15th December 2019 RYTC winter series - report by James Curley

posted 23 Dec 2019, 14:16 by Perth Sailing Club   [ updated 23 Dec 2019, 14:18 ]
So here we are, the final Sunday of the series!  Last week was cancelled due to the strong winds forecast but this Sunday was sunny albeit quite icy with a fairly strong Westerly wind at around 12 mph gusting to 20 odd. It was a really nice winter's day. There was a bit of South in the wind direction so we had to launch head to wind and the tide was out so it was a long slipway. There were around 15 boats in my class for both races. The course was set to three buoys all to port.  My start was pretty good probably a boat length behind the rest of the Solos. I managed to stay pretty close rounding the top mark and probably rounded it about 6 or 7th place I guess. I was racing very closely with two Wayfarers downwind and the positions changed constantly depending on who caught the waves best. I managed to just ease in front of both and rounded the 2nd mark first with a reasonable gybe.There was a strong current so manoeuvring the waves and fighting the current was tricky but I was still not too far away from the front runners. I rounded the mark and tacked back out to try and take advantage of the incoming current. The Wayfarers chose to head in to shore and it did look like they were streaking ahead but by the time I got to the bottom mark I was ahead again. The second lap was a repeat of the first. Two laps were completed.

The last race of the series was very similar to the first but I was racing very closely with a laser Bahia. Our positions changed a few times but he seemed to have the edge downwind probably because he was flying his spinnaker and the wind was quite strong. I was trying hard but just couldn't quite get in front of him again and as the wind began to die out at the end of the 3rd lap he managed to finish ahead of me. It was a really brilliant day's racing to finish the series. A bit cold but once you get moving you soon warm up. My legs were aching the next day so must have been hiking harder than some of the other races. There is a bonus Boxing Day regatta / prize giving which I am planning to go to although it has been a little tricky organising it with the family commitments this time of year, but my plan is to bring the family along. The position for the day was 7th and 8th and a overall series finishing position of 6th. There were a total of 31 competitors in the dinghy 2 group.  Overall taking part in the winter series has been a really good experience, I've thoroughly enjoyed it and I have learnt a lot.  It's extremely well organised and an excellent club with a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere.  I'd recommend it to anybody who is thinking of giving it a go next year.