Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Streakerramblings - Seafarers SC - 19th Aug 2012

Checking with the Seafarers web site first thing Sunday morning revealed a start time of 10.00am on their main programme page so a very hasty start was made.

Having left the M27 at junction 11 we headed for Stubbington and arrived on Marine Drive heading towards Lee on Solent – we missed the tiny lane leading back north west to the club which we spotted on turning round.

It was a bright morning but slightly overcast and hiding the heat wave soon to appear. Likewise there was the merest hint of a breeze coming from the northern tip of the Isle of Wight. The start was not due until 11.00am however so all the rush was a bit pointless.

The meeting – seven Streakers - was held jointly with a fleet of Solos (about a fifteen)  and that fleet was first off in the light breeze which had developed but barely ruffled the surface of the Solent. At the Streaker start it was Paul Whyld (Seafarers SC) who was first away from the committee boat end. Alan Simmons (Lancing SC) was close behind but it was Paul.W who began with more speed and soon pulled into the lead . Close behind this pair was Howard Frear (Sutton Bingham SC) who soon overtook Alan.S. By half way down the first offwind leg – virtually a run – Rob Swatton (Seafarers SC)  was challenging Alan.S and Helen Lewis (Hill Head SC) was also close at hand with Bill Cunningham (Seafarers SC) and Chris Green (Seafarers SC) at sixth and seventh a little way behind. Howard.F was unable to catch Paul.W  whilst  Alan.S managed to hold off Rob.S. The breeze had died to almost nothing and the RO shortened the course to just a single triangle with everyone then high tailing it back to the beach for lunch and the hope of a sea breeze. The sun by then was scorching down.

After lunch the fleets headed to sea once more in just another fitfull breeze, which having shifted somewhat made the Pin end of the line the ideal place to start. Alan.S had decided that was where he wanted to be and off he scooted, Paul.W however, whilst closer to the committee boat, had greater speed and soon disappeared into the distance. Howard .F was a bit lower down the line than this pair but he found the speed, with the current, to pull out ahead of Alan too. Meanwhile Helen.L was hot on Alan’s heels but failed to catch him on the first lap. By then Paul.W was way out in front with Howard.F in second spot. On the next windward leg Helen.L  peeled off ¾ of the way up the beat, to lee bow the tide and succeeded in passing Alan.S. The RO again shortened the course as the wind died again but the remaining three Streakers never made it to the finish.

After a good bit of hanging about, half of the Solos also went ashore and did not sail again – the RO started the two ‘fleets’ together over a much shorter course. This was just as well as the breeze died almost immediately and it was almost impossble to fight the tide to reach the windward mark. Only Howard.F, Helen.L and Alan.S in the Streakers attempted this race and they finished in that order - contrary to the official report -  Alan having started at completely the wrong end of the line and gone up the wrong side of the beat whilst Helen.L was first to round the ‘windward mark’ and held off Howard to take first spot at the finish of the one lap race.

Overall honours went to local helm Paul Whyld but Helen Lewis took second place ahead of Howard Frear – having equal points - but the higher finishing position in the final race with Alan Simmons out of the prizes in fourth spot.

Results :-
1st. Paul Whyld, 2nd. Helen Lewis, 3rd. Howard Frear, 4th.Alan.Simmons, 5th. Rob Swatton, 6th. Bill Cunningham, 7th. Chris Green.

Alan.S 1700

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Streakerramblings – Newhaven & Seaford SC Sailing Week – 30th July to 3rd August

