28th June Gillette Series 11

Another pleasant evening with a light wind about 10-11 mph from the NNW. Steve S used an Island Start with a first beat to X (situated just past 5 but in the middle of the lake) then 5p, 9s, 4p, 2p and back through the start.
 
There were 19 starters and Karen (Laser) was first back through the line followed 20 secs later by Hugh (Laser) then Newton (Solo). Unfortunately Newton was over the line at the start and he actually completed the race to be told the bad news after he had finished!  So in actual 3rd place was Ellen with a gap back to Richard H (Laser) and Dave & Ann (Leader). Mike T (Laser), Curtis (Radial) and Sally & Stuart (Leader) all crossed the line together fighting for 6th place. Then Mike A (Lightning) and Paul H (Supernova) also crossed the line together battling for 9th place. After 30 secs Mike C (Wanderer) crossed not far ahead of Chris A (Solo) and William (Radial), but there was quite a gap back to the next boat which was Ed in his Oppie. Unfortunately Ed like Newton was judged to be over the line at the start, so was also disqualified at the end of the race. Nick & Monica (a new dynamic duo in the Vago) crossed the line with Rhys in his Topper) with Jemima further back in her Oppie.  
Another one to leave the stage was Jeremy who was disqualified for not sailing the correct course.  
 
At the end of the second lap there was no change in the order of the first six boats, but Paul H had moved up three places to 7th spot and William had passed Mike C and Chris A to move up two places to 11th. Further back Nick & Monica had moved away from Rhys and Jemima.
 
By the third lap Ellen had just got past Hugh with no change in the order of the other leading boats, but Paul H and Curtis both gained a place to move to 6th and 7th positions. Chris A had caught and passed Mike C to move up to 12th, but there were no other movers.
 
At the end of the last lap the four leading boats remained the same but Curtis had gained another two places to move up to 5th place pushing Dave & Ann down to 6thand Paul H to 7th. William gained another place to take 8th place pushing Mike T to 9th and Chris A pipped Mike A on the line to take 10th and Mike C gained a place by passing Sally & Stuart. Rhys and Jemima did not sail this last lap, so presumably received a gun at the end of the third lap or decided to retire.
 
The positions on the water were –
1st Karen; 2nd Ellen; 3rd Hugh; 4th Richard H; 5th Curtis; 6th Dave & Ann
 
On handicap the first three boats should keep their positions but Curtis should leapfrog Richard H to take 4th. If Jemima received a finish gun she should move up to 5th pushing Richard H down to 6th, but only beating Dave & Ann by a whisker!
 
Thanks to Steve S and the OOD Team of Graham K, Ralph P and Jessica W.
 

Thames Valley Challenge at Upper Thames SC

This Saturday just gone saw two teams of the Reading’s Youth and Junior competing in the annual Thames Valley team racing event.  The racing was in RS Fevas with Reading A consisting of helms, Ben, Joe and William, with Sophie, Jemima, and Bea as crews. Reading B’s helms were Edward, Louie and Rhys with Thomas, Rory and Katie as crews. Although Reading A had the more experienced helms, the crews were all optimist juniors for whom this was their first team racing event (this is an important point for the defence as you will see later!).  Along with the assorted parents, Karen and Hugh were there as team managers/coaches and Monica kindly turned up as well,  as additional support.  
10 other teams were also competing with teams from Claire’s Court, Desborough, Dorchester, Goring, Maidenhead, Silverwings and Upper Thames.   The event was hosted at Upper Thames SC, a very nice location just outside Marlow, but being on the river presented the Reading teams with a couple of new challenges. The first one being the course layout, the start line in particular. The committee boat was stationed hard up on the right bank, which meant that a standard starboard start was only possible if you fitted wheels to the Fevas and were prepared to tack through the conservatory of one of the riverside homes !  The other challenge was the current, both teams took some time in understanding these are not just of the bun variety, but are also an important aspect in river sailing.  Although there was a reasonable Force 2  breeze coming down the river there was a very definite bias against the starboard tack.  The wind and current  took the hold of the bows and crabbed the boats sideways down the river, into marks, in particular the ODM.  The other challenge were the other river users, rowers, motorboats and gin palaces, all of whom seemed to have a knack of turning up on the start line just 30 secs before the off.  The Upper Thames race team however were clearly well used to this and managed this all with aplomb and quick to postpone a start so that the line could be safely cleared. 
Over the course of the day all teams sailed 8 races. Reading A won 3 of their races beating Silverwings B, Dorchester, and Goring A.  Reading B beat 5 teams including  Silverwings B, Dorchester, Desborough, Goring A,  and Reading A !  The Reading A & B race was a true local derby, consisting of siblings from the Day , Harrison, and Primrose families across both teams. Loyalties on the bank were truly divided –  the Montague and Capulets had nothing on  this.   Joe upheld the honours of the A team by coming in first, but he was followed by the the 3 boats of the B team, with Ben and William bringing up the rear and the excuses !  The truth is that actually both teams were very well matched, and the senior helms in the A team did very well in shepherding their novice crews, for whom this was their very first experience of team racing, if not being in a big boat.  In fact we think that all helms had at least one first place over the day. 

