Datchet has kept their racing programme going through the dry months. As you can see in the photo, Londoners have glugged their way through pretty much a third of the water supply – yes, Datchet is a third of what they have!
The racing has continued and we’ve had good fun in the series. The water is on its way back up now after all this rain we had. Mike Firth has been working with Club Management this week to reposition the keelboat pontoon. It still needs another 2-3 metres before we can take it back to the normal slipway position, but for the next phase we have it positioned on the north beach – see photos below.
I hope you’re all coming for the Winter Series – visitors welcome as always!
See you there!
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Traveller Tips #13 Approaching the Windward Mark (on flat water)
No matter how close you are though you inevitably include an extra bit of ‘comfort zone’ in your decision (ie, sailing beyond the precise layline) in case the wind direction changes or you’ve misjudged the angles.
My opinion is that in club-level sailing we tend to make this ‘comfort zone’ far too big, and it’s quite common to see boats going two or three full boatlengths further than they need to before tacking for the mark.
It’s easy to understand why though – when you’re thinking “Crikey, those boats aren’t far behind – I must make sure we get around this mark safely!” an extra couple of boatlengths before tacking may seem a sensible precaution – but, looking at it another way, you’re offering those boats behind an easy way of getting 40 feet closer to you and possibly even overtaking.
Of course those boats behind might simply copy what you did anyway, because another tendency in club-level sailing is for all of us to base our decisions on what we saw the boat ahead do – but if you can force yourself to make your own decisions instead – and then force yourself to not include that comfort zone – you will find yourself frequently taking big chunks of distance out of other boats.
It can go wrong of course – without that comfort zone there will quite often be times when you find yourself approaching the mark from slightly below the layline and unable to get around without doing two more short and very messy tacks.
How you can avoid those extra messy tacks will be the next tip in the series!
Helm, Jeremy Arnold, FF3936
And now another of our regular Travellers Tips, this time from Richard Lovering:
Traveller Tips #12 Gybing in lots of wind!:
“When it’s windy the crew pulls the main over during the gybe from the centre main sheet, because this allows a better pull on it. Also, before going for the pole make sure the boat is flat and fully under control.”
“Finally, before you go into the gybe you should also make sure the pole is at the right height, in order that you can get the pole back onto the mast quickly after the gybe without fighting the downhaul. ”
Helm, Richard Lovering, FF4402
Click here to read the final report on the Europeans on Y&Y Magazine