RC-Laser November 2007
For the official report, see: Yachts and Yachting
For a report on the adventures of Squeak, please read on!
26 boats turned up in order to have a good sail - but there were two problems:
â—‹ There was no wind!
â—‹ There was lots of weed floating about on the surface.
After holding the AGM, we tried one race. The organisers declared a general recall - but no one bothered to turn around and go back because the wind was so light that any turns were not possible. Instead we drifted on a close reach to the finish line. Squeak started behind the line and finished 2nd, while Bubble got stuck near the start line.
Then we stopped for lunch, and then finally about mid-afternoon we managed to hold 4 races.
The best tactics seemed to be: Start; sail to the shore and get rid of the weed; go round a buoy and sail back to the shore to get rid of more weed; repeat as necessary; sail to the finish. If you caught weed close to the shore, you could get rid of it easily, but if you caught weed out into the lake, then the wind was so light it took a long time to get back to the shore.
Bubble went home (sensibly!), while Squeak (42) achieved a last place in the first race - totally stuck in the weed over near the island.
For the 2nd race, the wind had swung through 180 degrees and it was now blowing in the forecasted direction at the forecasted strength of SW-ly 2-3 mph. Squeak was well up to the front off the start line, by using dinghy tactics and starting well away from any other boats at the port end of the line. Doing well on the beat towards the first mark - only to come to a dead stop in the weed, and finished 2nd from last.
3rd race: Squeak again made a clear start at the port end of the line and was in the lead approaching the first mark, but the weed slowed the boat down again. Having got rid of the weed on the shore, Squeak managed to finish mid fleet.
The last race of the day, Squeak went for a great start: port end of the line on port this time - but was called over the line. Dived back behind the line, and then beat up through the fleet: footing faster in the 4-5mph breeze and not trying to point allowed Squeak to pull up into the lead at the first mark! Gybed first, and came down the run keeping to windward: catching a good gust going into the leeward mark. Final beat and covered Mark Deverell carefully - not to take his wind, but to ensure I wasn't moving any slower (meaning weed, and requiring a trip to the shore!). Finished first, just as the wind died away again at the end of the day.
Full results can be seen at: RC-Laser website