What a great days racing
, a huge course sailed mostly on flat water in 10 to 15 knots. Wind direction was regularly shifting up to 15 degrees on the open part of the lake and there were shorter sharper variations in strength and direction near the windward shore.
The race started with a short beat to windward on trapeze near the club, which saw all the Mossies fairly close together. Then a run to the leeward shore, which saw "Still Bitten" break away with a few strategic gybes allowing me to stay on the front of the gusts for longer, also managed to pick a few knocks, to go out to a large lead (500m?) over "Karma Cat", "Bee Alert" and "Immunity", with "More Than A Splash" falling behind.
Then around a platform near Storm Point and on to a long broad reach, allowing spinnakers to stay up. "Bee Alert" "Immunity" and "Karma Cat" where all battling away, with "Immunity" going on to trapeze to make the most of the gusts as all 3 got gradualy closer to "Still Bitten", which was sailing in less pressure. As we approached the next turning mark a pole near the entrance to Hollands Landing, the wind got quite fluky and patchy and the 4 Mossies all rounded within a few minutes.
The leg back to a buoy near the club, was a mostly starboard tack beat and the Mossies spread out a bit, but came together closer as they crossed tacks. About half way through the huge beat, "Immunity" and "Bee Alert" picked better pressure and a shift to jump into the lead. "Still Bitten" decided to cut the loss and tack on to the same heading as "Immunity" as soon as it became apparent the lead had been lost. This stopped the loss increasing, as "Karma Cat" continued and ended up well behind. "Immunity" headed towards the windward shore with "Still Bitten" trying to stay in touch, "Bee Alert" stayed further out in the lake. A few surprising shifts allowed "Still Bitten" to get back in the lead and then cover "Immunity" as he went close in to shore, as they approached the club mark, "Bee Alert" had made the most of local knowledge and swept into the lead as he flew into the club mark on a strong gust and lift. That was the end of the first huge triangle.
Once around the Club mark, it was spinnakers back up and head back down wind to Storm Point, the wind was up and "Still Bitten" trapezed past "Bee Alert" with "Immunity" not far behind. Then around the platform and beating back to the Club mark, it was around this time my ribs started becoming painfull (obviously 2 weeks had not been enough for them to mend). Back at the Club mark it was now onto a long tight reach towards the Pub mark, totaly flat water with strong gusts, meant lots of mainsheet adjustment, tough work with my ribs getting more painfull.
Around the Pub mark and then onto a broad reach towards Storm Point, with spinnaker up, great fun but speed had to be balanced with rib restrictions. Then around the platform and a loose beat back to the Club buoy, with windward centreboard up, the end of the smaller triangle.
Then it was back downwind to Storm Point again on a broad reach (with windward board up and traveller well down, but this time the wind had shifted and increased in strength to the point where you couldn't carry a spinnaker, some of it was on trapeze and some sitting in (with windward board up and traveller well down, "Wild Thinging" at times). Around the platform for the last time thank heavens
and on to a tight reach on trapeze (with traveller well down) towards the Finish line, between the Club buoy and Club. I was now pretty much leaving the mainsheet cleated as I couldn't adjust it without pain, but following the gusts up and down, was still very fast, would have been even more fun without the ribs.
Then it was over, 2 hours of great Mossie sailing
. But now I have to stay off the water for a few weeks again
. It's really difficult to not go sailing on "Still Bitten" after such a long break and this boat being sooo fast and fun to sail, I just want more, NOW.