Anyway at the end of the day Reading A finished 7th and Reading B 6th, missing out on 4th place by just 2 points.  A very creditable performance with lots of learning points.   After the semi-final and finals race off, Upper Thames A & B clinched first and second place. Congratulations go to them, as well as thanks and recognition for organising such a splendid event.  Thanks also go to Karen and Hugh for giving up their Saturday to coach the teams. 


25th June Summer Series 5

 In contrast to last Sunday there was plenty of wind this Sunday. It was blowing about 13 – 15 mph from WSW with a few stronger squalls coming through. Mike A set the first beat down to 4 than 2p, 5s, 8p, 6s, 7s and back though the start.
Pursuit Race
There were 18 starters and the fresh wind had brought Julian B out to play! At the end of the first lap Dave P in his Mirror was still leading the fleet with Curtis (Radial) in 2nd place, but being rapidly caught by Julian B (OK) and Paul R (Aero). Then along came the first full rig Laser of James P who had just passed Hadey (sailing a 4.7 rig but taking a Radial handicap start).
The finish gun went as the leading boats were nearing No 4 on the second lap and Paul R had got through to take the victory with Julian B in 2nd place, Curtis 3rd, Adrian up to 4th, Gareth (Laser) 5th and Karen (Laser) 6th.  
 
Handicap Race
Despite the freshening condition everyone opted to go in the second race and Paul R was first back though the line, but not far ahead of Newton & Ellen (RS200) with Julian B about a minute back in 3rd place.  James was fourth across the line and then Hugh (Laser) led through a pack of boats who were all very close together consisting of Curtis(Radial), Karen (Laser), Adrian (Rooster), Richard S (Laser), Gareth (Laser) and Jon (Laser). There was then a slight gap before Hadey came through ahead of Rick (Laser), Dave & Ann (Leader) Dean & Nick (Vago) and Chris A (Solo). Then about a minute further back came Chris H in his Comet and Dave P in the Mirror.
 
There was no change in the leading five boats on the second lap, although Paul had increased his lead and Julian B had caught, but not passed Newton & Ellen, and they had a terrific scrap for the rest of the race for the 2nd spot. Adrian had gained two places to move to 6th and Jon was up four places to 7th and behind him the other Lasers were in a close battle for the 8th place. Further back Rick had got past Hadey to move to 12th, but the boats behind them had not changed position.
 
At the end of the third lap the first three remained the same, but Adrian had gained another two places to move up to 4th. Hugh who was lying in 5th place unfortunately capsized on the way to No 6, which allowed all the boats behind him to move up one place. Jon, Richard S and Gareth also gained another place by passing Curtis, so this was a bad lap for the Wargrave Nursery team !  Hadey regained 12th place by passing Rick, who was also passed by Dean & Nick and Dave & Ann (who had changed places in the Vago’s favour).
Are you a keen gardener Rick?
Chris H and Dave P who had been gamely battling on at the rear of the fleet received the finish gun at the end of the lap.
 
The finish gun at the end of the fourth lap saw Paul R cross the line over four minutes ahead of Julian B who had managed to snatch 2nd place from Newton & Ellen. Jon gained another two places to take 5th place. The only other mover in the right direction was Chris A who just managed to get past Rick (he must be a gardener).   
 
The final positions on the water were –  
1st Paul R; 2nd Julian B; 3rd Newton &Ellen; 4th Adrian; 5th Jon; 6th James.
 
