The wind was superb on this Sunday Series Club race. A nice consistent 13 knots average wind blew in from the East. Although the weather was cool, it was never particularly cold. The waves, however, were unusually bumpy for that area. Marc Holm set up a simple windward leeward course outside of Peng Chau. His eyes must be far sharper (or worse?) than the actual racers as he set a very large course indeed with the windward mark so far away it was quite difficult to spot.
Nevertheless, 8 cats and 1 dinghy (RS500) set out for the start. The boys out on the dinghy were busy practicing their swimming as the first start loomed. Jukka and Bruce went out early for a bit of practice and either didn’t care where the start line was or were having trouble finding it. I am told they learned a lot about sailing on the day 🙂 With the winds often kicking up, the team of Gabriel and Cindy decided maybe it was best if Gabriel gave helming a go. Gilles and Martin also were changing around helming duties and the winds were a little stronger than many expected. Neels had no such decisions to make, going solo on his Hobie 16 (with jib) in challenging conditions. Tom got his Viper back together just in time to race and picked up James Ford as able bodied crew. Stefan sailed with his young son who looked a little cold even before we left the beach! The new members of Juan and Andreas were a welcome addition to the racing on their Hobie 16. To round out the numbers, the ever-enthusiastic David Hopgood picked up Pete as crew and set out on his F18.
Race 1 saw a good start by the F16 of Gabriel and Cindy closely followed by the Viper and the F18. The Viper had made the pass and was well ahead ⅔ of the way up the beat though. That’s when Tom and James tried to see what would happen if they throw their weight forward as they slammed into a wave. The force tore the stitching from Tom’s harness and sent the team sprawling to stay upright. The F16 wasted no time in passing the tamed Viper and led at the top mark. The Viper and Hopgood’s F18 were just behind. The drag race ensued with plenty of wind to get down the run in a hurry. The F16 struggled with the power and waves and helm Gabriel decided the best way to manage would be to turn the boat up into the wind when overpowered under spinnaker. Uh, oops. This was to be the first of their 3 rather spectacular capsizes on the day. The F18 struggled with their spinnaker and at some point decided they might just test out the water with Gabriel and Cindy. The Viper was flying with a notable lead by the bottom mark, the first of 2 roundings. A nice battle was taking place between 2 Hobies: Neels and Gilles. Neels was going all out but could not quite get the better of Gilles on race 1. Stefan was getting around the course..eventually 🙂 With only 2 buoys to go around you would think nobody would get the course wrong (Stefan) :-/
Juan and Andreas were getting words of advice, er I mean encouragement, from the other sailors in the race. But they got around just fine…
Meanwhile, Clement and friend in the dinghy showed real determination after so much swimming. They sensibly decided they should just move off the course a bit and inspect their boat setup outside of the course area.
Race 2 saw the F18 head to the beach for spinnaker adjustments. This time the Viper never relinquished the lead. Gabriel & Cindy decided their best response would be to swim around the boat a bit more and wait it out in the water. The Hobie battle continued, this time with Neels just getting the better of Gilles and son Martin. Meanwhile Jukka on the Hobie and Stefan on his prehistoric Dart were still wandering about the course, apparently making frequent stops for epic selfie shots.
Race 3 saw Gilles head back in to the beach. It was cold out there. Tom borrowed a harness in between races and was back in full swing (pun intended). Gabriel and Cindy managed to stay upright for an entire race and sailed well, as did the F18 of David and Pete. Neels heroically finished all the races. Not bad…we decided to all pitch in and buy him a beer. Juan and Andreas finished all the races! Nice job newbies.
LBC Club Racing 1 May 2016
|4th||Hobie 16||109636||Martin||Gilles||1.191||2.0||3.0||9.0 DNS||14.0||14.0|
|6th||Nacra F16||43||Cindy||Gabriel||1.035||9.0 DNF||9.0 DNF||2.0||20.0||20.0|
|7th||Dart 18||3148||Stefan||1.213||9.0 DNF||9.0 DNF||9.0 DNS||27.0||27.0|
|7th||Hobie 16||111439||Jukka||Bruce||1.191||9.0 DNF||9.0 DNF||9.0 DNF||27.0||27.0|