New team members - RS200
Hello, and welcome to the fist blog post from Clare and myself. We've been racing an RS200 together for the last couple of years, and joined Team Rooster after the nationals this year.
Along with a few events on the National calendar (and a few Laser events when Clare's not around!), we've been able to attend most of the South Eastern Areas Series (conveniently acronym-ed SEAS) events this year. After winning a couple of events earlier in the season (thanks to Claire Walsh for standing in for Clare for the QMSC open), we approached this Sunday's Wembley RS200 Open lying 2nd overall and knowing we had a shot at winning the series - only if we finished 3rd or better.
Surprisingly warm for late October, and with a gusty SW blowing straight down the lake, conditions were perfect as the fleet assembled for the first of three back-to-back races. What we didn't account for was that Wembley pond life extends beyond the strange creatures propping up the club bar; huge clumps of weed plagued the fleet all day, and coming off the line for the first start we had it worse than most. A quick dive off the stern to clear the rudder put us mid-fleet, but once free of the flotsam we made quick progress and approached the first mark in the lead. A slight misjudgment and a last second shift meant we couldn't quite clear the 2nd place boat, and we gave ourselves turns before recovering to finish 4th.
In the second race we settled into a secure 2nd place behind David & Emily Giles, until on the final lap the kicker control line threaded intself in two loops through the mainsheet ratchet block, jamming them both solid for the rest of the race. Unsurprisingly the final lap was rather painful, and we slipped from 2nd to 6th as boats with some control over their mainsail eased their way past. Project for next weekend: finally get around to splicing a continuous kicker!
After frantically de-tangling the ratchet block between races, we talked about our plan for the final race. Having thrown away the first two races we could no longer win the event, and to finish 3rd (to take the series title) we had to win the final race. No pressure then!
We had certainly left it all to do, but we won the starboard end and sailed a perfect beat to lead at the first mark by a good distance - in fact we were half way down the run by the time the next kite was hoisted! The rest of the race was sailed defensively as the two boats behind us closed the gap, but we had done enough to win the race and finish 3rd overall, which wins us the 2014 SEAS series title!
Many thanks to Clare for the hard work this year, and for so serenely putting up with me when I make unreasonable demands of the kite or criticize her excellent hiking. We look forward to seeing many of you at Datchet for the End of Seasons!
David Jessop & Clare Michelmore
RS200 1347 - Easy Tiger