Record turnout for the year last Sunday

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We had 9 boats rigged and ready to go on Sunday. Unfortunately, Trevor forgot his sailing kit so only 8 started the first race. Several of us were confused at the start because the RO made a unilateral decion to use a 5 minute start sequence. This didn’t phase Richard and Howard who had only just reached the start in time for the gun anyway and carried merrily on their way to collect yet another bullet, holding off John/ Helen, and Mike C/ Peter in that order.

The second race started with John/ Helen over line at start, and a storming start for Richard/ Howard (who had worked out that it was a 5 minute sequence). The first beat saw a split in the wind pattern down the middle of the beat with those on the right side getting a 40+degree lift while those on the left (who had no shift at all!) suddenly went from first to last. Alastair and Andrew Stevenson rounded the leeward mark first but it wasn’t long before John/ Helen pulled away to win by at least half a leg at the end. Andrew showed some serious helming skills on the last reach when he kept their boat level with Mervyn/ George in a brief planing contest (only to be let down by his father’s spinnaker skills!).

Hopefully we can get into double figures next weekend!

Final Fairweather Series races this weekend

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After last weekend that was rather crowded with open meetings and Oppie training, albeit good for keeping fees down, we should have plenty of space and excellent weather (Force 3-4 with sun!) for the final instalment of the Fairweather Series.

Richard and Howard are leading (just) from Mike C and Peter – Mike is hot tailing it back from the Caucasus to see if he can upset the applecart and John/ Helen are on a roll after returning from their travels so – could it be more exciting?!…

Let’s have a really good turnout to finish the series in style

What an eventful day on Sunday!

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Nick and Maxine returned from holidays with a new boat and John and Helen returned from their highly successful Summer campaign with a brand new mast. Mike and Phil scored a DNC in the morning because Mike’s car battery needed replacing. Meanwhile, on the water, John/ Helen won both races in what was a fun Force 4 with some extra puffs now and then, that made the bottom reach a real blast. In the meantime, Tom’s mainsheet tails knotted inside his boom and George’s jib-sheet parted (I sense a Reggie Perrin-like list of excuses building!)

It was great to see Emma, Trevor Sparrow and Sue Holdship (plus daughters) all joining in the Sunday pm racing. Not so great however, was Mervyn’s mast going snap and his car battery also giving out – with his car conveniently parked at the bottom of the ramp, preventing recovery of any boats! Thanks to Emma and Tristan for helping out.

Some fun facts on Flying Fifteen masts – all true, only one useful…

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If you snap the top off and cut the bottom bit in half, you can take your mast home in a family saloon rather than faffing around with a trailer

Ovington Mk10’s have a higher floor than a Mk9 Smoothie so any old spare mast you might hypothetically have lying around needs about 2” chopping off or it won’t fit

Masts left lying on the ground appear to make a very popular worm terrarium – nothing a good hose pushed up from the bottom won’t fix though

Get a girl on the water this Sunday

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This Sunday is the next instalment of the Autumn Series, having taken a break for Bart’s Bash and the Club Championships last weekend. Well done to Tom, Peter, Roger (and Alex?) for representing the fleet in these events and to Phil/ Mike for being the race team.

This is also the last weekend of the Summer Sunday pm series, where Gabrielle is working hard to get 40 females out on the water. There appeared to be lots of support for a whole day’s sailing when we discussed it at the last fleet AGM so please do all you can to turn out for both morning and afternoon – and see if you can drag one of the ladies in your life out for the afternoon.

Coming up

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Sunday (18th) brings Barts Bash and the Club Championships – with 4 races in the day, using a single handicap start (Wednesday evening format). Click here for a link to the Notice of Race/ Sailing Instructions and for information on how to donate to the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation which “uses sailing as a tool to improve the lives of young people”

Sunday 25th September is the last in this Summer’s Sunday pm Series. Gabrielle has set a challenge to get at least 40 females on the water as part of the 40th Anniversary initiatives. Please do your bit to help meet this target by (a) ensuring all the female FF sailors are out (good to see your boat back Emma…) and (b) providing crewing opportunities for the females that have taken up sailing this year as part of the ‘This Girl Can’ programme. Please let Gabrielle know if you can provide a space for one of her ‘Girls’

Tans and Tannin

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Much tea was drunk on Sunday because of the high pressure that decided to sit over Southeast England – fantastic for sunbathing but very frustrating for sailing. Not even the 29ers with their lightweight crews managed to get out until lunchtime – so no Sunday morning racing, which means no change to the Fairweather Series. Things didn’t get a lot better after lunch, so no Sunday pm races either. Instead, we all learned lots about a range of unexpected topics as the conversation wandered to and fro – though I’m not sure the youngest member of the fleet really appreciated the detailed discussion on the human ageing process!


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1) The results are in from the FFI ballot – all proposals were passed except for the 5kg weight reduction. The rule changes will come in after the Worlds in March ’17 – so new jibs for Xmas?!

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