Royal Tay Winter Series - Race Report by James Curley

posted 12 Nov 2019, 13:33 by Perth Sailing Club
Here is a quick update on race 3, 4 and 5 of the winter series in Dundee, 2019.

The second Sunday was again quite windy blowing 13 and gusting 25.  This time the wind came from north-east so there was talk from some sailors that conditions might be tricky due to the amount of north in the wind which usually means quite variable wind directions but it seemed quite stable to me.  The wind felt strong but much more manageable than the first races.  Again they set a simple two buoy course all to starboard.  My start was better than last week but still lots of room for improvement.  There are a lot of boats to watch out for on the start but I did make sure I was on starboard tack which helped.  The swell grew in size the further downwind we went and by the bottom mark you had to make sure you were going with the surf and not across it but if you caught it just right, the speed increased quite a lot and I managed to pull away from a couple of the double handers.  I was keeping a watch out for other boats but I did get caught out by a catamaran at one point near the top mark; he appeared from nowhere going near the speed of light making his presence heard by a loud “Starboard!” call.  I was on port tack so did a quick tack and all was well again.  The catamarans are extremely quick on the the straight but really slow to turn so I got around the mark before he did.  The second race was very similar to the first.  I came 8th and drew with a laser to get 8.5 out of 15.

The 5th race on the 3rd Sunday saw the weather conditions turn colder with very light winds which was quite a contrast from the previous two Sundays.  The race was postponed 30 minutes to see if it improved and eventually they decided to go ahead.  The course was changed twice during the time I arrived because the wind was changing from east to west and back again so eventually the race started going towards the bridge with a 3 buoy course all to port.  There was a slight wind at the start.  My start was ok but still could be improved.  One of the solos managed to get away and had a decent lead, I was quite close to the other and a laser.  I rounded the 1st mark 3rd or 4th with the tack back upwind being tricky with the light wind.  I managed to pass a laser going around the top mark and we had a little battle trying to edge very slowly closer to the line.  He managed to just get me on the line as the wind died and I was struggling to get the last few feet to cross the line.  The race was just over one lap and the 2nd race was cancelled.  I managed a podium finish, 3rd out of 11.

There are a couple of good webcams on the Royal Tay website which if anyone is interested have a look at around 12pm on any Sunday leading up to Christmas you can see the action live!