Race Report - Wednesday 27th May

by Geof Gibbons

The Wayfarer turnout was in double figures as usual on a Wednesday evening. The weather was fine with maybe a shower later in the forecast and winds WSW varying from 10-20 knots through the race. What was unusual for a Wednesday evening was that the tide was effectively on a stand for the duration so negligible flows. The Race Officer decided that as daylight would not be an issue at this time of year to set the Poole Week classic course SW15.

The first 1.5 mile beat to Balls Lake saw varying strategies for the leg. Initially the 3 usual suspects, Colin, Geof and Jacky were trading the lead but then there was a different approach to the leg.

Geof and Carrie went very close to the island in company with David and Trevor on Red Hot. Jacky and Terry went hard right accompanied by Steve and Kate in The Black Pearl and Ian and Mark on Dragonfly. At the end of the leg, the hard right had paid – Captain Jack rounded with a 20 boat length lead followed by Dragonfly then the 2 left hand boats led by Red Hot with The Black Pearl tucking in just behind Studland Seahorse. The boats that chose the middle were a bit further back.

The Mk 4’s all struggle to hoist the kite on a port reach and the next leg was fairly tight port pole to Hutchins. Captain Jack and Studland Seahorse flew their kites while the other front runners did not meaning Geof and Carrie moved up to second at the gybe.

The long starboard pole leg to Ellis Jones – all the way down the harbour for almost 3 miles followed with a gentle compression – fastest boat down this leg was The Black Pearl who shook off the two red boats to round Ellis Jones right on Studland Seahorse’s transom – both boats behind Captain Jack.

Dragonfly managed to lose out comprehensively on this leg with a twisted spinnaker that would not come down either - needing a complete stop and untying the corners to be able to safely resume sailing with the kite no longer an option.

A starboard biased beat past the harbour entrance to Amy Group in the usual accelerated wind in this area of the harbour saw Studland Seahorse nibble away at Captain Jacks lead to be within 5 boat lengths at the mark. A better gybe set from Studland Seahorse saw the two boats running side by side most of the way to Bell. At the mark rounding Captain Jack led with Studland Seahorse almost on their transom but the trailing boat managed to round slightly smoother to emerge half a boat length higher for the tight spinnaker reach towards Northshore Homes. This was going to be a challenging tactical leg as you could not fly the kite on the course for the mark and would need to drop and harden up to make the course. Red Hot had passed The Black Pearl to be third at Bell.

Studland Seahorse showed the benefit of practising by handling a gust better than Captain Jack to surge past the turquoise boat and pull away a little. Red Hot decided to drop the kite in order to sail straight to the mark. After a great fun spinnaker reach Jacky and then Geof needed to drop the kites to make the mark. Too close for planing, both boats fetched up towards the mark to see Red Hot and The Black Pearl both 2 sail planing along to windward.

At the final mark Red Hot held a narrow lead from Studland Seahorse with The Black Pearl third and Jacky, having led most of the way, dropped to fourth.

On the short final beat Studland Seahorse managed to find a shift to enable them to call Starboard on Red Hot who had to duck then follow Geof and Carrie over the line pursued by Steve and Kate then Jacky and Terry. All 4 boats finished within 30 seconds after an almost 2 hour action filled race – remarkable.

Mark and Mindy Fisher sailed Virginia Plain to first in the Classic fleet on their first outing of the year.

1st Studland Seahorse - Geof Gibbons & Carrie Wilkes
2nd Red Hot - David Wall & Trevor Card
3rd The Black Pearl - Steve Haley & Kate Wyatt

Race Report - Saturday 16th May

by Geof Gibbons

The day that time Wayfarer sailors stood still. Collective class brain fade!!

The day looked sparkling with sunshine and plenty but not too much breeze. A low spring tide was forecast for the end of the race so finding enough water was always going to be a challenge.

Several boats were gently bimbling as they rigged showing no sign of any urgency. The boats then launched but had to sail out of the marina and upwind to the platform against the enthusiastic ebb tide.

Only 2 boats got anywhere near the platform when the flag went up, Class captain Phil crewed by Derek and Bruce with Terry crewing. Phil did not have a course book with him; Bruce counted down 5 minutes from the 4 minute gun.

Studland Seahorse and Black Pearl rounded the end of the marina wall at about the 4 minute gun. Pork Pie Chaser, Captain Jack and some others all launched around this time.

From Studland Seahorse we could work out the start time by when the Dolphins started, Phil led the 2 ‘early’ wayfarers round the laid inflatable mark and Rebbecks. Even though Rebbecks was to be rounded to starboard, Phil’s lack of a course book led him to round it to port and head downwind and tide with the kite up. Bruce rounded correctly so Sapphire decided to return and unwind and pursue Bruce. Meanwhile Studland Seahorse had worked out that they needed to chase hard and managed to get the course down as they sailed past the box despite a stationary fireball doing their best to make this difficult. We crossed the line just before the 1 minute for the following class so probably 3.30 late. From this we can see that Phil lost about that amount of time due to his navigational error as both boats left Rebbecks together for the beat to Morris Lane.

Back in the start area the remaining boats were sailing around waiting for the warning signal to be hoisted even though they arrived about 15 minutes after it had appeared.

We can confirm that there is a shallow patch of gravel about 20 meters offshore of Morris Lane.

