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Queen Mary Sailing Club Spring Series Week 8

by Marshall King 29 Apr 07:45 PDT 28 April 2024

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.

A left shift before the start of race one made the port end biased and as frequently the case, the bunch headed left off the line with no-one tacking apart from David Surkov, who by midway up the first beat had a big lead and rounded first. Marshall King ended up starting on port behind the fleet and heading right, but made up the ground as the wind shifted back right, rounded second just ahead of Guy Noble. Tony Woods, series leader, had turns to do and was back in the pack.

David continued to lead the 4-lap race until overhauled by Marshall, who found some nice shifts on the third beat and opened up a gap on the fleet. Tony Woods, having caught up the pack, came storming through on the last lap, with Guy holding him off on the final run. Top three finishers were Marshall, Guy and Tony with John Curran and Dick Soderberg rounding out the top five.

The second race again started in an even bigger left shift making the course slightly skewed with a long port upwind. This time the whole fleet tacked off the line for the drag race on port. Tony eked out a small lead and found a nifty shift near the windward mark to round first, followed by about 8 boats almost together.

Down the first run, finding the pressure differences was key. Marshall and Tim Crook found a gust on the left and pulled just ahead of the pack to round the leeward second and third. The chasing pack rounded with up to five boats abreast - and not a small amount of shouting for water! On the remaining laps, Marshall ground down Tony's big lead and Tim stayed very close behind with John also in close contention.

Finding an opportunistic left shift on the final beat, John and Marshall closed the gap on Tony by the final weather mark. Marshall managed to sneak past Tony on the final run to take a second win of the day. Finishing positions were Marshall, Tony, John, with Guy punching through to 4th and Tim 5th and Dick completing a consistent day with 6th.

Racing at QM Learning points: Tactically, the day had the usual Queen Mary wind streaks and gusts, but the shifts seemed relatively long in their cycle. As usual when shifts are slow, getting off the start line on the lifted tack was more important than a good start.

With 16 races completed and another 6 to come, the overall places among the 48 entries are starting to shake out, with Tony Woods leading the series from Orlando Gledhill and Guy Noble.

Results can be found here.

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