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The GOSSIP

Number 141 / February 2003

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Published by the Open Canoe Sailing Group

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Winter Meet And AGM (RoyB)

The OCSG was favoured by gentle January weather at YMCA Lakeside, allowing a few hardy souls to take to the water on both days. We should be grateful to them for keeping the light burning during cold winter days as the rest of us, stuffed into our woollies, merely watch from the bank. Mind you, the view in Saturday's clear, sharp sunlight presented a far backdrop of snow-covered mountains, miles of still water between silent stands of grey-brown trees and a great blueness overhead. It was

worth watching, even apart from the usual suspects on the lake - Rod & Elaine, JohnS, Bernard, SueB, and Eddie. On Sunday the high pressure was on the wane, the sky assumed its more usual cloudy Lakeland mantle; a breeze had sprung up, making for better sailing but colder watching.

And indoors? Not quite so many members as usual but lots of talk. On Saturday morning the matter of sail area in races was raised. Readers may remember JohnB's article in October's GOSSIP regarding jibs, a theme taken up by SteveR. A second sail of 15 - 20 sq. ft. could make a race in gentle airs more enjoyable as well as giving us

(Left) Here we see a fine example of a Bermudan ketch rig on our chairman's trimaran, scooting across Windermere. I think Rod and Elaine are the pair who've just overtaken him (?). I heard at least one of the Scottish sailors seriously thinking of adding a trimaran to his fleet for serious sea cruising.

Drifting ashore.

the added interest of more bits of string to manage. All in all the idea received a lukewarm reception. From the technical point of view, it was pointed out that a jib requires a taut forestay to be efficient which our flexible masts (no shrouds) might prevent. And what if the wind after the start of a race rose to, say, force 3 or 4, as on Lomond? Would eager racers compromise safety by not dropping the jib? Would members be prepared to meet the expense of a well-made sail (it's no use having cheapskate equipment) that might be rarely used? On the other hand, why not give this idea a go? Let's not stifle innovation! Make a change! Wouldn't someone be prepared to do a trial this year? No conclusion was reached, but the idea is still up for grabs. How does Keith find his jib on the rig he made for the Scottish trip? I'll ask him.

DaveS had set up a computer to demonstrate two CAD programmes, 'Hullform' and 'Plyboat'. Being a novice and wishing to have a new canoe hull built based on the Solway Dory 'Sunart' I was fascinated by the way in which factors such as waterline length, heeling moment, buoyancy (my weight!), wetted area and less obvious technical considerations could be immediately changed and their effect on the shape made visible. There's scope for a GOSSIP article here...

In the afternoon people took to the water, Bernard and others flogged off surplus odds and sods and PaulW spread out maps of Holland to show us what opportunities his country offers the canoe sailor (see page 2).

The OCSG's 9th AGM was smartly handled by chairperson BernardO followed by convivial dinner, a sumptuous repast that I think outdid all previous ones. Bernard's expression of appreciation to the staff was indeed deserved. The Commodore in his short speech urged us all to think big, to reach out to our continental colleagues who would not only benefit from our considerable expertise but would also provide us with new ideas. He then presented the OCSG Ranking Trophy to DaveS for the second year running (but note SteveR in his third year coming up strongly in 2nd), and the OCA Trophy to RoyB for editing GOSSIP.

After HowardJ's slide show last year we were once again treated to stunning views of the coast and waters of Western Scotland, this time by SteveR, taken during the trip reported in GOSSIP recently. His commentary made clear what an adventure it was! And no winter meet would be complete without a RodL-inspired raffle.

I left fairly early on Sunday, but EddieP sent me the following report on a discussion of race organisation.

 

Races And The Racing Rules (EddieP)

We had a discussion at the winter Lakeside meeting about the Racing Rules, and as I initiated it, I thought I should report on it. Well, surprise, surprise, the conclusions were a bit inconclusive!

Well, no, not quite. The group did reach a common sense decision, or ambition, for the group NOT to become as serious as some dinghy racing clubs (are you reading this, Pete?). But then, the rules

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