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Vaikobi 2024 LEADERBOARD

Alton Water Frostbite Series Sponsored by Anglian Water & Fox's Chandlery Day 2

by Archie Hainsworth 14 Jan 08:47 PST 14 January 2024
Alton Water Frostbite Series Day 2 © Archie Hainsworth

This morning followed on from our opening of the 2024 Frostbite Series we saw last Sunday.

Whilst the weather was by no means 'bad' last week, we were graced by slightly warmer temperatures and a tad less wind, this time coming from the much more reliable West (11kn average).

Unfortunately this weekend was the one weekend where Mark H was not able to join us on the committee boat with his offensively high vis jacket, and so Steve M was joined by our new Senior Instructor Sam on the committee boat, bringing with him a new and improved horn too - much to the delight of our younger sailors who were left a little concerned with our seemingly failing horn system of last week.

Given the wind direction, myself and Steve thought it best to seize the opportunity to make a large trapezoid course, taking up the most the left side of the reservoir as seen from the centre building. We do try and cater towards our spectators in the somewhat warmer Cafe! The observant amongst the fleets would have noticed the Port bias of the line of last week was somewhat reduced this week, seeing each fleet take most the length of the line. It was a pleasure to watch from the pin end, and the looming threat of a black flag kept our sailors at bay. The lead boat for the faster fleet did not have such an aggressive route round today, however the long-time AWSC favourite 420 (52151) led from the front on both races. They seemed to be pleased with a slightly more symmetric friendly course this week, as did so many others.

Sadly, I did not get to witness the end half of the First race, as I went ashore to repair a broken parking machine... but it was well rounded off at a 45-minute run time. A 29er (2913) from the Royal Hospital School took this as an opportunity to make itself known to our safety boat team shortly after retiring, with the young crew taking the opportunity to give their masthead a seemingly well-deserved wash. Credit is always due to younger sailors giving a new boat (especially a skiff) a go for the first time in a racing environment. My first 29er experience across a start line for the first time made these guys look as if they were positively breezing it.

Race 2 is where the Royal Hospital School boats came into their own. Pink sail-Firefly (7) (decorated for its team racing career) joined 420 (52151) at the pin end of the start line, combining brilliant boat speed at GO with some subtle luffing and windward heel just caught the girls in a brilliant lee bow - forcing them to tack off into some clean air. The helm of said Firefly is known for his speed in the laser world, however, cannot name him through data protection. Whilst possibly not on purpose, the look I saw sitting at the pin was one of satisfaction. An RHS ILCA (220039) also pulled an aggressive move on the 420 girls at the windward mark, however success did not reflect that of the Firefly so well and instead followed the 29ers positively watery and chilly example (all be it briefly). I am very excited to see how the competitive young sailors have compared with the existing PY results.

Results will soon be (if not already) displayed on the 'Alton Water Frostbite Results' page on Facebook, as well as the centre Lobby.

As week 2 comes to a close, I am so pleased with how smoothly the series has run so far and thank you to all for such positive feedback. Without wanting to jinx anything... The weather has been kind to us too! Watch out though, Day 3 looks as if it may be on the hairier/windier side. Several more series entries have come in from some prospective racers for next week and following, so why not join them and embark on what will be a brilliant day next Sunday - One of those days where I imagine hot chocs and an early night sleep before Monday morning will help soothe some worked muscles as well as heightened adrenaline.

Finally, for anyone who is wanting to volunteer! I am running a small weekly photo competition (cafe-based prizes) for those who volunteer with us on the safety boat team as well as the committee boat. Best picture wins!

If you have been umming and arring to join us, break the ice next week and come down and get a wetsuit on. We will all be very pleased to see you and make you feel welcome into what has been a lovely series so far.

Have a good week all!

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