Report from James Woodward from and and in the water:
Well what can I say about Monday racing gusty is a word very gusty is two words. We bow our heads to Laurie and Mags in the 2000 who convincingly won the race and I think capsized less than 5 times. To be honest I did not know who was where or where was who, as at the first mark most people capsized and from then on it was more of survival sailing and hanging on.
At one gybe mark watching the Dyer boys fight their 29er on the gybe was pure joy, those who remember weebles wooble but they won't fall down, but the Dyer boys did, after an exhibit of pure circus acrobatics of dancing across their boat in trying to keep it up. At the same mark Graham in his laser radial was working on pride comes before a fall and tacked round, good move, as I thought I can wiz in front here as I then promptly capsized.
So hooning around the course with the water coming up through the centre board and hitting the boom in great exhilaration to heart stopping weather helm in the gusts, preying I don't fall foul to the laser death roll.
A mention must go to Victoria in her topper who is putting us oldies to shame with her great love and passion to her sailing and capsized more times than I have fingers and toes but bashed on in very good humour, hats off to you Victoria you are become a force to be reckoned with. Dreading the day you move up to 4.7 laser.
Talking of 4.7 laser Matt bradfield sailed very well and managed to hang on to get a second place and his first day on the water this season.
To all who sailed it was very testing and great great fun. Thanks must go to the race officers of the day Ben Gardener and Clare Dunning to make a correct call of cancelling the second race due to adverse conditions and mechanical failures.
And the view from the tower...
Well, there's not much that Ben, I and cadet assistant Joseph can add to James's report. What we saw from the race tower was either boats reaching at 100mph on what turned out to be pretty much 3 of the 4 legs depending on which way the wind swung, or boats upside down, sometimes with the helm swimming back towards them.
The first lap set the standard: there were 4 boats simultaneously in the water at the first mark and from then on helms took it in turns to fall in. It looked extremely exciting, especially watching the two-handers of Michael & Sam Dyer and Laurie Dengate & Mags Gawecka crossing the line on each of their 5 laps. However, after 33 minutes with the wind picking up further out and, most sailors having done their fair share of being dunked, we shortened the course and in the excitement of recording sail numbers and times forgot to beep a few sailors as they crossed the line. Sorry! Well done Victoria for a fantastic first lap and beating your dad Colin on corrected time by a large margin.
All the sailors came ashore with huge smiles, stories to tell and no broken bones so a successful afternoon racing at HBSC!
Thanks to the Hogben safety boat team and Joseph, young Doug, Jeni, Jonathan and Karl for their efforts to get a second safety boat on the water. This proved troublesome so the third race, like the first one scheduled at noon when there was too little water, was cancelled.
Thanks to all. Great experience all round.
1st Laurie Dengate & Mags Gawecka
2nd Matt Bradfield
3rd Michael & Sam Dyer