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Farr 3.7 sailing at Draycote Water Sailing Club

by Dave Barker 8 Aug 2016 17:27 BST 7 August 2016

Superb windy sail yesterday. Wall to wall sunshine, good F4 with stronger gusts and a large course set all across Draycote to enable all points of sailing.

The first race started well, blasting off the line with Contenders, Merlin, several Cats and the usual menagerie mix, nice bit of chop throwing up sheets of spray. I'm pointing higher than the Contenders but clearly not as fast, but am still focussing really hard on sailing fast and free rather than pinching - I find this hard to do though and am sure I haven't found the right angle yet.

I rounded behind the faster dinghies but ahead of half of the Cats as some were struggling in the gusts.

A couple of wild reaches, one on the wire, one deeper and hiking allowing a bit of a breather, then a further beat and a deep run. Came into the leeward mark, reached forward for the trapeze handle and nosedived tipping in to windward - splat ! The centreboard is pretty high out of the water so takes a bit of getting on, then the real secret is to lean over and let the kicker off and she comes up quickly, otherwise you're pulling forever.

Another lap of the same and the gusts came in really mental, had another spill (can't remember how) looked around to see more carnage and figured it was boat breaking weather, so retired and cracked off for some windsurfer style planing up and down - such fun.

Second race I was dialled in a bit better, kept upright and held on. Attrition led to fewer boats but still great racing, left a couple of Laser radials for dead, and enjoyed picking off the Solo's that had started 3 mins earlier. Again lovely beats, wild reaches and twitchy runs - kept heading further and further back in the boat but still manageable to gybe if you set it up right.

Couldn't resist another dose of footstrap blasting after the race, but the photographer had left by then so only have a couple of tame shots to show for it.

Great day in the Farr.

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