On handicap Paul will retain first place, but Julian should leapfrog Newton & Ellen to take second.
Jon and James should move up to fourth and fifth with Curtis taking 6th place.
 
Thanks to Mike A and the OOD Team of Alistair J and Andrew M and especially Roland L, Alistair S and Jeremy T who although not on the rota stepped in to help.
 
 
 
 

Wednesday 21st June Gillette Series 10

Bright sun and 10 mph wind from the South promised a pleasant relaxed sail. Chris H set the first beat to X (just off Tektona), 1s, 4s, 9p, 6s and back through the start.
 
There were 22 starters and first back though the line was Karen (Laser) followed half a minute later by Hugh (Laser) then Newton (Solo) with Julian W, in another Solo not far behind him. Then there was a slight gap back to Ralph (Laser) in 5th place and then Monica and Amy both in Europes came through together just ahead of Sylvia & Peter (RS200) who were in 8th place with Jeremy (Laser) going well in 9th place. .
 
At the end of the second lap the first three were unchanged, but there was a lot of passing going on behind these three. Sylvia & Peter had moved up to 4th, Paul H (Laser) had gained ten places to move up to 8th and Mike T (Laser) had moved up four places to 9th. Other movers were Dean & Nick (Vago) who had moved up one place to 10th followed by Chris A (Solo) who was up five places to 11th just ahead of Curtis (Radial) who had dropped two places down to 12th. Further back in the fleet Bob Lovell (Solo) gained two places to 13th and was now just behind Ed & Crew (Feva) who were in a steady 14th place.  Dave & Ann (Leader) and Mike C (Wanderer) gained two places to move to 15th and 16th respectively. Tracey (Comet) and William (Feva) had both gained a place and Cecilia was gamely bringing up the rear in a 4.7.
Monica, William and Cecilia retired at the end of this lap.
 
The third lap was the last and Karen crossed the line well clear of Hugh with Newton further back in 3rd place. Ralph had regained the two places he lost the previous lap to move back to 5th. A number of other boats gained places due to the retirements, but Jeremy having slipped back on the second lap regained four places.
 
The final positions on the water were –
1st Karen; 2nd Hugh; 3rd Newton; 4th Sylvia & Peter; 5th Ralph; 6th Julian W
 
On handicap Karen should retain first spot, but it is likely that Ed & Crew (Feva) will move up to second with Newton and Julian W third and fourth in their Solos pushing Hugh and Ralph down to fifth and sixth.  
 
Thanks to Chris H and the OOD Team of Mark H, Phil M and Steve P. 
 

18th June Summer series 4

Summer 4          18th June
 
It was very hot and sunny this morning, but not a lot of wind, at best 3mph from the South. Mark wisely set a short course of Xp, 9p, 6s and back through the start.
 
Pursuit Race
There were only 7 starters, perhaps a combination of Father’s day and no wind!
There was just time for one lap and a bit before the gun finished the race. The positions at the gune were –
1st Richard S – Laser; 2nd Karen – Laser; 3rd Chris H- Comet; 4th Adrian – Rooster; 5th Hadey – Radial; 6th William P – Feva; 7th James P – Feva  (but may have been Rhys at the helm as the Fevas were getting some practice in for the Thames Valley Challenge on Saturday 25th June)
 
Handicap Race
Mark shortened the course even further for the second race by substituting 8 for 9, even so it was only a two lap and the order remained exactly the same for both laps. So the final positions on the water were –
1st Karen; 2nd Adrian; 3rd Richard S; 4th Hadey; 5th Chris H; 6th William; 7th Rhys & James.
 
On Handicap Karen should keep 1st place, but Chris should move up to 2nd with Richard 3rd.
William should move up to 4th Pushing Hadey down to 5th with Adrian 6th and Rhys & James 7th
 
Thanks to Mark and the OOD Team (their names were not down on the race sheet, but should have been Chris B, Mike C, Issy, Tom L and Paula)
 
Another plea to two-man boat helms please put the names of your crew down on the Declaration Sheet – thank you
 
 

14th June Gillette Series 9

A lovely evening, the sun was out and there was a light wind about 8-9 mph from the South, well some of the time! Curtis was having to cope on his own as none of his OOD Team had turned up. Fortunately Barbara A, a new member and newly trained, stepped into the breech to help Curtis out.
Curtis set the first beat down to X (positioned between No 2 and Tektona), then 9p, 5s, 8p, 6s and back through the start.
 
