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Kit Guide

Dinghy show and some swimming...

By Sargent 30th September 2020

I'm in full agreement with Ian Baillie in his last blog piece that the dinghy show is a fabulous day out. I hadn't been for years and years. This was our first time as a family and we all had a great time. Gwen and Johnny came home buzzing for the new season.

And then I got on the water on Sunday in the 300 too. Tide just turning, wind blowing F5-6 straight up the Thorney Channel, horrible, horrible chop. Little practice beat before the start, much shorter practice run, and then in I went. And then as I clambered towards the board off went the righting line too, bungy pulled through rope. Whooops. Very long capsize ensued, while I fixed it (badly), tried to do a better job, and then spent about 20 minutes exploring alternatives. Eventually I managed to swim it round and right it on the other tack.

Lessons learnt:

When winter sailing be even more rigorous in your boat prep/checking. The consequences of failure are worse and you are only as good as your weakest link.

If, like me, you have a very long mainsheet on your unstayed rig (why I'll cover in another post), then make sure that the main has not run out too far when capsized. I struggled much more than usual manoeuvring the boat with the mast in the water, and then righting it because the end of the boom was way in front of the mast. I should have remembered to sheet it in before the first attempt to right. That way I'd have made the start, righting line or not.

The right gear is soooo important. I was wearing poly pro legs and top, with hot top, and race skin, then aqua fleece and hikers and then my spray top on top of that. Despite losing my hat (only non-Rooster kit which should be a lesson) eskimo rolling with the boat out of its turtled position (big sigh of relief when my body, wrapped round the board, stopped it flipping again) I was never cold. In fact most of the time I was sweating with the effort.

Next up - some thoughts on how to engage the kids in the sport, and why we should! Something that's been on my mind a fair bit recently as we prepare for the new season.


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