Since my last Rooster blog entry "Pasties and Brilliant Sunshine in the South West."
I have continued travelling on the Finn open circuit.
Having not been on the road since my late twenties, some 25 years ago, it does not take too long to get back into the groove of preparing and trailing a boat. - it's just a matter of preparation and forward planning.
One or two items I can recommend is a good, easily to fit transom mast support, such as the Trailer mast crutch
from Rooster. Also get yourself at least one heavy duty 50mm Webbing Strap with Hook & Tension Lever (length at least 4m). This strap can be used as the main trailer tie down, with a narrower 25mm tie strap for the front. It goes without saying take a spare trailer wheel, but rather than having it cluttering up the vehicle, use a Universal spare wheel carrier
bolted to the road trailer. (Cost under £7).
Anyway back to the sailing. Attended the Finn Nationals at Christchurch in early May. Have not done that level of sailing for over 25 years. The Club at Christchurch is well in the town, so the club is tight for space, all the club boats where thrown out of boat park (on the quay), and we also took over the car park. - 42 boats.
So sign on, apply the sponsor logos to the boats, get your tally, and launch from a small slip and sail down the small estuary channel to the harbour mouth. This took over 45 mins to do, following the navigation marks all the way, as it was very shallow and most of us had fixed rudders...
The harbour mouth is called the 'run'. The channel is about 20m wide with a concrete wall one side and a sand bar on the south side. Straight down the middle with no hesitation, in a hasty chop. Then you get out into the bay and sail another 30 mins or so to get to the committee boat start 2-3 miles offshore. I could clearly see the IOW Needles and the light house....
The first race started in very light winds that disappeared half way up the first beat leading to an abandonment. After about an hour wait, a patchy wind filled in and race one got under way for real with a large left shift out of the start favouring those on the left side and then a switch to the right half way up which changed the landscape somewhat. I went 'leftish' and went around the WW mark in 9th position and finished 10th. My best day. Finn GBR 617 below:
Race 2. A further wait ensued for race two to start and eventually a stronger wind replaced another flat calm and the race was started. More swell this time. The wind clocked left throughout the whole race, so those who favoured that side made huge gains. I went up the middle and paid the price. 29th
Dark clouds and a wind over 35 knots and gusts of over 40 built up. The hog roast outside the club that night took off - literary...
It poured with rain overnight and big thunderstorms come in. When we woke up the next day 6.30am due to the intense rain and wind.. This was not good.
The fleet gathered at the club more in trepidation than in anticipation as earlier 35 knots squalls had come through the harbour. However, by launch time the wind was down to a manageable 12-16 knots and never really increased above 18 knots all day, even dying away to almost nothing on several occasions, turning the fleet inside out. The seas were big however...I used an old sail which really did not work for me. The courses for the three races today where the traditional Olympic courses, with long legs, over 1.5 miles per leg. We where out sailing for over 7 hours today. Must have waited between races for over an hour while they set-up the course etc. It was cold sitting around in a sea 2 -3 miles offshore again. I was so glad I had all my layered kit on and a neck gaiter and food... Results 37, 33 and 28. I hang in there.. Just not used these days to sailing in such a sea.. Coming back in against the tide, on a run into the harbour was 'interesting' to say the least...
More wind again, about 18 knots (I looked at the Hurst Castle wind station at the mouth of the Solent) and a later start. Left club at 11.00am. For the final two races the wind had strengthened and shifted to a more southerly direction. With 16-18 knots most of the day, and brilliant sunshine and a sea. It was a fantastic way toend a great championships..Overall 26th.
Hayling Island Spring Series Finn Open. 14-15th May
2 days and 6 races out in the bay at Hayling. If your going to spend hours on the water, just get yourself some decent layered sailing kit - take it from me, it just works.
Warsash Finn Open 4-6th June
2 day open meeting, 6 races. Out of the Hamble, follow the channel and turn left. Head for 'Hill Head'.
Day 1 16-18 knots. The Finn fleet was just like a touring car race, bumper to bumper all the way around the race track. Day 2 Good breeze, but it then went light late PM, 5-6 knots. Went for a pin end start on port and lead around the first windward mark. Finished 8th.
Off to the Finn Southerns next week