Day one was clearly forecast to be windy but the reality was that there was no safe way in which we could race unless the wind ameliorated... Myles’ iPhone windspeed app showed the wind off the scale at Force 6+... Some foolhardy sailors went out to practise their capsize drills in amongst a few seconds of high speed adrenaline filled reaching. Such was the concern that even Laser 4.7 and Picos were called into the fray to amuse the waiting sailors. A sane suggestion (and reminder) that Laser 3000 sails can be reefed plus the fact that two of the boats had obtained storm sails from Kimbolton School meant that after copious food at lunch a sensible “thrash” could be enjoyed in the high winds. Only Joe Pester from Ullswater and his much maligned crew Murph could cope with full North Sails in the prevailing winds.
Luckily the winds did abate a little in the late afternoon and the race officer summoned the cold, battered and bruised bodies to the start line. With the wind blowing the full length of the lake, a decent windward/leeward race could be set. Joe dominated with Allen and Rob on his heels. Thereafter the Sedbergh contingent lined up with Pat (Last year’s junior champion) and Robin Shellcock showed some promise. The changing room was full of smiles as barely controlled reaches and/or capsizes were recalled.
An extremely serious debrief and post race post-mortem was carried in out in the hostelries of nearby Sedbergh. Sadly only the adult members of the fleet were able to take part in this section of the weekend. The younger members of the fleet were all booked into not only a social programme at school but an early morning rise for a mountain top school photograph at 8am the next morning.
Day two dawned with a much more sailable set of conditions. Little time was lost in getting on the water full with yet more bacon baps. Local canoeists and Sea Scouts made some of the racing interesting especially as the scouts decided to use the same mark as our downwind mark! Joe again dominated the racing with magical extra boat speed that none of the rest of the fleet could match even when the race officer was able to find an excuse to send him back across the line in race one of the day. The Williams (courtesy of an earlier night than the rest) had an immaculate first race of the day and scored a 2nd but weren’t able to follow the same form throughout the rest of the day.
The main crux of the racing was between the Shellcock brothers and the Allen/Rob boat. The key fact was getting the downwind shifts and gusts right. For instance in race 3 it looked as if they had sewn it up, but at the final downwind leg the Shellcocks rode a gust and snatched an inside overlap and held the advantage up the beat to the finish. They might even have scored a first in the final race when Joe retired, had they not forgotten they were on the last lap and overshot the finish line to let Allen and Rob take the line! Further down the fleet the other 3 of the 4 Sedbergh boats were trading places and showing their paces. Learning curves, downwind angles, gust spotting and timing were all improving all day.
In amongst this relatively small event, it was good to see such camaraderie which we hope will extend into the Nationals at Grafham in June. At least 4 of the boats at Killington will be down there – maybe more?
|1st||3601||Joe Pester (G)||Murph||1||1||1||1||(DNF)||4|
|2nd||3028||Allen Bradley (G)||Rob Leigh||2||-4||3||3||1||9|
|3rd||3252||Patrick Shellcock (S)||Robin Shellcock||-3||3||2||2||2||9|
|4th||3079||Chris Williams (G)||Cathy Williams||(DNF)||2||4||6||5||17|
|5th||-||James Wenmouth (G)||Tim Barker/Alex||4||-7||6||5||3||18|
|6th||3253||Luke Colllins (S)||Alasdair Bremner/Harry Batty||-5||5||5||4||4||18|
|7th||-||David Cole (S)||Oliver Pollock||(DNS)||6||7||7||6||26|