Tetley Makes Soup not Tea at RS400 Sprints
Queen Mary cracked open the gates early on 8th March 2013 to greet the visitors to our second RS400 open sprints. Unlike last year when it blew and it blew anything from 25 to 40 knots, this Saturday offered a very civilized 5 knots of shifting North Westerley or was it North Easterly Breeze.
The race committee kindly positioned the windward marks away from the club house to limit the shifts to something a little more predictable and introduced the series with a complex briefing as to what would happen in the event of a tie on points. Most were lost with the complexities but had the writer been listening he might have forgone the hard earned fourth place overall and left the write up of this report to someone who understands a bit about sailing.
The fleet of 11 boats was split into four, three flights of three and one of just two boats. Each flight was mixed with another for each of the eight races. Being a kind sort of chap Phil Dickinson listed the names of each flight under their start flags to give them a chance of pretending to know their numeral pennants.
With four races before and after the hot soup lunch afloat, there was no time to be lost and the race committee did a terrific job of getting the racing underway promptly and with no waiting between races either. Even after race three or was it two when there was a nice right shift the race team managed to re lay the marks in super quick time. Yes Zoe true to say there was more wind on the right of the M course than on the left, but there was no wind anywhere else on the pond at the start of the day. Well done race team.
With the lack of breeze the visitors were confined to 1342 Jack Holden and Ollie Miller from Arun, Harriett and Jonathan Stone from Montserat YC, and Douglas Clow and Ian Hamilton from Island Barn. The other nine boats were QMSC Sunday regulars but notably the better known hot shot locals 1251 Howard and Louise and 1344 James and Izzi along with the mighty bimble Tim Garvin and Tim Anderton were unable to make it.
That left Richard Gray (known to the locals as Roast and Ground) and Jon Dyas to defend the local pondlife. Jon had significantly postponed the final fix (skirting and stair handrails) of his two year build project, to the Monday night so that he could keep Richard at the top of the pack. Terrific sacrifice from Jon.
1203 Richard and Jon between them sailed a commanding eight races with seven firsts and one second. A net score of 6 overall gave then the win. They found the breeze consistently and even when muscled out at the committee boat to trail the fleet, they still clawed their way back up to a first in even that race. So ruthless was their lack of mercy that they denied the writer one of 1101s two chances at a first by some cruel tactical sailing at the final leeward mark in race three. Well done to Richard and Jon.
1342 Jack Holden and Ollie Miller took zero time to acquaint themselves with the local conditions. From the outset they read the lifting port tack that was to be had anywhere between middle and left in the early races. They nailed five firsts and three seconds to sit narrowly in second place on 7 points behind 1203.
971 Harriett and Jonathan nailed three firsts, four seconds and one third to give them 9 points overall. Their greatest delight was I understand sailing Richard and Jon off the course! Our other visitors 845 Douglas and Ian, have been seen at QMSC quite a bit of late and with their overall sixth place maybe they will be joining the fleet of some thirty plus four hundreds at QMSC. Well sailed Douglas and Ian.
1101 Simon and Zoe (out from winter retirement for the day) and 1167 Bob and Isabel Joce had a wonderful tussle throughout the day. It came down to the final race when the writer foolishly clung on to 2nd place and the honour of writing something about the day. The locals are well used to 1101’s drivel and will be disappointed by this dumbed down version of events. 1101’s concentration is renowned for spanning 13 minutes and no more. That meant that if the leeward mark was reached at 13 mins plus one second the following fleet could enjoy the spoils of the silly mistakes made in minute thirteen. In the last race the final leeward mark was reached at 12 minutes – sorry Bob.
1274 Mike and Josie Adams showed some brilliance during the day grabbing a couple of seconds from nowhere but a broken tiller extension left mike 300cm short and that was reflected in their last six races.
1031 Max Tosetti (local QM Cpt) and Chris Stanton got ever higher up the fleet as the day wore on. Their downwind speed and tactics were second to none and like their performance at Garda 2012 they demonstrated that a few extra stone in a four hundred doesn’t make that much difference in the four in displacement mode.
788 Ian Randall and Gareth Tomlinson (in the ex Ian Lewis and Fiona Holt 400) new to QMSC enjoyed their day and got some places in a good few races. 1252 James Alsop and Ric Dudley also had a good number of mid fleet races and for big boat sailors did well.
Local legal experts Nick Francis and Simon Edwards both had pressing battles in the coming week and struggling with the set up on their new mast (post their famous and spectacular breakage at the 2012 nationals) chose to focus the PM session on the preparation for the court cases during the week. No doubt a good few sheets to be had.
In all, a terrific event. Despite the lack of breeze the race committee Phil Dickinson, Jackie Wand-Tetley, Peter Young, and Roger & Liz Pescod did a terrific job keeping the course in what breeze there was and turning the races around in no time. They also served up the very welcome half time super hot tomato soup. With RS moving a few of their boats to QM for trialing, no doubt the four hundred fleet there will build on its regular double figure Sunday racing. Thank you QMSC and especially Phil and Max for a great event.
Simon Baker 1101