Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Polarised and non-polarised readers for sailors

Friday Evening Racing series - Conditions test the fleet

by Phil Riley on 30 Jun 2013
Boystrous leads Rioja home in light conditions outside the Royal Southern Yacht Club Phil Riley
The growing success of the Gaastra Friday Evening Racing series is widely down to the commitment of a group of regular sailors, none more so than from the ranks of the XOD fleet.

Always a regular presence in the short-course racing events recently initiated by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, the XODs offer competitive one-design racing. The June 28th evening edition saw a five-strong class entry experience the full range of conditions in a one and a half-hour race.

'It got quite breezy after the start,' reported Simon Russell, who helmed Swallow to a narrow win over Mos Fitzgerald in Kathleen and David Oddie aboard Magic Dragon. 'It was a nice 10 knots to start with and then we saw 18 knots, I guess, at times. The downwind start was quite fruity, but it was sailable and fine even though most of us were only two up.

'The last bit of the beat the wind went down, and it was quite comfortable with some close racing. Coming up the river it was different. Though there was a fair bit of breeze out there the river is quite sheltered and quite tricky.

'Leading coming up the river wasn't the place to be really as we had to make the call which side to come up with everyone behind us having the option to see what happened to us. The race was actually shortened at the first pile, though we didn't realise, and coming up to the Club line was quite tricky and the whole fleet compressed.

'We were still happy to finish at the Club line. Good fun, a good race and a good way to blow the cobwebs away and end the week.'

Simon has been racing XODs for several years - 'though not as long as some' - and is an enthusiastic spokesman for the class.

'It's one-design racing and we get out on a regular basis, that's the key thing,' he said. 'We've got maybe 20 boats on the river, and while we need to get a few more out doing this event, we race two or three times a week. This is a new series and some people are still getting their head around it but we're still getting five or six boats and we can keep building on that.'

And the racing is as competitive as it gets. He adds. 'It's slow but it's great. I'm still learning every time I go out; it's a tough class and you've got to be on your toes the whole time. One little error and there's somebody there to show you the way.

'We're going to be around a long time. Anyone's welcome to come and have a go and see what they think. I recommend it.'

The contrasting conditions were equally testing for those racing in the National Handicap for Cruisers (NHC) class, which saw the quarter-tonner Bad Toad add to her string of series wins, albeit with a lower corrected time margin under the evolving rating system. She was 24 seconds ahead of Richard Steel's J80 Rioja who pipped their sister ship Boysterous on corrected despite finishing behind on the water.

Joe Assael, Bad Toad's boat partner with Paul Roberts, said: 'We had a downwind start and the J80s didn't get away from us too much as we were able to sail deeper, then a nice gybe mark and a beat to the finish with a couple of passing marks. It was one of the better courses with proper upwind and downwind legs.

'The finish in the river was frustrating after having so much wind out there, and we saw the seconds at the end ticking away after the J80s were finished and we were drifting up the river with no wind and against the tide. That's the nature of finishing on the Club line, but we like it even if it makes it a little bit of a lottery at the end.

'We saw the J80s go to the western shore and lose the breeze, so we stuck to the Warsash shore and made some gains. We'd always kept left to keep out of the tide before, but we saw how much the wind died and stayed out - it's the advantage of being the following boat.

'We're still really enjoying the format - it's a great way to start the weekend, taking the right length of time. Great training and a great way to get the boat out and stretching its legs before the weekend.'

Taking line honours, Boysterous was helmed by Club sailing secretary Natalie Gray. 'There was a bit more wind than we thought, but going downwind alongside Rioja on the plane was great. The finish in the river was excellent - it's a real privilege for me to be able to finish there. We did about 8.3 knots coming up the river this time, so I beat my personal best,' she added.

The Gaastra Friday Evening Series is open to everyone. There's no entry fee for members and it's only £10 for non-members. Those racing, their family and friends are all welcome in the Club Bar and can stay for supper in the River Room if they wish. It's a great way to kick-start your weekend!

The Royal Southern's Gaastra Friday Evening Series continues until July 12th.
Event website
InSunSport - NZT Clewring One DesignBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best Eyewear

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May