FF Race Review Sunday 08th March
After the weather imposed break and Dinghy Show duties of the previous week it was a welcome return to both Sunday morning racing and warmer weather! A solid fleet of nine FF’s put out to the water along with the rest of the club fleet, guests and the CAT Spitfire series.
With Simon Kneller and Dave Lucas (4024) returning to the club and Mike Firth and Phil Tinsley back in Firths Folly (3888) a tight race was anticipated.
A firm but not too cold westerly was blowing in across the lake. With a prompt start from the Club end, the FF’s divided into two groups each proposing “they” knew the quickest way to the Windward mark with several boats working a starboard tack towards the wall with the rest heading out towards the middle.
The mark was rounded in close procession with Charles Apthorp and Adrian Simpson (3957), Simon and Dave, Mervyn and George (3904) and John and Helen (3954) the front runners.
The wing mark was set to give a close reach (at least to stay upwind of a tower) up to the gybe mark which saw the Kites raised in a way more akin to asymmetrical fleet!
The wind died for the front runners, collapsing the fleet at the gybe mark but with front positions having been held steady some fierce racing was played out for the middle and rear positions.
Mike and Phil battling it out Mike & Ian (3427), Hopson and Utter (4029) and Roger & Richard (3642)
As with the reach, the race team had carefully positioned a tower dead centre of the beat between the mark and the start leaving some tactical decisions for the crews to make.
The run was fairly true downwind giving a split of the fleet to port or starboard.
The final leg was completed in similar fashion to the first with a few gusts picking up in patches.
Another tight beat to the leeward mark with the Kite poles close on the Halyard meant for two fast legs to the finish with 3957 pipping 3954 and 4024 with not more than a boat length between them and the rest of the fleet not far behind.
The second race proved to be even closer than the first with all the boats finishing within four minutes this turned into one of the closest of the series and saw some thrilling racing however at the start this didn’t seem the way it was going to go!
Two or three boats had to tack to avoid an early start forcing them to go round before crossing the line.
This didn’t split the fleet too much however and a slight shift and increase in wind brought the crew bottoms someway out over the side as they headed up to the mark. This time all the boats finding a good breeze in the centre or over towards the wall.
Again the race around the mark saw judgement pay off for Charles and Adrian (3957) racing tightly with Simon and Dave (4024).
The boats rounding the windward mark in even closer procession than in race one. This time with the wind further forward a very fast reach to the gybe mark was possible with some strong gusts assisting on the way
Charles and Adrian took the win ahead of Simon and Dave with an increased length of half a boat between the two!
For Sunday’s and the series results please see the following link
The Merc Open is at the end of the month 28th / 29th March it would be great to see the “Fifteen FF’s” in the current series along with visitor entries on the start line and see if we can push the field well beyond last year’s 18 boats.
So with warmer temperatures and two weeks left of the winter series, now is the time to uncover the boats and get the practice in..!!