This year was not a good one with respect to the weather during Sailing Week 2012. Stiff (force 4 and 5) South Westerly breezes created a heavy surf on three out of the five days – Monday, Tuesday and Thursday – such that few dinghies or catamarans wished to try to launch. As a result most of those interested in sailing moved up to Piddinghoe Pond where the Sailing School boats - Toppers, Picos and Sports 14s – were used by the participants. Alan Simmons from Lancing SC (the only visitor to the week) had elected to do safety boat duty each morning so was not sailing in any of the AM races and although some cadets were present there were insufficient numbers to constitute a Miller Cup series.
The morning races, four in total, on the pond, attracted some 20 entrants. The afternoon races on the Pond, where six races were sailed, was the sell out of the week with a total of 22 entrants, 15 of those in race 4.
At Seaford the sole morning ‘Fun Race’ – Wednesday - attracted only 10 entrants. The Afternoon series, on the sea, was restricted to a total of four races – two on Wednesday (when the wind went South Easterly) and two more short races on Friday (where only one had originally been planned for). 13 boats entered during the two days.
The morning ‘Fun’ races at Piddinghoe was a bit of a hotch potch with no one sailing more than two races and the vast majority only one of the four races possible. As a result only James Bovington, Nia Hall, Ed Hall and Jack Turner ‘qualified’ in that order and all sailing Toppers – and Jack.T only finished in one of his two attempts.
Race one was led by Rupert Smith with Chris Turner – in Toppers - on his heels and Jack Turner and James Bovington in a Sport 14 behind them. In Fourth spot was Michael Veale in a Topper and Behind him Alice Smith and Angus in a Laser II.
Race two went to Ed Hall , followed by James Bovington, Nia Hall , Jack Turner and Mike Rosier – all in Toppers.
In race 3 it was James.B who took line honours ahead of Mike R. This time in a full rig Laser. In third place it was Peter Yelf in a reef rigged Topper. Jack Turner, the only other participant failed to finish.
Race four, on Friday was won convincingly by Nia Hall , ahead of Jazz Sayed, Zoe McCaig and Ed Hall – all in Toppers
The afternoon racing at Piddinghoe, although classified as ‘Fun Races’, was none the less taken quite seriously by the majority of the fleet. Toppers were used by the out and out racers and Matt Springhall showed the rest how to do it even though he did not sail in the first two races. The honours in those went to Chris Turner closely pursued by Rupert Smith. Rupert’s daughter Alice showed that she was no slouch beating Dad in three out of six outings. A bit further off the pace was Alan.S who did have one triumph with a bullet in the final race (just to show that an olden can do it) and that after a disasterous tack in the middle of race five had left him in irons when he had been in serious contention with Matt. S - allowing Chris.T, Rupert.S and Alice.S to overtake him. Matt.S clinched the series, although tied on points with Chris.T with 3 firsts against Chris’s two. Matt.S was also the winner of the only ‘Fun Race’ held on the sea on Wednesday.
Laurence Venus had not participated in any of the Pond races, neither morning nor afternoon, but showed up with his Streaker for the ‘serious’ afternoon racing on the sea and proceeded to gain 4 out of 4 first places to take the series. Rupert.S and Chris.T in their Fireball with 3 seconds and a third place came a comfortable second overall. Alan.S, in his Streaker had no hopes of keeping up with Laurence and a detached Mainsheet Block (in race three ) which he had to stop and lash back in place did not help but he did take third place overall, ahead of Matt.S sailing in his full rig Laser. The Fireballs of Steve Duncan and Penelope Duncan and Alice Smith with Jenny Clapham crewing (her cousin on Friday) were next in line ahead of Penny Springhall and Carolyn Turner (plus Sarah) in their Squib who were in turn ahead of Jack Turner and James Bovington in their Laser II. The Catamarans – James Robertson (Hobbie 16), James Clapham (Dart 18), Terry Jones (Dart 18) and John Morrison (Stealth) - only sailed on Wednesday in breezes which were not suited to their handicaps and were thus 9th, 10th, 11th and 13th Overall. Mike Woollard and Mike Beaumont in the Squib ‘Tempo’ came out to play in race 4 and finished in 8th place in that and in 12th place overall.
The full results of the ‘Fun’ (Morning and afternoon) and afternoon ‘Serious’ Races can be found on the NSSC web site.
As stated at the beginning of this blog the weather did its best to upset the event, in the end it did not stop all the sailing and just about everyone present had the chance for at least a few pleasant little sails. Newhaven and Seaford SC are at least in the happy position to have the alternative sailing water up at Piddinghoe, not to mention a stock of sailable and suitable boats.
 Alan.S 1700
PS. I am attempting a blog covering the Streaker Open Meeting at Stewartby on 14th July, but although promised on the day, a set of Lap sheets has yet to arrive with me - and I have made requests to two parties!