13 August Gillette Series 17

Another reasonable SW wind about 10-12 mph but it did go up and down a bit during the race and managed to catch a few people out. Dave I helped by Paul R had set a reasonably weed free course using No 2 buoy in its new position and adding X.

At the end of the first lap it was that man IC (Supernova) in 1st position again closely followed by on-form Curtis (Laser) and these two stayed in front for the whole of the race. In fact they were the only two boats which did not change position ! Throughout the rest of the fleet there were some really close battles with places changing all the time. Behind Curtis there was a really tight group headed by Julian (Solo) then Nev & Mike (Leader), Newton and Karen in Lasers and Steve S in another Solo. Chris A (Solo) was originally with this group but got over excited and rammed Steve up the rear going round No 3, then doing his penalty turns he collided with a Laser and had to do another set of turns, after that he did not know whether he was coming or going! Slightly further back Dave L and Dave P were battling it out in Lasers chased by Paul H in his Supernova. Hugh & Hadey came next in a Sport 14 and had a little gap over the next group, in which Mike A (Lightning), Paula (Radial),Sally & Stuart (Leader), Sylvia (Radial) and Chris A (Giddy) were really close together and traded places throughout the race. Peter S (Byte) was on his own, but behind him there was another great battle between the three Laser IIs of Alistair & Grace, Paul & Jane B and Dean & Nick J mixing it with Chris & Carol in their Sport 14 and Holly in her Topper.

By the end of the second lap Karen had moved up to 3rd place and Dave L to 4th place, positions which they retained to the end of the race.  Behind them it was tight all the way through the fleet.

By lap three Holly and Dean & Nick had disappeared. Holly may have been finished early, but not sure why Dean & Nick stopped. They may have come to grief, had gear failure or simply could not stand the excitement of sailing in a Laser II fleet!  Julian took a dip near No 5 and then had a difference of opinion with Nev & Mike about water (come on boys there’s plenty to go round), anyway he decided to call it a night (amongst other things).  Paul H had got to the front of the midfield battle but then ditched it just before No 7 letting Paula and Sylvia through, who were having their own battle and had zoomed past the boats ahead of them on a freshening wind.

At the end of the fourth and last lap Newton had held on to the 5th place he established on the third lap with Steve S in 6th and Dave P in 7th. Paul H came back to take the lead in the midfield battle but only just and it was very close between all the other finishers with Peter S having closed the gap to join in. Paula just pipped Sylvia in the battle of the Radials and Hugh & Hadey were still rattling away at the finish and beyond it !

Alistair & Grace took the honours in the Laser II/Sport 14 tussle just ahead of Chris & Carol with Paul & Jane bringing up the rear.

The final positions were 1st Ian C, 2nd Curtis, 3rd Karen, although it is likely that Steve S was close enough to pinch that 3rd spot on handicap

