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The Woodhouse Trophy for Vane 36R model boats

by Tony Wilson 24 Jun 10:19 PDT 12 June 2021
The Woodhouse Trophy for Vane 36R model boats © Tony Wilson

Most of the regulars were busy and unavailable, so we just had the two entries: Bob Jolly and Tony Wilson. So it wouldn't go ahead at all anyway as the wind was looking too much, forecast for 14MPH and Tony only had the big sail for 'the John's borrowed boat'.

With this the case, late as usual, Tony and Sandy dog arrived to find Bob and Eric at the boathouse admiring the 3D printed flying machine that was going to give Tony a pasting. Amazing what you can come up with from 50 rolls of PLA filament, not just key fobs, but things that actually float.

Bob had also the tall big rig attached and just as unsure to whether it would handle the conditions. Eric was happy to man the far bank, but wait a minute and another familiar to some face had just arrived. One of the John's from Keighly over Yorkshire way that also races other classes of RC Yachts but never dabbled with Vane, although has always been intrigued from his childhood memories to it's mysterious workings.

Now with two workable pairs of the blind leading the clueless, leading the blind, we were going places. "Please public don't ask us too many questions as we don't really know and the rest we'll only make up anyway".

It was choppy and fairly windy coming from the far right hand corner. Nothing to lose and a great opportunity to learn a great deal as there was no one to tell us off and the best way to understand how things work, was just do it.

Tony had allowed Bob choice to go to weather, Always best for the 3 point leg on the beat and we were setting them off initially on a starboard tack to keep them away from our helpers on the far bank, so we thought.

Both boats dithered, hesitated and as though requested and synchronised, tacked over to reluctantly make their way over to the far bank to the 'what do we do now, helpers'. With both boats struggling to vacate the far bank and just as confused to their course as their drivers, Tony shouts to open up the angles.

Bob had been instructed for 28 degrees and Tony's vane settings had been closed again back to 30 degrees. "Let's both try 40 degrees to maybe get them away from a head to wind course " shouted Tony.. Eventually half an hour later, we arrived at the far end. Bob only tangled by about 4 crab lines. This was just a practice race and we would repeat the run back down as there was no point in carrying the boats back to the start.

"Right this is what you do, turn the dial, pull a spring and twiddle the lever or something to that effect and let the boat go". So we were telling each other with conviction and excitement. Eventually again we were back to the start and ready for the real race and to see if we had made any bit of improvement.

Both boats now on 40 degrees were actually looking a lot better and closer to the norm. Bob tweaked again and brought his angle in a little closer and it went even better to win for the 3 points. Stealing the run also to gain another 2 points, it was Bob's game.

Race 2 and it was reversed, Tony flew up the lake to leave Bob and Eric behind and repeated a lovely run in virtually one attempt, to leave Bob tangled on yet another crab line. Lunch time and thank you very much John for helping out and for more than just your brief visit.

Ian now arrived to help keep up the force and the afternoon was for a third race as it was one all. We would only need the one leg, but we sailed both for Bob's victory over the day.

Bob had this time made it all the way back down without touching the sides, while Tony's boat was dancing, sinking and doing all sorts in the middle of the lake. The wind had got up and the central area was thrashing the boats about until you had fought your way through it.

Much learnt and all towards our next outing for many more to come.


1 Bob Jolly 8pts
2 Tony Wilson 5pts

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