Please select your home edition
Armstrong 728x90 - Wing FG Board Range - TOP

Queen Mary Sailing Club Spring Series Week 7

by Orlando Gledhill 22 Apr 02:24 PDT 21 April 2024

Nineteen ILCAs braved an unseasonable 9 degrees for Races 13 and 14 of the Queen Mary Spring Series. The wind was northerly, 10 to 18 knots for the first race and slightly less for the second.

The Race Team gave the fleet two great four-lap, 45-minute races with minimal waiting time and accurate repositioning of marks to respond to windshifts (mainly to the right) during the morning.

Race 1: The pin end was favoured, becoming less so during the minute before the start. Guy Noble started well at the pin; Orlando Gledhill had a good lane ¼ up the line. Neil Peters, aka Stick Daring, managed to capsize at the start, neatly taking both himself and Tony Woods out of contention for the first laps. Tony was heard to ask after the race how Stick could manage to sail singlehanded round Britain but capsize in flat water and 15 knots, a question to which not even Stick had a convincing answer—a new tiller extension was mentioned.

Orlando tacked shortly after the start, determined to stay in phase with the oscillating shifts and not get to the Port lay line too soon in a slightly Port skewed beat. He played the lower right of the first beat and managed to get across to the Port lay line ahead of the fleet which had mainly played the left side. Orlando had what seemed to be a good lead after a lap. He began to think this would be easy, as he tacked on the first right shift shortly after the leeward mark, sailing (so he thought) towards the inevitable next left shift. The fleet behind, led by Guy Noble, dug into the right shift, which proved to be large and more-or-less permanent. By the next windward mark Guy had taken the lead and he led down the top reach until Orlando managed to get over him to windward in a gust in the last third.

The second beat was the last time Orlando took anything for granted. He kept a tight cover on Guy up the next two beats. By the final lap, Tony Woods had closed significantly and he kept closing on the last two reaches. It finished Orlando, Guy, Tony, all within about 4 lengths.

Race 2: The Race Team re-set the windward mark and start line between races. Race 2 was Starboard end favoured until about 30 seconds before the start. The wind at start time was patchy and very unstable, which caught out those at the Starboard end. A big left shift benefited the boats on the left side, led by James Baxter, who would have led at the first mark except for overlaying. As it was, Tony led, with Michael Pryer second. Orlando eventually managed to extricate himself from the right side of the beat and rounded third. After the bottom mark, it was Tony with a good lead and Orlando in second, a length ahead of Michael. With three laps to go and gusty, shifty conditions there seemed to be plenty of time to catch Tony. Tony, however, had other ideas, sailing flawlessly and neither he nor the wind provided any passing opportunity in an increasingly right-dominated race. Race 2 race ended Tony, Orlando, Michael.

Notable performance from Michael Pryer with a steady 5, 3 for third overall on the day.

Learning points: As ever, upwind key to be looking at the yellow flag on the windward mark for the next major shift. On the run, key to watch carefully behind for the gusts coming down on the run. Important to change sail settings to be ready for the bigger gusts and lulls. Most of us are better at pulling on controls in anticipation of/response to a big gust, than easing them again in a lull. In the cold, important to be deliberate on grip on lines and tiller. Important to be tracking the windshifts in the last minute even while managing the final approach to the start line - do I need to slide down the line a little if possible? Will I need to tack as soon as I can, or hold on for as long as I can? Does a left/right shift mean it will take longer/shorter to cross the start line from a length back?

Results can be found here.

Related Articles

ILCAs at the Queen Mary Summer Series Week 2
Frequent large shifts and gusts for the sailors Doing a couple of half windward legs before the start, I felt there were frequent large shifts and gusts meaning the sides would be dangerous and the right side approaching the windward mark may have less wind in general. Posted on 10 Jun
ILCAs at the Queen Mary Summer Series Week 1
A gusty and shifty 5 to 14 knots from the north with wall-to-wall sunshine 22 ILCAs lined up for the first 2 races of the QMSC summer series. The wind was a gusty and shifty 5 to 14 knots from the north with wall-to-wall sunshine. The race team set a good course making use of the full width of the reservoir. Posted on 4 Jun
Queen Mary Sailing Club Spring Series Week 11
Southerly is usually the steadiest direction, however it was anything but 25 ILCAs launched for the final day of the Queen Mary Spring Series, into 8 knots from the SSE which built by start time into an unusually shifty, gusty 10-14 knots from a broadly Southerly direction. Posted on 28 May
Hadron H2 Inlands at Queen Mary
Not a great day for the heavyweights! 22 Hadron H2's, representing 18 different clubs from the length and breadth of England, arrived at a glassy smooth Queen Mary reservoir for Round 2 of the H2 Travellers Trophy. Posted on 21 May
Queen Mary Sailing Club Spring Series Week 10
A patchy 5 to 12 knots and warm sunshine for the penultimate day of the series A patchy 5 to 12 knots and warm sunshine greeted 26 ILCA 7s for the penultimate weekend in the QMSC Spring Series. 2 more boats than competing in the Hadron inland championships on the other side of the reservoir. Week 9 was cancelled due to lack of wind. Posted on 21 May
2024 Queen Mary Sailing Club Championships
An impressive turnout of 26 ILCAs in the 41 boat fleet Unusually for Queen Mary, the forecast proved highly accurate for Sunday's racing as a gentle 5-6 knots arrived at 10.30am and built steadily thereafter - in force if not in direction - for the 3-race club championship. Posted on 8 May
Rory Cheetham Cup 2024
Enjoyable high level match racing, in memory of Rory Cheetham Organised in partnership between Royal Thames Yacht Club and Exeter University Sailing Club, it was set to be a weekend of enjoyable high level match racing, in memory of Rory Cheetham, a former EUSC member who sadly passed in 2018. Posted on 3 May
Queen Mary Sailing Club Spring Series Week 8
Tight racing for the 16 hardy sailors in the cold and blustery breeze The day was a cold and blustery north-westerly, but that did not deter 16 hardy entrants in the eighth weekend of the Queen Mary Spring Series from having some great racing. Posted on 29 Apr
Queen Mary Sailing Club Spring Series Week 6
Marcus Bird returns to take two bullets The QM Spring Series is now half way through and Marcus Bird returns to take 2 bullets in a display for extraordinary light wind lake racing - what did he get up to on his holiday? Posted on 16 Apr
Noble Marine Moth Sprint GP at Queen Mary
Perfect conditions for 8 sprint races on Saturday 15-20 knots, 18-degrees and sunshine greeted the Moth fleet, promising a day of champagne sailing conditions. The sprint format was set out in the briefing; 8 races of 10-15 minutes back-to-back. Posted on 16 Apr
Doyle_SailWorld_728X90px-05 BOTTOMLloyd Stevenson - SYA3 728x90px BOTTOMJ Composites J/45