Spring Series 11 – 29th May 2016

It was good to see another new sailor joining the racing fleet, so welcome to Jess Bertram for her first race at RSC.  
With a NE wind of 10mph forecast to rise to 13 mph James used an Island start with a first beat to X (about hallway between 5 and 6, but in the middle of the lake), then 5p, 8s, 4p, 3p, 2p and back through the start.
Pursuit Race
There were 23 starters for this race and after one lap early starter William P (Topper) was still leading from his fellow Topper sailor Ben H. Gordon P (Mirror) came through in 3rd with John C (Topaz) 4th being caught by Jess B(Radial) who had just passed Chris A (Solo).
By the second lap Karen (Laser) had come to the front and Jess had moved up to 2nd with Richard S (Laser) 3rd, Ellen & Newton (RS200 4th, Mark B (Laser) 5th and Jon (Laser) 6th.
At the gun these first six boats had maintained their positions.
There was an interesting incident just before the finish gun when Chris A fouled the mark and started to do his penalty turn just as the gun went and just as he collided with Mike A coming up to the mark.
The question is whether you have to do penalty turns after the finish gun has sounded in a pursuit race and how would you decide finishing positions?  Would be interested to hear from anyone who knows the answer!
Handicap Race
Dave I (Radial) and John C decided to sit this one out as usual, but the appearance of David C and Richard H, both in Lasers meant that the field remained at 23 for the second race of the day.
David C led at the end of the first lap followed closely by Jon C and this was to be the pattern for the whole of the race. Karen came through in 3rd with Mark 4th, Newton & Ellen 5th and Adrian (Rooster) 6th. There was a peculiar collision between Peter R (Enterprise) and Dave & Ann L (Leader) on the way down to No 8. It looked as if the boats had contracted Spring fever and had started to perform a graceful courtship dance locked together and pirouetting around one another! Peter retired after this unfortunate coupling, not sure if he suffered some damage or could not stand the passion !
At the end of the second lap the only change in the leading boats was Newton & Ellen taking 4th place form Mark. There was a packed midfield of Lasers enjoying some close sailing, but the slower boats of Chris A (Solo), Mike A (Lightning) and Chris H (Comet) were getting left behind in the freshening breeze.
By the third lap Adrian had moved up to 4th pushing Mark down to 6th and Richards S had gained three places to move up to 7th just in front of Jess in 8th. In the middle of the fleet, the Lasers of Rod, John H and Dave P were having a good battle with Paul H (Supernova) for 9th to 12th places. Not far behind them there was another good tussle between Steve P (Laser) and Rick (Laser) and then slightly further back Richard H and Gareth D, both in Lasers, were having their own battle.. Dave & Ann had to retire as their Leader had obviously over-exerted itself in the dancing and could not take any more!
At the end of the fourth lap the leading boats had shuffled position slightly with Adrian moving up another place to 3rd and Richard up two places to 5th. John H had gained two places to move up to 8th, but Rod and Jess crossed the line together in joint 9th. The only other mover was Paul H who gained a place to move to 11th. William and Ben who had been having a good battle in their Toppers received the gun at the end of this lap with William just coming out on top.
The last and fifth lap saw no change in the first four, but Newton & Ellen managed to get past Richard and Mark to move up to 5th. Jess had managed to shake off Rod and get past John H to move up to 8th and Steve P had got the better of Dave P and Rick to move up to 12th, but there were no other changes in position.
Final positions on the water were –
1st David C; 2nd Jon C; 3rd Adrian; 4th Karen; 5th Newton & Ellen, 6th Richard S
On handicap Jess in her Radial should take 3rd place with Adrian dropping out of the top six.
Thanks to James and the OOD team of Dean & Nick J, Chris S and John W.

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