Click for Gillette pictures 

10 August Summer Series Race 9

Before the start Paul R was busy moving buoys to avoid the weed, but provide a course that would give clean wind. The wind was WSW about 10-13 mph but with a forecast of stronger winds up to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph ! There was some discussion as to which sail to use and even which boat to use. Curtis, Mike A and Oswin stuck to the standard Laser sail, but Karen opted to use a Radial rig and Hadey decide to use a Pico instead of her Laser 4.7.
Ian C opted for his normal sail and Mike C, John C and Newton & Ellen had to go with what they’d got !
Paul had set a first beat down to 2, which he had moved out more to the centre of the lake, then up to 4 and then a run down to 5. There were only 9 starters, which was the same as last week – what has happened to the Sunday morning sailors ?
At the end of the first lap, a familiar sight, Ian C (Supernova) was in the lead followed by Curtis (Laser), Newton & Ellen (Laser 2000), Mike A and Karen (Lasers). Then there was a small gap to John C (Topaz), Mike C (Solo), Oswin (Laser) and Hadey (Pico).
Lap 2 and the first three were the same, but Karen had got past Mike A, and Mike C and Oswin had got past John C.
At the end of the third lap, the first five were in the same order but Oswin had moved up to 6th with Mike C 7th and Hadey 8th.  John C had managed to pull his centre board clear of the slot and capsized whilst trying to refit it. The problem then was that he had to get it back into the slot before he could right the Topaz with the consequence that his third lap took longer than the preceding two laps !
On lap 4 the order remained the same but Ian and Curtis had opened up a gap at the front and Oswin demonstrated nimble feet by dry capsizing (stepping over onto the dagger board before immersion !)
Nothing changed on the fifth lap but it was noticeable that the wind had started to increase.
Towards the end of the 6th lap it became evident that Ian had not managed to pull clear of Curtis and that Curtis was in with a very good chance of a win. Then disaster struck (for Curtis anyway –  Ian was probably quite pleased) when Curtis touched X (third buoy from the finish) and had to do a penalty turn, then trying to catch up again on the run to 6 he got into the classic roll and capsized. He probably lost about 5 minutes sorting himself out which allowed Newton & Ellen to nip past him. He did manage to cross the line in front of Karen so at least got a podium.
The final positions were – 1st Ian, 2nd Newton & Ellen, 3rd Curtis.
Just a reminder to all – when you sign on please remember to put your boat class and sail number and the name of your crew on the Declaration Sheet..

06 August Gillette Series Race 16


Peter R and his team did a pre-race recce to try and set a course as weed free as possible, but this did not cut much ice with Alistair & Laura in their Laser II, who got firmly embedded on the first lap !
There were 25 starters and numerous incidents, which involved lengthy post-race discussions with the Rules Gurus, Paul R and Karen, with the help of Karen’s little boats.
There was a reasonable 11-12 mph W wind and Peter set the first beat to No 5, followed by 9, 4, then a longish run down to 6. The only problem mark was No 9 where it was necessary to stay tight to the mark or risk getting caught in the weed, as many discovered !
At the start David C and Paul exchanged their interpretation of the rules, with further discussion later !
At the end of the first lap, Ian C (Supernova) came through the line in 1st, followed by a gaggle of Lasers, Curtis 2nd, Newton 3rd, Karen 4th, David C 5th and Dave L 6th. The first wooden boat (remember them ?) was Julian in his Solo followed by yet another Laser helmed by Dave Portus  (remember him ?). Next there was a group of double-handers led by Nev & Mike (Leader) pursued by Angela & Paula (Comet Duo), Rob & Craig (Leader), Paul B & crew (Laser II) and Sally & Stuart (Leader); wedged somewhere in the middle of these handsome couples was Mike Todd (Laser – what another !) and trailing off the back was Paul H (you’ve guessed – Laser).  Amy and Tracey T had a race long battle in their Comets with Amy coming out on top, with John H in another Comet further back. There was also a tussle between Holly and Grace in Toppers and it was good to see a new starter in John W (Radial). Chris & Carol were out in their Sport 14, but had left Alfie (Golden Retriever) on the bank. Alfie gets his dip after the race has finished,
The second lap leader was still Ian C and in fact he led right through to the finish. Curtis was still 2nd but Karen had got past Newton into 3rd. The next four boats held position but Nev & Mike had moved up to 9th place and Dave I (Radial) had moved up to 10th place by passing Mike A (Lightning). The other movers were Sally & Stuart who gained two places.
By the third lap Newton had taken 3rd from Curtis, but everyone else had maintained station. Chris & Carol were nearly pushed over the orange buoy line, which led to another post-race examination of the rules.
The end of the fourth and last lap saw no change in the positions of the leading 10 boats, which is quite unusual.  Behind these, Mike T had gone for a swim, but Rob & Craig had moved up two places and there was a real scrap between Sally & Stuart, Paul H and Mike A. So much so that these three came together literally before the penultimate mark and formed a three boat raft allowing a wet Mike T to nip past them. Not surprisingly this incident was referred to the Rules Gurus and discussed at length, completely exonerating Paul H, probably exonerating Sally & Stuart and putting Mike A in the naughty corner.  
The final positions were 1st Ian C, 2nd Karen, 3rd Newton and 4th Curtis, behind them David C and Dave L were in danger of being passed by Julian on handicap.

