Friday, August 08, 2008

Square Metre Rule Jubilee Day 2: A better day

Saltsjobaden, Friday the 8th of August

The second day of the Square Metre Rule Jubilee had pretty much everything in it - sunshine, calm, rain, wind, and massive wind shifts. And some really good races.

The fleet assembled and manoeuvred off the committee boat around 11 am this morning as the overnight rain dried off and the sun came out. We had our best start yet and was admiring the mess caused by four boats getting glued together in one impressive start line pile up and was thus slightly peeved when the race abandoned flag was raised due to a massive wind shift.

Actually we should have been pleased, as immediately after the wind dropped to pretty much nothing and we all bobbed around doing nothing, particularly in our boat which is very much a strong wind boat.

The wind kept on rotating round and round, a bit like us, until it went through pretty much 180 degrees. There was time for not just a cup of tea but lunch as well.

But we got all three races in, all in the afternoon, and the first one was our best yet. The wind picked up to force 6ish (well in the gusts) and we had a good start and no obvious clangers all the way round, ending up in the top third of the fleet. It was helped by the wind continuing to shift so we did the windward leg in one tack and didn't really need the spinnaker to make the so-called down-wind mark.

The problems of yesterday had been pondered and discussed and the conclusions were as follows:
1) It isn't a good idea to fly the large light winds spinnaker in strong gusty conditions! Enough said.
2) If you do a gybe set of the spinnaker and then move the jib to the other side its sheets will be in the wrong position whatever unless you undo the bowlines and re-feed them in the right places

I'm sure there are those who for 2) who go doh! but thats all part of the learning experience. Anyhow now we know what not to do we don't do it and so it was all pretty smooth.


The second two races weren't quite as good so we ended up so far mid-pack, but we're relieved we are getting our act together and sat on the boat this evening with a bottle or two of Chateauneuf du Pape and felt pretty good about the world.

Some more from yesterday. It all a bit frantic at times what with the gusts and eagerness of all concerned. There was two general recalls from the last race and apparently one boat got a hole on one side due to a collisions, and this is the remains of one boats mast.

Two more races to go tomorrow.

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