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The GOSSIP

Number 134 / June 2002

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Published by the Open Canoe Sailing Group

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Coniston - Everything But The Sun (AdeleB)

With the weather during the week being bright and sunny, some members had arrived early to enjoy good sailing. By Saturday, however, conditions had turned for the worse and it rained off and

on quite heavily with little wind.

On Saturday a trip to Fir Island for a picnic lunch was arranged but with the lack of wind some gave up on the idea, although others took the opportunity to go for a sail and enjoyed lunch there despite the rain.

After lunch a few people decided to cross the lake to the cafe at Brantwood. As the wind remained feeble most decided to cross in a leisurely paddle. After tea and cakes some paddled home, but those of us that sailed back were treated to some faster wind to play in before the end of the day. After tea there was an entertaining game of Frisbee before most descended to the pub for drinks. The day ended with a lively chat in Wally's caravan.

Wet, wet, wet. On Saturday afternoon the fleet drifts across Coniston Water, IanN in the lead.

On Sunday morning the rain had stopped, the wind was blowing strongly, and most members were ready to race. A few more faces turned up for race day and without hot contenders such as the Daves who were at a boat show, there was a good chance for other people to get into the placings. After much discussion as to which course would be safest, with white horses charging up the lake in a force 4 wind, the conditions seemed to favour the trimarans with Wally taking first and Bernard coming in second.

We then decided to wait till after lunch for a sail/paddle race, hoping for the weather to calm down. The race was to have two laps. The first stretch was under sail followed by a frantic de-rigging after passing the buoy, then vigorous paddling upwind. Once around the second buoy the boats were to be re-rigged, which caused a bit of excitement, and the lap was then to be completed again purely under sail. Congratulations to Keith, the winner. As the rain returned most members began to pack for the home journey whilst others spent the afternoon pottering on the lake enjoying some stronger wind than on Saturday.

 

Day At The Races (RoyB)

Ranking Race
Admiral Rod called his captains together for a review of the conditions. Was the wind too strong, the waves too high? As they had all prepared their craft and donned storm clothing it came as no surprise when, after a few brief murmurings, the mood was, weather be damned, let's race! (The lily-livered editor, pen-pushing swab that he is, had already shown his true colours and chickened out.)

To reef or not to reef? Having ventured beyond the sheltered shoreline Louise - discretion, valour, etc. - chose to do so, whereas Martin shook his out. Eddie, still getting used to his new boat had reduced sail. Keith, who was using the weekend to try out a low aspect jib, main, & mizzen rig intended

Ann & KeithM's cruising rig, about 75 sq. ft. I would think. Note the mizzen with its radial battens, enabling the sailor to quickly brail it up against the mast. Keith found the view to leeward rather restricted.

for use in a cruise later this year, kept within the 44 sq. ft. rule by dispensing with the main. DaveT sagged away to leeward, unfortunately struggling with some ill-behaved bit of string. JimB, timekeeper, took station behind a sheltering wall and the contest began.

All got away smartly apart from Keith, who was showing an unusual attachment to the buoy. In the upwind reach to the first mark Ian seemed to keep closest to the wind, Bernard tacked first and was then overhauled by Walter. The buoy was rounded by Walter, Ian, Rod and Bernard in that order before the fast run back to the starting buoy began. There Walter had established a good lead, followed by Ian. Rod and Bernard were competing closely for 3rd place, then Eddie, Louise, Martin and Chris (trimaran). Keith, meanwhile, was establishing an acquaintance with the second buoy, jib flapping in the wind.

After a gybe, more running to the next mark preceded the longest, upwind leg and it was here that the advantage of the trimaran in strong wind became very marked. Ian in his Bermudan-rigged Sunart was pointing higher but heeling considerably and spilling wind, whereas Walter's craft on a pretty even keel forged smoothly further ahead. In fact he did have to lean out on to the windward outrigger on occasion. Chris now started to make his way through the field, but Louise, despite a fine set of pink tell-tales, had trouble with her outhaul and retired.

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