OKs @ Brightlingsea….
OK meeting at Brightlingsea Sailing Club 15/16 September 2018
In third place…. No, that can’t be right! Well there’s a thing! In third place was Paul Pike, second was Keith Byers, and in first place was Simon Cowood.
It was a joint meeting with Solos, and Lasers which helped to spare our embarrassment at a low turnout. With Burt in Thailand, Dave Bourne and Tony Woods both working, there were some easy points to be gained.
On Saturday boats launched about an hour after low water, into the channel on the far side of the oyster beds. On the way out to the racing area there were more smacks than you could shake a stick at, as the Sailing Smacks were returning to the Colne estuary having started racing at 7.30am.
The Solo fleet started first, giving a few minutes insight into progress up the first beat, with a force 3 wind from WSW and an increasing incoming tide. There was a brief interruption on the start line as an over zealous Laser sailor barged his way through a less than crowded line five minutes early. Lesson one read the sailing instructions.
Simon and Keith headed right, Paul went left. At the windward mark Simon was a few boat lengths ahead of Keith, with Paul some two boat lengths behind. There was then a long run to the leeward mark, in a bit of chop, the course being sausage then triangle. Simon continued to increase his lead, catching the Solo tailenders by the end of the second beat. Keith again went right, and Paul went left causing Keith to keep looking over his shoulder going into the reaches. Five legs completed in about an hour.
For the second race the Solos had a general recall, and went to the end of the start sequence leaving a clear racetrack. The beat and run were largely a repeat of the first race, with a reversal of tactics on the second beat. This resulted in Simon pulling out a bigger lead, and Paul dropping further behind Keith with positions maintained to the finish.
The first beat of the third race was much the same as the previous two, followed by a similar run. For the final beat Simon went pointedly right, as if trying to test the strength of the tide. Keith, a well soaked Morecambe tide man, went left, coming out ahead at the windward mark, and catching the Solo fleet.
Sunday began with a SSW force 4, forecast for steadily increasing wind strength on an outgoing tide. Enough was enough, leaving Simon in first place with 2 wins and a second. Keith was in second place, and Paul in third. Place trophies from Brightlingsea Sailing Club were well received by all who attended.