Races 9-10 of the 2019 Royal Tay winter series - Race Report by James Curley

posted 7 Dec 2019, 04:09 by Perth Sailing Club
The weather was overcast but a mild 10deg c with a fairly light easterly breeze.  The course was a 3 buoy triangular course, all to starboard, there were 15 boats in my group this time but the start seemed less crowded compared to last week. I managed to get my watch timed properly this week and I tried to stay much closer to the other solos on the start line. Most started on a port tack off the line very close to shore so I did the same and as a result I had quite a good start and was right with the other solos for a change. It was good to be close enough to be able to compare what I was doing to the faster solos. They all made it around the top mark before me but not by much. On the down wind leg I seemed to be in a large gap on my own between the front runners and the rest of the fleet. The wind was quite light but there were a few waves which do give a good boost now and then if you surf them.The tide was still coming in so it payed to keep closer to shore on the tack back up where the current wasn't as strong as the middle. Two laps were completed and my tracker tells me the distance was just over 2 miles with an average speed of around 3.5mph and a max speed of 7.8mph or 6.8kn.

The tide had turned for the second race so tactics were slightly different it paid to be further out from shore to gain from the current heading up wind. I had another fairly good start and again was close to the other solos.The race went similar to the first but on the second leg I was racing very closely with one of the laser radials and a Europe. The wind was slowly diminishing and on the 3rd lap it was becoming very light. The laser was slightly behind me and the Europe was slightly ahead. The Europe must have lost his balance or was caught out by a wave because he capsized but it didn't take long for him to right it and get going again but in that short time me and the laser had pulled away from him slightly. I gained a good lead over both of them and headed to the finishing line. There is a 15 min time limit to finish the race and due to the very light winds I was a few seconds over that so unfortunately the last lap didn't count in the end so my time and anyone behind me our positions were taken from the average time of the previous two laps. I also managed to recuse a drowning sponge on my way around which luckily for him I easily reached out and plucked it from the sea without having to alter my course!

The overall results were 7th for both races out of 15 and because I have attended most of the races this means I am currently 4th overall in the series.