There were 23 starters and first back though the line was Karen (Laser) with Ellen (Laser) chasing her. Newton (Solo) came through in 3rd place followed by the Lasers of Ralph, Mike T, Mark B and Richard H. Next though in 8th place was Julian W (in the second Solo out tonight), closely followed by John H (Laser) and then after a slight gap John’s son Ben (Radial) and Mike A (Lightning). Jeremy T and Paul H in Lasers came through close together with a slight gap back to Sylvia and Peter having an outing in their RS200. The second two man boat in the fleet Sally & Stuart (Leader)were next through and then some way back came Tracey in her Comet followed a minute later by the new promising team of Mike C & Dean in the highly tuned Wanderer and not far behind them was Rick (Laser). Then came Team Oppie with Jemima and Ed sandwiching Chris & Carol in their Sport 14 who were ahead of Robin & Angela (Comet Duo) with a mystery 4.7 (no sail number and no name on the Declaration Sheet!) bringing up the rear.
 
At the end of the second lap there was no change with the order of the first four boats, but Mark had got past Mike T to move up to 5th. John H had gained a place by passing Julian W and Mike A had got past Ben. Sylvia & Peter had moved up three places to 11th. Further back the mystery 4.7 had gained four places and Ed had passed Jemima. The 4.7, Ed, Chris & Carol, Jemima and Robin & Angela received the finish gun at the end of this lap.   
 
The three leaders crossed the line at the end of the last lap in the same positions they had occupied all race long. Mark had gained another place to finish 4th and Sylvia & Peter and Mike C & Dean had made up two more places. Rick had also made up two places by passing Sally & Stuart and Tracey.
Not exactly an exhilarating sail, but a very pleasant one in the late evening sun.
 
Final positions on the water were –
1st Karen; 2nd Ellen; 3rd Newton; 4th Mark; 5th Ralph; 6th Mike T
 
On handicap the first three keep their positions, but Ed should move up to 4th with Jemima 5th and Mark 6th.
 
Thanks to Curtis who coped admirably with his OOD Team of only one – well done and thanks to Barbara!    
 
PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO SIGN IN ON THE DECLARATION SHEET AND IF YOU ARE SAILING A TWO HANDER PUT HELM AND CREW NAMES ON THE SHEET.

ALSO PLEASE ENTER THE CLASS SO THAT THE CORRECT HANDICAP CAN BE APPLIED TO YOUR RESULT. FOR INSTANCE IF YOU ARE SAILING A LASER AND ARE USING A RADIAL SAIL BECAUSE IT IS WINDY, BUT WANT THE FULL RIG HANDICAP TO APPLY FOR THE SERIES MAKE THIS CLEAR ON THE DECLARATION SHEET

11th June Summer Series 3

With a SW wind13-15 mph and gusty Adrian set the first mark as 9, then 6p, 4p, Op (just upwind of Tektona), Xs (near the main slip) and back through the start.
 
Pursuit Race
There were 18 starters and at the end of the first lap the first three boats were Radials with Sylvia leading Hadey and Curtis, then came the full rig Lasers of John H and Jon C. The first non-Laser was Peter S in a standard rig Byte followed by another two Lasers, Ralph and Richard S. The next boat through was the early starter Chris H in his Comet followed by another eight Lasers! (although some of these were flying radial rigs with Ben the only declared Radial).These were Hugh, Dave L, Ben H, Gareth, Franz, Phil A, Mike A and Ken with Mike C and Dean bringing up the rear of the fleet in Mike’s Wanderer . Rounding 6 Phil A stalled slightly and Ken motoring up behind him struck his transom a glancing blow, Mike A went wide to miss them both, tacked on the buoy line and then tangled with poor Ken who was still sorting himself out on port tack. Ken and Phil both decided to retire as did Mike C & Dean, who came in to do some fine tuning on the Wanderer.
At the gun Jon had come through to take the victory, but Sylvia was still well up in 2nd place with Richard S in 3rd.
Final positions were – 1st Jon; 2nd Sylvia; 3rd Richard S; 4th Curtis; 5th John H; 6th Ralph
 