03 August Summer Series Race 8


With a brisk SW wind somewhere around 12-14 mph, Andy B set a nice long start line with a good beat down to No 4. Considering that the wind was “good” and the morning bright and sunny, it was somewhat surprising that only 9 boats turned out.
Although there were one or two who turned up and decided that they did not fancy a quick dip !
In fact the biggest problem of the day was not the wind but the weed ! The beat down to No 4 was followed by No 2 to starboard and then No 3 to starboard, but between 2 and 3 there was a long line of thick floating weed and it was very difficult to find an easy way through this mass.
David C (Laser) led for pretty well for the whole of the race, although he was overtaken now and then, and crossed the finish line only 10 seconds ahead of Newton & Ellen (Laser 2000). 
The battle between David C and Newton & Ellen was probably the closest of the race as the rest of the fleet seemed to spread out with slight gaps between all of the boats.
At the end of the first lap David C came through in 1st place with Newton & Ellen 2nd, Nev & Mike (Leader) 3rd and Mike A (Laser) 4th.  Nick Trotman (Radial) was next in 5th followed by Mike C (Solo), then Sally & Paul R (Leader) in 7th, with Oswin (Radial) 8th and John C (Topaz) 9th. These positions were maintained throughout the race, so although the race was not exciting in terms of trading places, it was good fun in the fresh breeze.
The final positions on the water were 1st David C, 2nd Newton & Ellen, 3rd Neville & Mike, although on handicap David C will be leapfrogged by the two following boats giving Newton and Ellen the overall win.

30 July Gillette Series Race 15

A lovely evening with a light NW wind and 28 starters, the most this year, which kept Steve S and his team very busy.
It was great to see so many young sailors joining us for the fifteenth race in the Gillette series and before the start Karen duly warned all the adult sailors not to bully the youngsters !
The start line was quite crowded with a short beat up to X near the orange buoy line.
Ian C (Supernova) got away well and had pulled out a small gap at the end of the first lap, followed by Karen, Newton, Dave L, all in Lasers, then Julian (Solo) and then Rod Barber in his Laser. Rod was hotly pursued by Nev & Paul R (Leader) in close company with Curtis (Laser). 
In the middle of the fleet there was a close battle between Chris A (Solo), Mike T (Laser), Sally & Stuart (Leader), Tracey & Craig (Leader), Dean and Paul H, both in Lasers and Mike A (Lightning). It was good to see Chris & Carol (Sport 14) and Ian Stewart (RS Vision) back on the water and enjoying a tussle with Hugh (Byte) and Hadey (4.7).
The first of the Toppers was Joe followed by William P, then Jess (Laser), Rhys and Edward in Oppies and Holly in another Topper. Tangled up with them and enjoying their company was Chris S (Laser), Paul B (Laser 2) and John H (Comet).
Ian C kept his lead throughout the race and the five boats behind him also retained their positions. Nev & Paul R kept swopping places with Curtis and they crossed the finish line together. Mike T managed to pull away from the middle of the fleet pack and Sally & Stuart came out top of that midfield pack.  Hugh won the battle of the next group with Hadey and Ian S finishing virtually together with Chris & Carol not far behind.
The leading Topper at the end of the race was William followed by Joe, but Steve S had sensibly finished Holly and the Oppies of Rhys and Edward a lap earlier.
The final placings were 1st Ian C, 2nd Karen, 3rd Newton, 4th Dave L, but Julian will push Dave out of 4th on handicap.
Well done to all the young sailors who joined in the race. Come along again it’s really good to have you with us.

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