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Dinghy racing at HYC on Sunday 9th June 2019

posted Jun 23, 2019, 8:02 PM by Admin hycnz

Seven Junior sailors turned up bright and early on Sunday morning, after a night of celebration at the Annual Prize-Giving the night before. Some of the adults found time to help with the debris from the previous night’s party, before the racing started. The decision was made to race south of the club, in Catalina Bay, to avoid the strong spring tide, which posed quite a challenge with the very light SW wind. Gill set a triangular course, with the start line from a Patrol boat and the leeward mark, and the finish line off the club flagpole well downwind of the course. This gave the sailors some valuable experience of finishing away from the course, and then sailing directly back to the starting area for the next race.

The first race saw the Starlings get round the course in 20 minutes, on a dying breeze, but the Firebugs got becalmed and took forever to finish. With just Cohen and Barnabas sailing the Firebugs, they entertained each other by playing eye spy, while drifting around. The Starlings were towed and tied up alongside the Patrol/Committee boat, and enjoyed the remains of the carrot cake from the Prize-Giving, while waiting for the new breeze to set in. Justine popped to the market and bought coffees for all the Race Management Team - thank you they were much appreciated!

As the coffee arrived the wind came too; so it required a quick concentration shift back to sailing and race 2 got under way. There was a big wind shift which made it a 3 leg fetch, so only one lap was sailed. A quick shift of the top mark to make a beat, and race 3 got underway. This was the best race, with the tide starting to ebb, a decent beat and a constant (but shifty) wind. The juniors are gradually learning to spot wind shifts, but they are prone to play at follow-my-leader, rather than think about where the best line is to the next mark. With such strong tides, often the shortest route is not the best one.

It was a real treat to eat up some of the left-overs from the previous night, because it was after 2pm, by the time the sailors came off the water. Thank you Justine for dishing it out, sending the kids outside to eat, and tidying up afterwards. Congratulations to James who was racing for the first time in his own Starling; he sailed better each race and went from 4th to 3rd and in the final race came a close 2nd to Harrison. Kieran won the other two Starling races, whilst the Firebugs saw Cohen getting two 1st and Barnabas the other 1st. The next dinghy racing is 23rd June, with the race start time at 10.30am and the shed open at 9.15am. Please make sure you get there early so that you can be ready for the briefing at 1000hours. This gives us the chance to sail an hour either side of high water, which is crucial with these Spring tides!

Gill Moore 
Dinghy Sailing Coordinator