The rest of the world seems to have a problem forecasting wind at Rutland – it never plays nice!
This year was no exception with 20 knots instead of the forecast 12 on Saturday. Just getting to the line past the line of 250 odd other boats all jostling for position was damned hard. It was also really cold – although the midweek forecast of snow was thankfully wrong too…
Race one saw Graham Vials going the right way up the beat and rounding a good few hundred yards ahead of the next boat and dissapearing off into the sunset never to be seen again.
I was second of the Mothies, and proceeded to burn off a couple of 49ers on the top reach and enjoy the relatively small amount of traffic on the run. The second lap was a different story with the slow fleet all parked in the area between the top and bottom wing marks, gibing in front of you without looking and generally causing me to perform a few controlled wipeouts. There was no way around it – the marks were both about 150 yards off the shore (good for the spectators!) leaving little room on the shore side to go down and the rest of the fast fleet coming upwind on the other side of the slow moving roadblock. My race (and weekend unfortunately) ended a bit early when I noticed the kicker ‘U’ bolt and backing plate starting to emerge from the kingpost leaving me with no choice but to back off, ease the kicker and head for home. Which was a good job really as I couldn’t feel my feet anyway!
The remaining three mothies of Boona, Mike Lennon and James Roche all had a pretty good battle by the sound of things but all saw sense of the weather and left Graham to it. There was a pretty large pile of boats all parked on the lee shore and the rescue boats were nicely loaded so no point in taking chances with the weather gods.
Sad story of the day was Sam Pascoe, who was holed by a port tack 49er and had to be towed in with his 600FF almost completely underwater.
Graham had a 1,23, and 2 over the course of the day leaving him with a pretty good chance of delivering the goods for the remaining mothies now spectating on Sunday and he didn’t fail us with a 3rd in the pursuit (20+knots again…) taking the overall trophy. Rutland had us on 800 for the weekend, which given the pretty hardcore conditions was about right – a bit less wind and we would have been better off, but it worked for now.
Anyway, boat is now in for a redo of the kicker system, but by all other accounts was performing beautifully – really stable upwind and down and a new personal best of 22knots.
And a couple of pics from Emma of Graham on the way to the start of the pursuit and a perfectly timed one of James hitting eject! Mid gibe shot of me thanks to Kevin Heasman, an innocent bystander taking some great shots. Hopefully there should be more to follow…