starting to worry.
The next “beat” saw a consistent 2mph in strength, but swinging one way all the time (it’s a reach, no it’s a close reach, no its close hauled, no it’s a beat: oooppps!): the Boddingtons hit the mark at the end of the leg and had to do a 360. Mark and Falco put in 2 quick (actually: very slow and stopped!) tacks. This allowed the Yardleys to take the lead while the Jordan’s slipped through into 2nd. On the final reach Chris and Gill went high and grabbed the new wind before Ian and Sarah, while the same small puff brought the Boddington’s back from 4th to 2nd. The Wilkes’ breathed in hard as they sailed through a gap that was too small for an Optimist, let alone a Laser 2000! The final mark arrived just in time for the Jordan’s who rounded ahead and drifted to the finish on a beat – the same line that we started from on a run!
Sailwave results for Laser 2000 Open - WFSC
Laser 2000 Open
Results are final as of 18:57 on April 19, 2010
Sailed: 3, Discards: 0, To count: 3, Ratings: PY, Entries: 13, Scoring system: Appendix A