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Maylandsea Bay Sailing Club Frostbite Series - Day 1

by Alan Jackson 12 Feb 2008 14:17 GMT 10 February - 9 March 2008

Brilliant blue sky and a testing 4-8 knot breeze set in over Maylandsea Bay for the Frostbite Series. Bill, heading the race box, team set an ‘in the bay’ course containing all the points of sailing. It was at this point that Bill's setting of a running start took its first casualties, as the fleet, with less than a minute to go, tide on to the line, hit the panic mode of starting.

It was Jacko and Lorna in a Merlin who won the start (just) with Paul Wilkinson (Laser) in close contact, and even closer to him Martin Tarling (another Laser). The fleet rounded mark 1 mostly overlapped for the short hop to mark 0, still overlapped, where another rush of enthusiasm took place and they found themselves on the first windward leg across the club frontage.

The fleet now spreading out and rounding mark 2 burst out into the Bay on a tight three-sail reach, scraping past the salting point at the far end onto a more relaxed reach to mark 4. The shifting breezes lead to much place-swapping and a close race through the fleet, with Jacko and Lorna taking the bullet.

It was good to welcome back Dean and Rob sailing a rather smart Hornet, sadly making a late start. However, showing good boatspeed they picked their way very skilfully through the fleet to finish 2nd.

Martin had his work cut out, but not to be fazed with unfavourable conditions stuck to the task to take a very worthy 3rd.

Race two stands testament to the sport of eyeball-to-eyeball dinghy racing. Jacko’s game plan failed before it had begun, launched the verbal starboard cry on the port fleet as the start gun fired - the nearest of the fleet seeing Jacko’s Rocket travelling slowly along the start line passed both to the front and the rear. Paul Gray (Kestrel) won the start with time to spare, and now with a healthy lead was now up against the Hoover Manoeuvre, with Dean and Rob showing good boatspeed and keeping Jacko covered, slowly sucking Paul in.

On a downhill reach separated by only a few boatlengths disaster occurred as the two had sailed well high on the lay line, and now bearing away found Jacko and Lorna at the mark! Dean and Rob sorted Jacko out, regaining lead boat, but could not make enough time up to finish 3rd.

Paul sailed on well showing great concentration and was leading until the last reach from home when he appeared to lose a lot of space and time to finish 2nd. Jacko and Lorna took their second bullet of the day.

This was a tough start to the series but in the superb conditions there is still time to enter as the series has two discards and four races to count.

Maylandsea Bay S.C. has it's doors open and will welcome all to take part in this Frostbite Series. Next race day is February 24th with a 12:35 start.

Results:

Alan Jackson, Lorna Lavel, Merlin Rocket 2 points
Dean Saxton, R Smith, Hornet 5 points
Martin Tarling, Laser 7 points
Paul Gray, N Shore Kestrel 7 points

Full results and report at: www.maylandseabay-sc.org.uk or sailingtheblackwater.blogspot.com.

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