31 August 2014 Cobley Pursuit Series Race 1

With a light W wind about 8 – 10 mph, Rod B and team were able to set a start from the bank with a beat down to No 4.
Unfortunately there does not appear to be any lap by lap record or perhaps that should be fortunately !  It may be that for the uninvolved a record of positions lap by lap is about as exciting as watching paint dry or the England team playing test cricket !
The full positions will appear on the website in the results section in due course, so click on that link if you are interested.
The leading positions at the gun were 1st Ian C, 2nd David C, 3rd Curtis, 4th Dave L, 5th Dave I, 6th Peter S. It’s a good job Curtis is not called David or it would have been four Daves in a row in four Lasers. Peter S was sailing a Byte so he would have thankfully broken the sequence anyway !
                                                 ˂-/-            1 P
                                           ˂-/-   2 P
                                          ˂-/-   3 P
X                                                                                              ˂—-  Wind direction
                                              ˂–   4 S
                                         ˂–   5 S
The above hieroglyphics represent an interesting situation that occurred during the race.
Boats 1, 2 and 3 were approaching the mark X on port tack with the wind roughly behind them. Boat 3 is the windward boat so has to give room to Boat 2 and likewise Boat 2 has to give room to Boat 1 within the limits of sailing a proper course to the mark.
Meanwhile Boats 4 and 5 are approaching the same mark on starboard, Boat 4 has to give room to Boat 5 being the windward boat on this tack, but both these boats have rights over the three port tack boats.
So Boat 3 was getting pushed towards Boat 4  and at the same time Boat 4 was also getting pushed towards Boat 3. What happened was that Boats 2, 3 and 4 gradually converged as none of the boats realised the situation that was developing until it was too late to avoid a collision.
Apparently what should have happened,  bearing in mind that this crude diagram is not to scale,  was that with the appropriate calls Boats 1, 2 and 3 should have come round the back of the two starboard boats giving them right of way.
Looking at the diagram it would also be possible for Boats 1,2 and 3 to gybe away from the mark.
I guess the moral of the story is to try and look ahead and make sure that you communicate as early as possible with the boats around you, at least before you collide !


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