Surprised what another day will bring. Get up before dawn again and drive to Grafham. Saturday was dull with low cloud and it was great to see the cheerful members from the Grafham fleet helping on the gate to help visitors park. On Sunday the sun is trying to break through the clouds but the wind is further round to the north and it is colder than Saturday. The sun comes out and it gets colder – weird.
The six Grafham members in the Radial fleet and twelve in the Standard had mixed fortunes with either good Saturdays and poor Sundays or the reverse. There were exceptions as Grafham did have members close to the front in both fleets and in the chocolates: David Summerville in the standards together with David Catto and Mike Kinnear in the radials.
This is tight racing; one mistake and you go backwards. Just look how close the results were: https://www.grafham.org/wp-content/uploads/_results/Opens/2018/LM2018.htm Each finish was critical.
The Radials sailed the inner loop of the trapezoid course and the Standards the outer. Everyone is close around the first windward mark and the fleets fan out to go down the run. The decision is to go far right or far left – down the middle does not pay – but must select the port end buoy for the gate. Rounding to starboard loses too many places.
There was no margin for error on the starting line. Too far behind the line and there was no way back with clear air confined to history.
The beats favoured the left side of the course for the last third to get into the windward mark but either side would work early on in the beat – but do not stray too far from the middle. The RO set the longest beat available on Saturday which limited the number of windward legs to two in order to achieve a 45 minute race. Three races per day with the objective to be off the water before dark. On Sunday a shorter beat allowed for a three windward leg race which somehow provide for a better separation but with tighter racing. Possibly this was the reason for the differing results for the two days. Great courses though and a quick turn-around between each race which even allowed for general recalls.
A fantastic late November weekend
Report by Ian Rawet