On the down tide spinnaker run from Morris Lane to Ellis Jones, complacency on Manalishi meant that they gave up some of the tide benefit to minimise the number of gybes meaning that at Ellis Jones they had the white boat close enough to be a threat about 10 boat lengths astern.

A beat against the tide dodging the moored boats ensued with lots of tacks by the trailing boat and covering tacks by Manalishi. They executed one of these perfectly but Studland Seahorse managed to escape eventually by ‘wiping off’ the cover by tacking behind a moored boat once Bruce was committed to the other side. These 2 continued the battle till Studland Seahorse picked a good shift and managed to establish a modest lead round Hamish for the run to Glovers.

After Glovers Bruce and Terry sailed over the shoal with both centreplate and rudder up (about 8 inches of water). To gain some good tidal relief and repass Studland Seahorse, with this being the finishing order with Phil and Derek third.

In the club house afterwards nobody could explain the collective poor timekeeping as the start time has been the same on Saturdays for years.

1st Manalishi - Bruce Gridley & Terry Berrett
2nd Studland Seahorse - Geof Gibbons & Carrie Wilkes
3rd Sapphire - Phil Powell & Derek Shipley

Race Report - Wednesday 29th April

by Geof Gibbons

The evening was sparkling with bright sunshine, a full harbour with negligible tide and plenty of breeze – bit nippy though.

With the wind close to 20 kts and gusting 25 it was great that 7 boats felt confident to venture out for a 3 lap triangle, sausage, triangle course using Rebbecks, Stans and Northshore Homes. This course gave a cracking 2 sail reach from Rebbecks to Stans, too close for a spinnaker but fully hiked and planing the whole way so every team got the full Wayfarer hosepipe treatment as the bow wave coincides with where the crew hike out in these conditions. This was followed after the gybe by a broader spinnaker reach again planing the whole way to Northshore Homes generating huge grins throughout the fleet.

The leading trio of Jackie, Geof and Colin all had turns at the front and all made mistakes while leading to give places away. Geof hit Northshore Homes at the end of the first lap so had to do a 360; Colin decided to delay his hoist on the run till after the jibe and ended up not flying the kite at all; Jackie pushed the drop at the end of the sausage so late that they were not ready to go back upwind.

When the finish came it was Geof and Carrie in front from Colin and Sue then Jackie and Terry.

It was great to see 6 of the 7 flying spinnakers in the boisterous conditions but only two boats were foolish/brave enough to gybe with the kite up. Nobody capsized so a great evenings sailing all round.

1st Studland Seahorse - Geof Gibbons & Carrie Wilkes
2nd Pork Pie Chaser - Colin May & Sue Paulson
3rd Captain Jack - Jackie Dobson & Terry Berrett

First Wednesday Race Report - 15th April

by Geof Gibbons

This Wednesday marked the first evening race of the season in summer temperatures despite still being April.

The wind for the first 20 minutes of racing was just into F2 as the great turnout of 11 boats started on a short Olympic course.

Captain Jack and Studland Seahorse led off the line and traded places up the first beat with whichever boat was furthest right getting slightly more breeze allowing them to gain despite also having slightly more tide. Jacky judged the lay line perfectly to hold a 2 boat length lead at No23 from Geof with a the rest of the fleet tightly packed a few boat lengths further back.

As the spinnakers went up the wind decided to disappear with the water going glassy. In order to keep the kite full Jacky and Geof sailed high of the line to Bournemouth Collegiate necessitating a gybe to reach the wing mark. The wind breathed gently on the middle of the fleet so that several boats looked to have overtaken the leading pair but the feeble puff eventually reached the becalmed boats allowing Jacky to squeeze around the mark with a neglible lead and Geof to ‘celebrate’ only dropping to 5th.

A 2 sail close fetch to Hamish race Mark followed with Bruce closing up to Jacky with Steve and Ray all tacking round the mark in a bunch with some other classes all focussing on rights of way against the other boats allowing Studland Seahorse to attempt to sneak around inside the lot.

Bruce and Trevor managed to roll over Studland Seahorse suffocating the drive force so Geof and Carrie tacked out – ducking Ray and Jill on the way before setting up for the long starboard leg to the line. As on the first leg there was the slightest bit of extra pressure to the right which enabled Studland Seahorse to get moving before the breeze reached the other boats. The wind just reached Jackie and Terry before Studland Seahorse could catch them and then the wind rolled further down to deliver Manalishi a get out of jail card so those 2 boats finished in that order with Ray beating The Black Pearl for 4th.

Both the first two boats were flying their brand new suit of Exe sails for the first time. It will be interesting to see how these sails perform across the range of conditions we get in a season.

The actual wind during racing had ranged from 2.5 – 4.5 knots so no wonder it felt light when sailing – particularly downwind.

1st Captain Jack - Jackie Dobson & Terry Berrett
2nd Manalishi - Bruce Gridley & Trevor Card
3rd Studland Seahorse - Geof Gibbons & Carrie Wilkes

Easter Series Results

1st Studland Seahorse - Geof Gibbons & Carrie Wilkes
2nd Captain Jack - Jackie Dobson & Terry Berrett
3rd Manalishi - Bruce Gridley & Trevor Card

Full Easter Series Results here