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Theale
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Wednesday Evening Reports, 2010

Wednesday Evening Reports, 2010

Race 9 - 16th June

The sun had shone all day with a good breeze so it was no surprise to see a near record turnout for the evening race. The atmosphere ashore was amazing as 75 boats prepared to go afloat.

The wind allowed the start to be set just off mark 4 with a beat all the way to 10 then a simple lap via mark 8 and a long broad reach back to marks 2 then 4.

With the use of personal handicaps there is a constant stream of boats starting until as the last RS 400 starts and the oppies complete a lap the lake is completely full. As the race unwound the patterns changed. First the Fevas caught the oppies and looked good until very near the end. Only then did a few of the faster boats climb through. All the time the race got more compact. In theory all boats should finish at the same time. In practice you could watch the distance from first to last get shorter until, instead of being spread out over the whole lake they were all in one corner!

For the record, Andy Williams in a Phantom made best use of his +0 start to get a well deserved win. Christian Humphrey and Noelle Vidal had an impressive race in their RS200 to take second from +2 and Mike Lyons in the Blaze (+1.5) completed the top 3. With the laser of Chris Harrup (-0.5) and Paul Childs in the RS100 (0) taking the next 2 places there was a good variety of classes represented in the top places.

And thanks to Ellie and Katharine for making it all work so well.



Race 7 - 2nd June

Last night's race was the smallest since 2004 when we had a race completed by just 9 boats due to strong winds. Nothing could have been further from the truth last night as there was hardly a breath and many people opted for the bar rather than the race course.

The rostered race officer did not make it so we are thankful to Chris Brown who stepped in to the void. He made it a family affair bt joining his kids Amber and Jamie who were rostered for the evening. The course was set at the far end of the lake which looked like it had the best chance of some breeze but the start was kept as close to the clubhouse to help the boats get there on time, even though that meant a downwind start. Or so we thought.

By the time the race started, what wind there was had gone through 180 degrees making the first leg a fetch. Luckily the course still had a beat in it so there was some racing to be done.

Chris made the unusual (unheard of at Burghfield?) move of changing the course after the start in order to avoid a completely windless area of the lake. A rescue boat made the appropriate signals at the preceding mark and everyone managed to follow the change, grateful that they managed to avoid the (even more) dead patch.

The two optimists which went off first had the best of it and were never caught. Lucas Harrison held on to win in only his 3rd Wednesday evening race, closely followed by Emma Hartley in her first ever Wednesday race. Richard Stock was first of the big boats in his RS 200.



Race 4 - 12th May

Race 4 took place last night in some of the most fickle winds imaginable.

The forecast was for a light breeze from the NNE and that was evident in the late afternoon when people started arriving. After a period of complete calm a large black cloud managed to produce a solid force 2 from the SSW which is what Race officer Mike Le Flufy set the course to. As soon as the sequence started making it too late to change the course the cloud passed by and the wind filled in from the NE again. Clearly Mike had anticipated this as the course contained a good beat for this wind direction as well!

So, with the added fun of a down wind start over 50 boats set off 5-6 knots of breeze. This held for 45 minutes or so until the bulk of the fleet condensed at mark 9, the new Windward mark. The Optimists (sailed by Sam, Jonathan, Matt and Lucas) were already back at the leeward mark by then and with no discernible breeze for the rest of the evening, they were never going to get caught. The only "grown up" to get amongst them was the 404 sailed by Philip Box.

The "best of the rest" award would be decided by who had managed to get to the pinch point and mark 9 before the congestion and then manage to extract themselves. In the end, Ian in a Laser and Emma (Hmm, he didn't look like an Emma) managed to slip away and just managed to get past the Byte sailed by Syd Beeton.

Not the most exciting of evenings by any means but certainly one of the most challenging.



Some video of last weeks race (28th April)

Watch this video here or on the YouTube site.

Race 2 - 28th April

Race 2 - 28th April


A good sunny day, with a forecast of 7 to 8 mph all evening led to over 80 boats on the water this evening.

The wind was from the south, which can be a bad direction for Burghfield, but the Race Officer set an interesting course with 3 different beating legs, linking them up with a long reach as well as dead runs. This provided the full use of the whole lake - but some boats did not manage to complete a whole lap before the race finished.

The two Optimists set off first, and were the first to be becalmed near the frst mark: so we were predicting a great result for the faster boats who would sail through the lulls better. But the wind had other ideas! It started to die as the evening wore on, leaving the faster boats struggling to fill their spinnakers on the down-wind legs. So the predictions soon changed back to the slower boats again!

Matt Thornton in the first Oppie was comfortably ahead at the finish, while Paddy Gannon (Oppie) and George Rowland (Europe) were within inches for 2nd place. These front 3 were then followed by a gaggle of many different classes, both fast and slow: Topper, Solo, RS400, Nat 12, Laser, Europe, Topaz with only a few boat lengths between them.

Some people gave up as the wind started dieing, but 72 boats were still "sailing" (sitting still going no-where!) at the end of the race.




Wednesday Evening Pursuit

Race 1 - 21st April

65 boats sailed on 21st April in the first of our Wednesday evening pusuit races. The weather was lovely with a moderate going light north easterly breeze and clear sunny skies.

A flock of optimists set off at 6:50 followed by a wide range of classes over the next 35 minutes. Matt Thornton and Robert Baddely in their optimists looked, for a long time, to be having the the best of the the wind, but George Rowland in her Europe took some very good shifts to close them down.

By the finish time she passed them by a good two boats lengths. Meanwhile the RS400 of Chris Jennings, the RS200 of |Chris Martin and Katherine Lovering and Mark Tait and Pat Forbes in a Firefly were also making ground and by the end split the optimists to take 4th 5th and 8th respectively, only a few meters back.

The race finish gave a reach to the club and everyone was ashore in good time to get their supper.




Created on 19/04/2010 08:48 AM by Ian Bullock
Updated on 18/06/2010 09:11 AM by Ian Bullock
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