The last 2 races of this series and some close racing at the front of the Medium Fleet. A battle between the Wayfarer of Brian Lamb and the two Blazes of Colin Treadwell and myself, in the morning race. There was some doubt about the wind so the course was short, it took us, via 31 and 30 down to 24 and back to 27 and then back down to 24 and then home.
Martin and Ben Brown were out there too but the performance of the V3000 is so different from the other boats in the fleet that even when it's in the lead you have no idea if you are ahead or behind on handicap. It is a trapeze asymmetric whereas the rest of the fleet is nowhere as fast downwind. Actually, Ellie Kift was out in her Laser 3000 which is almost identical but heavier.
The battle at the front was between the Blazes and the Wayfarer. In these light to medium winds, the Blazes have about the same windward speed as the Wayfarer. On a reach the Blazes leave the Wayfarer but on a dead run the Wayfarer has a spinnaker and that makes it just a bit faster than the Blazes. We had a brilliant reach from 31 to 30 and so I got clean away from the Wayfarer but of course, Colin in his Blaze was close behind. Colin has only recently got back in the Blaze but all his years of sailing really show and he is fast upwind. He really points high which I think is not the best way to sail a Blaze but it really had me worried, I thought I had something wrong with my boat or weed on the foils I was sailing so low.
It was a struggle to keep him behind and indeed by the time we got to 24 the second time he and the Wayfarer were close. By 30 on the way back all three boats were neck and neck. Thankfully the leg to 31 was a reach and I pulled well ahead again. Then the short run to the finish but I knew I hadn’t enough lead to counter the handicap of the Wayfarer. Guess who was second on handicap - Martin and Ben Brown in their V3000, followed by myself and then Colin.
In the afternoon race, we decided on a longer course although Ironically the wind died a bit after the start. This was going to be a beat against the tide and a run back with it, that would have meant the Wayfarer’s advantage would be lessened but he didn’t join us and went off to MYC to join in with their Wayfarers. We also lost a Laser but we gained a RS200. Only 6 boats which is disappointing.
It would be a race between myself and Colin and so it turned out. I sailed the wrong course by adding in an extra mark (just for myself). That put me on the back foot but I got back into it on the long, against the tide beat to Folly Point. We were about equal as we left it to port on our route to 23, also against the tide. I took the low road by sailing free and staying in the shallows. Colin headed straight for 23 even though that meant he had to buck the tide. Colin fancied he had more wind but actually, the wind freed a bit which put me on the outside of the curve and Colin laid up to the mark, rounded and was at least 100m ahead. I just couldn’t make up that difference. On handicap he came 1st, I was 2nd and the RS200 was 3rd. Well done Colin I was thoroughly beaten but at least I was 2nd which is one place better than the morning!