Handicap Race
There was a course change for the second race, the new course being 9, 5, 6, X and back through the start. Curtis, Phil, Ken and Ralph decided not to go out for the second race which left 14 starters.
Just after the start Mike A capsized on the buoy line, became detached from his Laser and had to swim after it. In the meantime Chris H taking avoiding action went into irons and the two boats inexorably drifted together and by the time they had disentangled the rest of the fleet were rounding 9.
First back through the line was Jon with a useful lead on Hugh, John H, Franz, and Richard S, who were fairly close together. Dave L and Hadey came through the line together in 6th place with Sylvia only one second behind them. Then there was a slight gap back to Ben and Gareth in 9th and 10th places who were followed by the only two man boat out today Mike C and Dean in a newly tined Wanderer! Peter S  followed them through and bringing up the rear were Mike A and Chris H.
 
At the end of the second lap there was no change in the leading three, but Richard S was up to 4th and Dave L up to 5th with Hadey 6th and Sylvia up one place to 7th. Gareth had moved up two places to 8th and Peter S was up two to 10th.
 
On the third lap John H, Richard S and Dave L had all moved up one place by passing Hugh and Sylvia had gained another place to move up to 6th. The only other movers was Mike A up three places to 9th  and Chris H had retired.
 
The fourth lap saw no change in the positions of the leading four boats, but Sylvia was up another place to 5th, but there no other movers in the right direction!
 
At the end of the fifth lap the first three remained the same, but yes you have guessed it, Sylvia moved up another place to 4th! Hugh gained a place back to move to 5th and Franz gained two places to move to 6th. Dave L came to grief rounding 6 and retired after getting out of the bushes! Mike A, Peter S and Mike C & Dean all gained a place after Gareth capsized. At the end of the lap Peter S, Mike C & Dean, Ben and Gareth all received the gun.
 
At the end of the final lap there was no change in the positions of the first three, but Franz had gained another two places to move up to 4th.
 
The final positions on the water were –
1st Jon; 2nd John H; 3rd Richard S; 4th Franz; 5th Hugh; 6th Sylvia.
 
On handicap Jon and John H retain their places, but Sylvia should move up to 3rd pushing Franz and Richard S down with Hadey leapfrogging Hugh to take 6th.
 
Thanks to Adrian and the OOD Team of Bill C, Stephen G, Richard K and Ferdinando.
 


7th June Gillette Series Race 8

The forecast was for rain with a SW wind of 13 mph at 7 pm dropping to 11 mph by 8 pm, but the wind was actually 13- 15 mph with gusts of over 20!
Dave L set the first beat to 4 then 2, 3, 9, 5, 6 and X (No 7 was on the bank as the anchor had come adrift, so X was positioned fairly close to the main slip)
 
There were 19 starters and Mark B (Laser) was first back through the line clear ahead of Karen (Laser), Curtis (Radial), Hugh (Laser), Newton (Solo)),Richard H (Laser) and John H (Laser). Then there was a slight gap back to Ralph (Laser, but using a radial rig) and then a bigger gap back to Steve S (Solo) and Franz (Laser). Then there was a full minute before Mike A (Lightning) crossed the line not far in front of Joe (4.7) and Ben (Radial) and then another minute before Sally & Stuart (Leader) came along. There was another large gap before Ed and Jemima turned up in their Oppies and they were just ahead of Mike C (Wanderer) who was well ahead of Jeremy and Paul H in Lasers.
 
At the end of the second lap Hugh had moved up three places to take the lead with Karen still 2nd and Newton up two places to 3rd. Richard H had gained two places to move up to 4th and John H was up one place to 6th with Franz up three to 7th and Ralph steady in 8th. Ben had got past Joe, but these two and Mike A were having a good battle of their own and kept swapping places. Jeremy and Paul H had passed the two Oppies of Ed and Jemima who were gamely battling on in the windy conditions.
Steve S looked as if he had suffered a gear failure as he came back in with his sail half down and Sally & Stuart and Mike C also retired on this lap.
 
On the third lap the leading three maintained position, but Mark had regained a place to move to 4th. Franz moved up to 6th and Curtis regained two places to move to 7th. Ben gained a place to move up to 9th by repassing Joe. Ralph retired on this lap and Ed and Jemima received the finish gun at the end of the lap.
 
