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Queen Mary Sailing Club Spring Series Week 10

by James Baxter 21 May 04:00 PDT 19 May 2024

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.

Race 1

Two well-trodden strategies helped me round mark 1 first. I started roughly 20% down from the favoured pin end and made sure I could tack immediately onto port, the long tack to the windward mark. I resisted temptation to tack to the left to cover Masters legends Mark Lyttle and Chris Ellyatt and stayed on port right up to the starboard layline, helped by a late right hand shift with more pressure, a feature that would go on to dominate the day’s results.

Mark looked challenging coming in on port having looked good on the left, but unusually for him mis judged a tack underneath me and had to bail out at the mark, leaving me with the race write up duties. I extended down the run. Then lost Mark and Andrew Whittaker on the second beat then lost out big time to a big right shift and pressure on the last beat. Andrew looked a solid winner only to capsize in a fierce 12 knot gust just before the last mark finishing 3rd and leaving the race win to Mark L with Marcus Bird second.

Race 2

Even more shifty and puffy. Tom Nash found the most pressure on the right to establish a healthy lead at mark 1, the rest of the fleet playing catch up. Yours truly, Marcus Bird and Masters legend Micheal Hicks all benefited on the second beat from not yet having worked out what was going on and being on the left. I briefly led down the second reach only to park up and almost capsize to leeward of a Flying Fifteen on the last leeward mark (note to self: go behind not around!). Tim Crook had quietly worked out the right hand shift and pressure pattern and stormed through on the last beat to take the race win, followed by Marcus and Tom.

Marcus won the day with two 2nds extending his competitive conditions from 0 to 5 knots up to 0 to 12 knots, yours truly ended up discarding a 12th and 14th having led both races and been 3rd in both at the last leeward mark. That one mistake in each race cost me 10 boats is testimony to the competitiveness of the fleet.

Results can be found here.

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