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Kit Guide

Winter Freeze - but still practicing

By Steve Cockerill 30th September 2020
Its not been the normal Easter, but over the last two weekends, we have managed to get 5 days of racing and training - thanks to the new SuperTherm gear, our PolyPro's and Pro Aquafleece®'s. Our first triumph was gybing whilst keeping the kite flying: We found light winds relatively easy at the Warming Pan, but we have not quite found the gears in the mid range, noteably we are not quite able to hold our lane to windward, but if there is a favourable shift, we are able to foot pretty fast. I have noted that the mast is still bending slightly to leeward on the reaches so its time to add a little extra length to our spreaders - perhaps 5mm. I have also found that I am maxing out our lower tension too, so I think I am going to move the tips another 10mm forward too. We know that Dick Batt's sails are perhaps flatter than the average so perhaps this will put us back in the hunt in the medium conditions. We had some excellent racing on Saturday and Sunday in Hayling's Pennant Weekend against a large fleet of experienced Merlin sailors. We were fast enough to play with them, but not fast enough to beat them, but boy what a great weekend of tight racing against sailors who know their patch of water. The weather was almost tropical - perhaps reaching 6 degrees - but we were toasty in our layered gear. Sunshine by Go Pro Black Monday's weather was perahps even colder and windier than the weekend and sadly no other Merlin's came out to play in the Pursuit. We did however, have some excellent competition from the RS200 fleet who never looked like being beaten and the event was won by Tom Morris and Emma Porteous. We did however have perhaps the most exciting racing in conditions that to date we really have not played in enough. I really have to learn to lock myself in the back corner of the boat better on these broad reaches. It was one heck of a ride: We also found ourselves in the overfalls off Dunes, on a screming dead run - gybing was not an option at that moment. Patience was the better course to take:
Not going to gybe just yet!
Time to check all those blocks and ropes and boat bimble in these lovely spring conditions ready for another Silver Tiller in Salcombe this coming weekend. We plan to be very reflective, keen to learn the new race track ready for Salcombe week - at least that's the plan!

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