2 days of fantastic winter sailing less than a week apart. Obviously I would have liked more breeze (and possibly fewer moths turning up at the Bloody Mary), but you can't have everything! Sunshine and a reasonable wind made 2 of my favourite handicap races even better.
Handicap events can't be taken too seriously, but I have to say that I do enjoy the slightly 'random' nature of these massive handicap events. It was amazing to have over 300 boats on the water in January and I'm pretty sure everyone who sailed there had a great time. There seems quite a lot of talk about the Moths being able to just turn up and win if it's their conditions. I think that underestimates how well the moths were sailed by some very talented sailors. In handicap racing every dog has its day, and with a bit more breeze we might have had it, but with less breeze I'm pretty sure the Merlins and the 12s would have been romping home. The only thing I feel slightly 'robbed' by is that there was no 'first non-foiling boat' trophy to match the one for the 'first foiler'. Regardless of thisRichard and I really enjoyed it and the tweaks we did to the setup after the Grafham Grand Prix seemed to work. The new 3DL main looks amazing and seems to work pretty well. We certainly seemed to be going pretty quickly. It will be interesting to see how quick we are against the Worlds boats when they return (well sailed to Tom & Sam - good to see another Sheffield bred sailor doing so well!).
Here's a link to a short video of the new 3DL main. The construction process for these things is amazing and perhaps one of the biggest breakthroughs in dinghy technology for a while.
No sailing now until the Steve Nicholson as I have exams :-( Let's hope for more sunshine and wind for the next 2 SailJuice events...