The highs and lows of sailing
Since my last post things have been a bit mixed. I think I have sailed well but it has not always gone to plan.
After the Tera Start of Seasons it was back to the Topper for the Inlands at Gratham. Day one went well with two seconds and a fifth, this saw me as overnight leader which was great but for some reason strangely stressful. Going into day two I did not really want to take too many risks so I sailed fairly conservatively but unfortunately this did not pay off. It was already close at the top and a slightly riskier strategy seem to have paid off for the sailors who would eventually beat me. But I could have done the same and not even finished where I did. So although not happy 4th was a good result in shifty conditions.
Next I headed off to the RS Tera nationals at Weymouth. I was really quite confident about this one. So although we had some concerns about the sail I was using we thought it would probably be alright. They had decided to do five of the eight races on the first day and the conditions looked good with a nice steady breeze. I lined up for the first start and off they went, yes off ‘they’ went, I struggled to get my boat to go at all and everyone was rolling me upwind. Unfortunately what had not been evident at Northampton in the stronger winds was that my sail would not set properly below the bottom batten, oops. If I pulled on loads of down-haul it would set but I was slow and if I let the down-haul off it didn't set and I was slow. 20th in race one with four to go and I was only quick downwind! I did the only thing I could, the 'riskier strategy' gamble and see if it pays off. So now we are going to bang corners and hope for the best. So the next two races weren't great but two thirds was OK. Race 4 I managed to get up into second but pushing hard downwind I capsized and lost my dagger-board, another 20th. The final race saw my new strategy fail miserably leaving me with a 15th. So I can’t remember (or don't choose too) where I was over night.
Day two found us trying to find some way to make my sail better before the first race. The sail would not set and the batten would not go in any further. So we packed the inside of the mast with pro grip around the area of the bottom batten. This meant the sail would sort of set. Race six was very light and we drifted around the course but I got a 4th. Race seven was better with me finishing in second and I won Race 8 meaning I came 4th overall at the event.
So what did I learn. I need to spend more time in the boat before the Worlds (which will be hard considering we left our boats down in Weymouth) and I need a new sail which is hopefully on it's way with a little help from my Grandparents.
So now onto the latest event. Topper NS 2 at Rutland. The forecast was for light both days and sun but we arrived at Rutland to find it overcast and windy and a good turn out of 182 boats. Race one went well with a comfortable win. Race two started well but a big shift left me struggling to get over to the favoured right side of the course and rounding the first mark well down the fleet. I dug in and started to work my way back finally finishing in third. Race 3 was another win leading start to finish.Day saw me leading but I had been here before. This time I was determined to hold onto it, however it was close at the top. Race four was another win as was race five. I had won the event with a race to spare, wooo! But I was still determined to discard my third. Race 6 started OK but again I lost out to a shift. Round the first leeward gate I was around tenth. A good beat got me back to 4th but way behind the leader. Downwind I gradually picked off the places rounding the leeward gate in second and closing on the leader but unfortunately he was just too far ahead and I finished second. My final results including my discard were 1,(3),1,1,1,2 which I was really pleased with because it meant I won by 13 points.