Bad Weather Doesn't Deter OCSG 'Toughies' (JanP)
Lakeside, Windermere, 6-7th October
The forecast was not good, so those who made the effort were expecting the gusty winds and white-topped waves. I really didn't think there would be very much sailing. We can blame the weather for the late start on Saturday, as most people were quite happy to stand around and chat for a while. Wally was one of the first on the water, anxious to try his new rig with a higher boom that should clear his head this time!
In the event most of us reefed well down, to 11 sq ft mizzens in some cases, to cope with the fierce gusts blowing from the south. It was not comfortable heading into them as we tried to make our way down the lake to Fell Foot for lunch, but several of us managed it one way or another. Dave and I gave up the beat to windward with such a small sail and paddled our Peace River [canoe] for the last stretch.
After lunch the return run was much more fun, our little sails making the canoes manageable but still fast enough and some people stayed out for a while just for fun. SueB admirably decided to practice capsizing just off the shore, something that two more of us copied later on in the weekend, only not under quite such controlled circumstances I'm sorry to say. We are getting good at recovery though, Louise was only in the water for a few seconds.
When did you last capsize?
Story Of The Ranking Race On Sunday (KeithM)
Given the pretty awful weather forecast for the weekend, the turnout for the main race was quite good, with ten boats braving the rain as they prepared for the start. In fact the rain petered out to give a bright and less breezy few hours during the middle part of the day. The wind was only about a F1-2 SW in the start/finish area but was probably up to a good F3 or even F4 further out in the main part of the lake where DaveS and SteveR had set an interesting course. It included an initial longish beat, a run down the east shore to a gybe mark, then a beam/close reach before a short beat back to the line. Two laps were to be sailed, producing about three miles of varied sailing, all within sight of the jetty at the campsite.
The erratic wind in the start area meant that any carefully timed start-plan was unlikely to be executed reliably but nevertheless the usual culprits got away on the beat soon after the horn, with the shyer ones following a few yards behind. Although the starboard tack was significantly more favourable, most people needed to put in a tack or two onto port to make the windward mark. The downwind leg was quieter, but still produced some place changing, especially near the gybe mark. The reach also saw some trading of places, probably due to certain sailors being kidded into thinking that the wind would allow them to fetch the next mark easily. It actually headed most people on the approach to the wooded shoreline, causing some to carry their course past the mark before tacking back up to it.
IanN seemed to have established a good lead at this point, but somehow was not aware that the start/finish line was part of the designated course to be sailed. He was well on his way to the windward mark for the second lap before those following sportingly shouted to let him know this important fact. He quickly backtracked to rejoin the fray but had dropped several places. The others took advantage and more close racing resulted in DaveP edging out DaveS by less than a minute, closely followed by PaulO sailing one of Solway Dory's canoes. Paul is a newcomer to the Group who, though being an experienced dinghy sailor, had not sailed a canoe much before. Paul's skills were confirmed that afternoon when he sailed to victory in the second race, this time in IanN's borrowed canoe.
JanP was unfortunate enough to capsize at the gybe mark on the second lap. Thanks to Neville and Pete for offering assistance.
I was pleased to present the Lakeside Plate to DaveP. This is a trophy he had not won before but appropriately it was "going home" as he was the craftsman who created it some years ago for the Group, to be awarded at a Lakes event.
The afternoon race
Six members competed in the second race on Sunday, which was a single lap round the speed limit buoy and then followed a similar course to the morning's race. PaulO, an instructor on home ground, sailing IanN's plywood canoe with a fully battened sail, beat DaveP in his Lark by 45 seconds. Could this be a new member? DaveS came a creditable 3rd with a 44 sq ft lugsail, having lent his Bermudan sail to Wally for the weekend because his new one wasn't ready. They were in fact followed by Wally, in 4th place, Steve with his friend and then Louise.
The timekeeper sincerely apologises for the long gap between the 5 and the 2-minute starting horns (4 mins. instead of 3), but she did ask to borrow a better watch before the start and no one would lend her one!