So it has been a busy winter so far for us. However, there is nothing better to help you stay strong in a British winter like the Rooster Supertherm Longjohns and Pro Aquafleece.
The main focus has been team racing with our Itchenor team and we have made a bit of progress this year. We came 2nd
on count back at the Bristol Brew and are currently leading the standings in the one day “Liga Salsa Brava”.
We had a 2 boat keel boat team racing event in J80s called the “Carmella Cup”. It was a very close event and we finished the Saturday in a bit of trouble and having to go into a 3 way tie to decide who got through to the semis. On countback we managed to squeeze into 3rd
and on the Sunday we capitalised on this beating SMVC in the semis and setting up a replay of the European final last year against Royal Thames. After we won the first race comfortably, Royal Thames managed to get the better of the starts and turned the final around to win 2-1.
J80 team racing (George Yeoman , Rob Struckett, Ben Crompton & Nick Blevins )
Two weekends ago we sailed in the “Cam Cup” in Cambridge. The Saturday was blown off as there were gusts of 50mph came cruising across Grafham Resevoir. On the Sunday the race committee did a great job ensuring everyone got to race 10 races, which left just the final to race with both us and Royal Thames on 100% wins. After 3 very close races Itchenor managed to close out the final and take it 2-1.
Itchenor Team Sonicboom! win Cam Cup (George Yeoman, Rob Struckett, Andy Shaw, Pippa Horne, Sophie Ormsby & Isabel Elliman)
We have also managed to squeeze in a bit of RS200 sailing. This year we have been trialling a winter series that has been hit by the storms and has looked dodgy but we have managed to get in some good racing with 10 boats out on some short course racing. After 4 short back to back races we managed to take 2 races and a 2nd
and a 5th
which meant we managed to win the weekend. It was good to get out and blow away the cobwebs and we managed to get a bit of footage as well. We found the best place to attach it was by attaching an old tiller extension to the boom and the camera about a foot out, this lets you get a good picture of the whole boat.
Steve very kind had a look at the video and made a few comments. The first thing to notice is that the jib we are using is not in best nick. This was mentioned to us but I had no idea it looked so bad until I saw the video. With such a stretched leach you will end up struggling for height and the slot will be too open and no extra jib sheet will help, this is what we call a “dead” jib it is deceased.
We do a good job of holding our lane off the start, however it is made easier by the fact the boat below us keep fighting and sitting up which allows us to just squeeze forwards and roll over the top. We work hard off the start line and manage to keep the boat flat and driving. However a little bit in my lack of fitness starts to show as I start to fidget, but Soph is still going strong luckily.
At 2:20 we tack and Steve’s comment was that it was a bit flat, and I have to agree with him. RS200s are difficult to tack as they have a fully battened main sail, however after the tack we get right back on the accelerator and get back up to pace. The key for pace in a breeze in the 200 is to use a lot of kicker and play the main sheet a lot.
At 3:50 we are coming into the top mark and Soph is getting herself sorted ready for the hoist, and normally eases the outhaul before the mark but we were a bit tight this time. Soph doesn’t move in to the boat until we are definitely borne away as the 200 is quite unstable and can be difficult to turn if it is not flat. This is also where Steve made his next comment as you can see the bow going down and pushing a lot of water out the way. Steve mentioned that if I eased a bit more mainsheet before the bare away the bow will dig in less. So this is something to take on board and try out this weekend.
We then have a good hoist and manage to get up on the plane nice and quickly and separate ourselves from the rest of the fleet.
At 4:25 we put in a gybe, and one thing we do differently to some other crews is that we preset the jib going into the gybe. This allows Soph to focus on the spinnaker and allows her to really make sure we get the power on again quickly, any adjustments can then be made using the continuous jib sheets so you don’t even need to lean in to grab it.
At the bottom mark we misjudged the tide and ended up doing a late drop. But we managed to recover and carry our lead to the finish over the next 3 laps.
If anyone has any comments or questions please post on here, we are always happy to move forwards!
G & S