Fishers Green SC Menagerie
Winter Series Sunday Racing 28 February 2016: Last two races of the series
The 2015/2016 Winter Series is almost over: Two Merlins have been present for most races, Rich/Chris in 3634 and Godfrey/Nick in 3578. Not sure where we are on the scoreboard but we must be pretty close with similar positions throughout. The racing has been very close on the water and this weekend looks like it will be the showdown. With a decent weather forecast and no weed left in the lake, it is looking good!
Menagerie Sailing News for Sunday 16 November 2014:
The second set of races for the winter series again took place in very little wind: what little there was seemed to be coming from slightly east of north so the race officers very sensibly set a simple triangle course. The line proved to be very biased towards the starboard side so those who were closed to it found a little bit of wind on the right hand side of the course. The race was a bit processional with Jon/Anabel in the lead followed by Harry/Gabe in Cream Cracker (an excellent second place), the Clarks and Rich/Chris. The latter 2 swapped places a few times but the Clarks got the third place on the final beat. A number of Lasers were also out (are we getting a bit of a fleet back together?) 2 Wineglasses and the Lightning.
The second race was much the same, although this time I decided to join in (I was spectating during the first race). Same as before, the starboard end of the line paid and the Clarks won it with me in second place, followed again by the other 3 Merlins. This order remained until the last run where Jon/Anabel and Rich/Chris got the better of me in the drifting conditions with Harry/Gabe crossing the line last in this group but first on corrected time: well done lads!
A bit more wind next week please!
Menagerie Sailing News for Sunday 2 November 2014:
The last of the Autumn series was due to take place with a pretty serious forecast of 10 knots gusting 30: it was sadly not to be and we ended up sailing in no more than 10 knots all morning (clear case of the forecast getting it wrong!).
The Merlins are getting ready for an action packed winter series (3 of them out today) joined by myself in the Phantom, a Wineglass, Ken in his Finn (who was clearly expecting heavier weather than we got), a Lightning and a Laser Radial. The course was set to be a fairly standard figure of 8 with 2 beats, a long run up the lake and a closer reach. First race got away cleanly and all 4 of us got to the windward mark very close to each other. I just managed to squeeze through in the lead, but on the following run with two Merlins on either quarter I got buried in dirty air. The run was ideal for the Merlins which pulled away but a few boatlengths on every lap with Rich and Chris overtaking me, Jon and Anabel and Paul and Julie to take the bullet.
The second race was much the same with a slightly longer first beat: this time Paul and Julie got it right from the start and led all the way round with Rich and Chris second, Jon and Anabel third and myself in fourth.
Next week should see one more Merlin on the water, but no Phantoms as Paul Bidwell and myself are off to Grafham. We will return on the 16th for more Merlin/Phantom fun.
Brief report for Autumn Champs racing on Sunday 19 October 2014 (from the menagerie fleet point of view):
Not a lot of takers for the Sunday racing: probably the forecast of 14 knots gusting 30 put some off! And that is exactly what we got: a generally moderate wind with occasional very strong gusts in which we either spilt what we couldn't handle or just hung on for the reaches (which reached take off speeds at times). The fleet was made up of 1 Merlin, 3 Phantoms, 2 Lasers and 2 Radials and 1 Wineglass (oh and some Solos).
The first start was very biased on the starboard side of the line with a near fetch to the windward mark: unsurprisingly the whole fleet was piled up on top of each other on the right and one Solo (Bill) was over the line. As there was no real beat, the first mark was chaos with everyone pretty much arriving there together. I came in on port and forced Paul Bidwell to crash tack (even though he wasn't laying the mark) so I found myself doing the first set of turns for the day. The Merlin of Rich and Chris got an early lead which they held on to till the end with the 3 Phantoms changing places all the time. The finishing order was Gavin 2nd, me 3rd and Paul 4th.
The second race start saw the wind swing even more to the west so now the start line was almost paralle to the windward mark! This time the whole fleet was over, so the race officer signalled a general recall. They reset the line and altered the course so that now the first leg was a beat (albeit still short). Better start this time, Rich and Chris again held onto the lead closely chased by Paul Bidwell myself and Gavin (this was the finishing order).
Break for lunch and back on the water for the 2pm start of the 3rd race. The wind had now strengthened a bit and the gusts were even stringer than before. Most of the morning crowd reassebled for the 3rd start which now seemed to have a bit of port bias. I opted to start near the port side and threw the tack onto port immediately after the gun just in time to foul Rich and Chris (turns again!). I somehow seemed to recover by the first mark by which time Rich and Chris were in the lead closely followed by Paul Rayson in his Solo and then me. It took me a lap and a half to get past Paul, after which it was the Merlin boys and me: we traded a few blows all around the course (and the lead changed a few times) but they ultimately got me on the very last leg just before I ditched it in on the last mark rounding. Quite a few retirements saw only about half a dozen finishes.
Menagerie Sailing News for Sunday 12 October 2014:
Two scheduled races were run in the morning in a little bit of wind that swung from Westerly all the way to North East in the course of the first race. Race officers Chris Hill and his Dad had a lot of trouble setting a line and a first beat. A reasonable size fleet was out: Two Wineglasses competing for their southern area championships, 4 Lasers, a GP14 and me in the Phantom. A nice short line meant that we had to fight for it: the first beat sorted out the positions that were pretty much carried to the end of the race with some place changing between the Lasers.
The second race required a new line as the wind had now settled from the NE so Chris and Dad moved the committee boat and set a course with two windward legs. This worked out well with the beat from 7 to 5 being true even though the first one to Z wasn't always.
The afternoon race had a lot of takers with another Laser and a Cadet joining the race (great to see the kids taking part). Same course as race 2, but this time with the Solos in the mix and a lot of port end bias to the line the start became a bit messy with one port tack starter (guess who?). A bit more wind than the morning races but still a bit lacking with the faster boats still unable to get on the plane.
I'll attempt to keep posting updates to this after every weekend's racing: it's the Autumn championship next Sunday (19 October) so be sure to be there!