The HOLT Tide Ride was last weekend, and it was my chance to get out sailing again after a very long wait for our boats to get back from the USA. (A missing carnet seemed to delay progress for some time!)
I was looking forward to see how I lined up against the UK fleet post Worlds.
We had the afternoon slot on Saturday, but the breeze had built during the day and was too much by late afternoon. Geoff happily volunteered to be a crash test dummy, and did some nice crashes for us all to prove it wasn’t wise to race.
Sunday dawned with around 8-12 knots, being very shifty from off the land. Going with the novel racing format of the event we had two mid gates to go through and a leeward gate, although they were staggered somewhat making it more into a slalom.
I’ll try and held Ricky go into a little more detail for the report, but the qualifying series went well for me. So with a 1,1,3,1 scoreline, I was first going into the lunch break, Ricky was second with a 5,2,1,4. Rod third with 2,4,4,2, and Mike Lennon fourth with 3,3,2,3.
With the Tide Ride event format, the scores wouldn’t count for much though except your current position would count as a race result to add to your final race result. So I’d go into the final with 1 point, Ricky with 2, and so on.
Now the last fleet out the tide had turned, and the breeze dropped. We could still foil around, just, but the weed was now looming throughout the course. I rounded the windward mark with the lead bunch, and went to gybe inside Mike and Ricky who had dropped off the foils in front of me. But there was a bit of a bang, and the lower portion of my kicker system decided it had had enough for the weekend. With the kicker now in a rather eased setting, promoting early foiling was proving rather difficult so I spent most of the run low riding. Rod foiled away into an early lead, and the rest of the fleet compressed up in a light patch just below the windward mark. It all got a bit confusing here as I thought Mike and Ricky had both got away, but in fact they had both collected so much weed they were doing regular capsizes to clear it. So I actually sailed around in about 3rd or 4th for much of the race and it was only on the final run that they both foiled passed me, so I ended up 5th. Rod therefore won the regatta with a 3,1. I was second with a 1,5, Ricky 3rd with a 2,4, and Mike 4th with a 3,3.
Congratulations to Rod, he sailed a solid weekend, and kept it foiling through a critical gybe in the final to take him on to the win. (Note to self – perhaps helping Rod out with his light wind technique wasn’t such a good plan!)
I’m now out of the country for a month with coaching work in Athens and Florida, but looking forward to getting in as much Mothing as I can when I get back. I only hope I can get all the sand off the boat!