Last Friday was a rather cold and grey day, but it didn't stop a few intrepid souls from having a short morning sail in Chichester harbour. Steve was keen to get back into an RS300 after a 5 year absence, Claire gets grumpy if she doesn't sail at least once a week and needed a fix, and I'm always keen to get out. So we fixed Steve up with the loan of a 300 for the day (thanks Mike), Claire rigged her 4.7, and I hoped that not too many failings would be noted in my 300 technique.
Weather wise, we had a gusty F3-5 SSE wind and a rising tide. Not a day to get wet with 4 degree water temperature and 3 degree air. Oh dear.
Anyway, I thought I'd post up some video we took on the day that includes footage of both boats. It gives a nice contrast of good and less-good technique. First of all, a leeward mark rounding. I managed to catch a gust on the final part of the downwind leg and reached the leeward mark ahead (I should explain, despite my intentions of a friendly tour of the local harbour, Steve insisted that we start racing within 2 minutes of launching and didn't stop until he broke his tiller. And even then he wanted to carry on). My gybe and rounding were poor, Steve's rounding was much tighter and I lost advantage:
Some contrasting bearaways - I tried to sort my controls before bearing away and lost stability (its not pretty, I'm not proud). Steve in the background moves his weight well back in the boat, heels to windward, sheets out and smoothly bears away to a broad reach. I'm presuming vang etc are sorted away the bear away, that is what I'm going to try next time.
Finally, some footage of our upwind/downwind short course. We did a fair amount of these, and I've picked the one where it looks like I'm giving Steve a pasting downwind, and holding upwind. Sadly it all goes to pot in the final minute of the video, where he covers me down a run and overtakes, whilst I simultaneously gybe, go out of control, and infringe.
The videos above perhaps give a rather gloomy summary of the days sailing, but this was not the case - I was very pleased with basic boat speed, and have added to the growing list of 'things to be sorted by training'. Plus it was great fun, and thats what sailing is all about.
Finally, we both lost our tiller extensions, both by losing footstraps and keeping hold of the extension as we fell in (separate incidents, we weren't trying synchronized capsizes or anything). My children think the cartwheeling of the extension in this video is the pinnacle of humorous sailing footage. I have to say the water was somewhat bracing.
More thoughts on the days sailing here.