DF95 Winter Series 2023 #5 – 6/4/24

After a forecast that promised 20 knots gusting 35, it was a surprise to find only a gentle breeze nearly down the lake.  All 10 sailors setup with their A rigs and Peter donned the waders to move the marks around to provide a reasonable windward/leeward course.

Just before the start time of 12:00, the wind had increased and the strength of the gusts was such that most sailors opted to change down to their B rig, with John Brierley, John Beech, Alan Watkinson and Peter Baldwin the only ones left in A.

Peter had a great start and won six of the 7 races sailed in the first session whilst continuing to (only just) manage with his A rig.  Occasionally losing control, there was only one race where it took so long to recover that he dropped three places to the chasing B rig boats.

John Brierley had an early exit after a boat mechanical issue that couldn’t be resolved at the club, leaving just 9 boats to fight it out for the rest of the day. Mike De St Paer had a great start and was often in the lead at the first mark, only to be overtaken by Peter when the wind dropped on the run and also had some bad luck with the gusts.  After some early problems and a change of rig in Race 2, Alan had some great results, culminating in a win in Race 6.  Paul Plested, Frans King and Dave Howard also had podium positions at some point during the afternoon, producing some close but fair racing especially considering the gusty conditions, when it was difficult to ensure that your boat kept clear of those around you.

After an extended first session of 7 races, a short breeak was called and when the fleet resumed, Peter was now in a B rig, but we should probably have all been in C as the gusts had increased significantly with some of them coming down vertically as the wind had veered more to the South and therefore more over the houses than earlier.

At the end of race 9 and with concerns over boat and rig damage, it was decided to call an end to racing rather than slogging on with a smaller rig.  Full results below after Malcolm scored at the end of racing using AFleet.  Sincere thanks must go to Paul’s wife Sharon for acting as our RO today, keeping score and allowing us all to race.