FF Race Review Sunday 15th February
With the wind not meeting the promised levels all the boats were rigged with slight trepidation. However a steady but pleasant 5-6 knot wind was blowing and a not too disheartened fleet flocked onto the water for some tactical racing (some say luck). It would also be a test of rules knowledge with a procession of converging boats at the marks!
A healthy nine FF’s were rigged along with the rest of the club fleet, guests and the Spitfire catamaran series.
Heading into the North Easterly breeze to start the FF’s headed off on a similar pattern towards the old Honda UK Building (the good thing about Datchet Water – there is a landmark every 30°) on the windward beat all favouring an early starboard tack.
On reaching the windward mark the first three boats rounded in regimental fashion, Charles & David (3957), John & Helen (3954) and Brett & Steve (3875) forming the lead group with Nigel & Ed (3703) and Mervyn & George (3904) and the guys in 4029 battling it out close behind. By this time Richard & Howard (4011) and Mike & Ian (3427) had launched and caught up with Roger & Richard (3642) after sorting out “issues”.
Even with some slight wind shifts both the reach to the gybe mark and what turned out to be the run back to the leeward mark were sailed with kites hoisted. After reaching the leeward mark the competitors spread out with the drop in the wind. Into the third lap and the lead three boats showed their legs in the light winds. Charles & David 3957 taking the first race win ahead Brett & Steve 3875 with competition for places tight right through the pack to the finish.
With the wind direction at least holding somewhat steady , a quick turnaround by the race fleet saw the Fifteens off again. The wind at this point was remaining favourable with some promising gusts. Most crews took a short tack from the start and then a long haul up to the windward mark. With the first two clear around the mark, the next four boats came in on different tacks to round the mark in close proximity (White Helmet style).
Again Charles & David had taken an early lead ahead of John & Helen with Nigel and Ed pushing up into the front trio with Mike & Ian 3427 showing good form.
After the first leg the wind unfortunately started to drop off for a slow beat and run, although the melee of boats at the leeward mark and the cats kept the crews on their toes. Charles & David stayed ahead with continuous battles for places through the rest of the pack. The wind then picked up slightly and on the final leg some reprieve was restored to finish off a good morning of competitive sailing with Charles & David taking a double win for the day.
For the day’s results and current series standing go to
With another packed fleet and regulars still to return from hibernation, we’er expecting continue a strong competitive field for the rest of the winter series.