At the end of the fourth and last lap Hugh crossed the line in 1st place a full minute ahead of Karen in 2nd with Mark just getting past Newton to take 3rd place. Ben gained another place to move up to 8th and joined Hugh in claiming family bragging rights by finishing ahead of the old man!
Jeremy and Paul H decided to retire on this lap.
 
The final positions on the water were –
1st Hugh; 2nd Karen; 3rd Mark; 4th Newton; 5th Richard H; 6th Franz   
 
The positions on handicap should be interesting because my rough calculation places Hugh and Newton level, but we will have to see what the results app comes up with! Curtis should also move up to 4th pushing Mark down to 5th.
However there is a surprise in store for the leading boats as although Ed and Jemima finished a lap early it is likely that their corrected times will actually put Ed in 1st place and Jemima in 2nd place!
 
So well done to Hugh for getting the lead on the second lap and keeping it right to the end of the race and well done to Ed and Jemima for pressing on in challenging conditions.
 
Thanks to Dave L and the OOD Team of Bob H, Helen, Rob J, Dean J and Ann L (who was pleased not to get wet this week!)   
 
 

Summer Series Race 2 4th June

The forecast was for a WSW wind about 10 mph, but in fact it was slightly stronger than that, probably 12 – 13 mph. Mike A set the first beat to 4 then 2p, 9p, 5s, 8p ,6s, 7s and back though the start
 
Pursuit Race
There were 20 starters and at the end of the first lap Newton & Ellen (RS200) and Paul R (Aero) had caught and passed the early starters and came through close together but well ahead of everyone else.  Dave P (Mirror) would have probably crossed the line in 1st place, but instead of turning down to No 8 he continued across towards 6 and by the time he realised his mistake he decided it was not worth turning back and retired. The Comets of Nev and Chris H were next through the line, but being closed down by James and Richard S in Lasers.
At the gun Paul R had a clear lead from Newton & Ellen and James had moved up to 3rd and Jon up to 4th with Richard S 5th and Hugh 6th.
Other movers up the fleet were Ralph and Rick (Lasers) both up three places and Jeremy up two places. Peter R sailing his Enterprise (single handed) capsized, but did finish the race as he was on the water when the gun sounded.
 
Handicap Race
Neville decided to sit this one out so there were 19 starters for the second race and again Paul and Ellen & Newton came back through the line in 1st and 2nd well ahead of the rest of the fleet. The four Lasers of Richard S, Jon, Hugh and James were next through and Richard and Jon actually crossed the line together. Steve S (Solo) came through in 7th followed by Hadey (Radial) who was just ahead of Dave & Ann (Leader) and Ralph (Laser), closely followed by Sylvia (Radial), Peter S (Byte CII) and William (4.7). Next through the line and abreast of one another were Chris A (Solo) and Rick (Laser), then there was a slight gap back to Jeremy (Laser) and another gap back to Chris H (Comet) with Dave P (Mirror) bringing up the rear. Peter R decided to retire on this lap. The problem with an Enterprise is that once capsized they come up full of water not dry like a Laser!
 
There was no change in the positions of the two leaders at the end of the second lap, but Paul had pulled further ahead. Jon was a clear 3rd, but James had moved up to 4th with Hugh 5th. Richard must have had a moment because he was back to 6th. Further back Sylvia had gained four places to move up to 7th and Rick had also gained four places to move to 10th. Jeremy and Chris H both moved up one place by getting past William. Dave P received the finish gun at the end of the lap.
 
At the end of the third and last lap there was no change with the two leaders, but Richard had come back well to take 3rd place. The other movers up the order were Steve S reclaiming 7th spot from Sylvia, Hadey up one place to 8th, Dave & Ann up one place to 10th and Peter S up two places to11th and Chris A also gained a place.
 
The final positions on the water were –
1st Paul R; 2nd Ellen & Newton; 3rd Richard S; 4th Jon; 5th James; 6th Hugh.
 
On handicap the first four should retain their positions, but Steve S should move up to 5th pushing James down to 6th.
 
Thanks to Mike A and the OOD Team of Dean & Sue J, Damian M, Ken, Will S and Ian S.
 
 
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