This is the first strong northerly we have had at the lake for some time, and it is the second time I have had a good long sail in the boat in decent breeze. In essence it was a good shakedown of the boat. First up a few things structurally need work:
1) The bolts on the rudder need lock nuts and tightening.
2) The traveller cleat let go part way through a gybe, breaking the end of the traveller.
3) The trailers dodgy welding (mine) came apart.
4) I broke my sailing watch (well it was already sort of broken).
Before the beginning of the race one of the new toe straps came undone sending me out the boat backwards. Luckily I was able to retie the toe strap and continue on. It was definitely a day when you needed both toe straps.
The race started near the narrows, which had been blocked off by the footbridge for the Grand Prix. I got a good start, partly by starting a boat length in front of the impulse fleet. I know from times on the start boat that the majority of the impulse fleet nearly always starts a boat length behind the line. One day they will be on the line and catch me out.
The first beat was tricky with many shifts along the course. I played a conservative card going through the middle of the lake and then towards the road before heading towards the mark. A lift was often found between the island and the mark which was worth having a shot at, but during the first lap this didn’t play out. At the top mark I rounded in second place behind Paul.
The next issue was the second mark of the trapezoid course. I completely forgot about it, and if you look at the GPS track at about 2.5km I had to sail back a short distance to the mark. This cost me a couple of places in the race. At the moment I am concentrating in what is going on in the boat that my attention to what is going on outside of the boat is on auto pilot. If Paul hadn’t said anything I probably would have sailed in to the footbridge thinking I had to go down to St Kilda.
The rest of the race saw me slowly slip backwards in the fleet. Tacking in heavy winds is still hit and miss with the boat often stalling as I push the boat around to quickly. At the end of the race Silke and Don were getting close to me, but a stronger breeze saw both of them slip behind again.
Due to the F1 GP there is no sailing at the lake. I will be able to take my time in the next two weeks and work on getting all the bits and pieces sorted out for the boat and the trolley.
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