This weekend saw the first inland championships in the UK for a while. The weather was predictably unpredictable with a shifty marginal foiling breeze on the Saturday
Mike Lennon made a good start, taking race one in his new M2, closely followed by Si Payne in his slightly older M2. I recovered well from being over the line and having to loop back and a capsize at the first leeward mark to push through to third. I was also having to cope with a dodgy twist grip which had give up the ghost on the way out to the start and was lashed up with a piece of string to stop it flapping around! Alex Adams made a welcome return to sailing after dissapearing to Africa with Sailrocket and came in fourth. The races were all about making your way through the holes as best as possible and keeping in the breeze when you had it which made for some frustration as boats sail through to leeward and windward while you were parked up along with boats pulling flyers and sailing all the way around the outside of the course!
Race two saw normal service resume with Si taking the win from me by about 15 seconds. We had a good battle around the course with premium on tacking skills and not making mistakes. I did manage to tack for the spreader mark rather than the windward mark at one point while in front but thats all part of the game isn’t it… Racecraft is something I am seriously lacking!
Race three was tight to start with, until I managed to hook into a gust and pull out a half a leg lead downhill which I held to the finish from Si in second and Adam May in third.
Race four went seriously weird. With about 20 seconds to go the wind went left and left most of the fleet unable to make the line which included me! It was the flakiest it had been all day with some massive holes and made for a seriously frustrating last race. It was looking bad, until the final run where I went from 9th at the last windward mark to 4th. Simon, Adam and Mike L made up the top three.
We all loitered around the dinghy park for a bit discussing the days shenanigins before decamping to Walton on Thames for a fine pub grub meal by the river and more Mothie chat.
Sunday dawned and looked surprisingly good given the forecast for nothing at all. Unfortunately what was there turned out to be varying between 3 and 8 knots and direction was all over the place. A few took to the water for a play but the general consensus was that proper racing was not really possible so we canned it at midday, had a quick prizegiving then sat down to watch the grand prix!
Si Payne, Mach2 3381
Mike Cooke, Ninja 3382
Mike Lennon, Mach 2, 3243 for now…
Adam May, Velociraptor, 3373
Alex Adams, Mistress 3, 3366
Full results are here
As a general roundup, I felt I was foiling before anyone else and for longer which was making up for my serious muppetry on the helm. It would be interesting to stick a top flight sailor on the Ninja and see how she really goes! New foils are definitely good so far…
I’ve got a load of photos from the saturday from Kevin Ellway who was up watching the racing which I will try to upload soon.