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Craftinsure 2023 LEADERBOARD

Queen Mary Sailing Club Spring Series Week 4

by Tony Woods & Guy Noble 2 Apr 10:02 BST 31 March 2024

Saturday's rather warm and balmy weather increased the anticipation for what would hopefully be the first genuinely spring-like day of Sunday racing.

Although it was a refreshing 10-18 knt easterly that greeted the 22 ILCA sailors who made it out for races 7 and 8 of the Spring Series, the racing was terrific. Michael Pryer (RO) and team set a great course and managed to take some photos.

Race 1

The pin was heavily biased causing a few boats to struggle to make the line and they had to gybe round and restart. The gusts seemed to favour the right side of the course- there always seemed to be a lift on starboard coming in to the ww mark, but it was dangerous to bang the right hand corner as there were occasional shifts from the left too that you had to pick. Joza Cic sailed his best race at QM finding the shifts on the right hand side, leading the fleet for most of the race. Being first around the ww mark entitled him to the honour of doing the race report - only to have this honour cruelly snatched away by being OCS. Tony Woods and Guy Noble rounded almost simultaneously in hot pursuit and these three had a good battle for most of the race. On the final reach Matt Knight managed to get past Guy taking 2nd. Tim Crook made a great recovery restarting after being over at the start taking 4th. Dick Soderberg (5th) also had a decent first race after a few months away from racing.

Final positions were: Woods 1, Knight 2, Noble 3, Crook 4

Race 2

The line had been reset, seemingly with a starboard bias but as the fleet lined up for the start the wind seemed to head so the line was probably spot on. Tony Woods and Guy Noble started mid line, but it was David Surkov, having made a great start, who rounded first and stayed ahead for 2 laps until his mast unexpectedly snapped on the second reach! This allowed Tony to take the lead with Guy in hot pursuit rounding the mark for the final beat one boat length behind. The final beat saw Tony and Guy sail into a header on port... Tony sailed on - madness! (See coaching tip) Guy tacked off and was lifted on starboard. As the wind flicked back, but not dramatically, Guy tacked and Tony tacked at the same - Tony onto starboard and Guy back onto port. Now Tony had the benefit of the right shift which had stayed. Tony crossed some way ahead - that's QM for you. Meanwhile John Curran and Andrew Whittaker were having their own battle with John coming out on top. Simon Cavey had a very solid race coming in 5th.

Final positions were: Woods 1, Noble 2, Curran 3, Whittaker 4

Coaching tip

Sometimes it pays to delay tacking if there is stronger wind further on. Then you dig into the shift properly. I think when Guy tacked he was on the edge of the new wind so it petered out. Also they knew that right was paying so to get over to the right was good. (On the first two beats of the first race Tony tacked onto port too early at the first sign of a shift.) Other days you do have to tack straight away - In lighter winds, when there are no big gusts to come, and when the breeze is flicking. It will quickly flick back.

With the Spring Series now well under way and many of the less hardy joining the racing the 35 competitors will be joined by more. Tony Woods on 5 points now leads with Orlando Gledhill and Guy Noble on 11 points in second and third. Of the 22 scheduled races there are 11 to count - so all to play for.

Results can be found here.

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