19 January 2021 at 17:52 #7073
The forecast looked ominous and … the previous days howling winds seem to confirm it too …. this was going to be a day for tiny rigs and tight hats.
But no! … arriving to 8-10 knots with the odd gust had even cautious skippers rushing to change back to into their A+ Rigs before the button.
Studying the course, it looked promising. Wind from a good direction and fairly steady, sunshine even. Not so promising was discovery of a number of weedy clumps appearing thanks to hungry ducks pulling it up from the bottom and a low water height from keeping a thirsty vineyard watered.
With 12 skippers briefed and our Superhero scorer Sue with pencil at the ready the racing began in earnest.
Bursting out of the blocks came Trout #11. The Purple People Eater (PPE) was on fire and looked unstoppable, easily winning the first three races. Then everything changed. First came a blown sheet clip for Trout then nature decided to play tough with the whole fleet.
By race five the wind had hiked up to 13 knots + and gusts now in their 20’s.
Seven of our twelve skippers suffered broken gear and/or loss of control most ending with a dive into the weeds.
Of all who suffered broken gear it was Ricky #92 who suffered the most. After a slow start his mojo was kicking in, seemingly unfazed by the knockdown gusts and weed. His joy in winning consecutive podiums in races four and five was short lived as a big gust in race six saw his gooseneck lower fitting part company with the rest of the boat. A quick rig change and he came back with a fourth in the last race of the day.
Once more sailing Pete’s generously loaned miss Pink Bits was Ross #178. Stuck with a single A+ rig Ross showed good fighting spirit amid the “overpowered with little control” training lesson handed out to him on this occasion.
We had a number of visitors to our little group today. Included in that number was Georgia, Dave #48’s granddaughter. A relative newcomer to RC sailing, Georgia picked it up well and joined in the fun with great enthusiasm.
One of only four skippers completing all seven races was our Ron #164. With more time on the sticks now Ron is building confidence and skill with every outing, working his way to the pointy end. He also showed his pioneering spirit by venturing into no mans land beneath the verandah/viewing platform, miraculously emerging unscathed a minute later.
But what of the Admiral #23? Like all staunch captains he was prepared to go down with the ship. Or at least he would have if not for making shore before that happened. With the main hatch not sealed (duh) and knockdowns in progress it was all hands to the pumps and run her ashore!
With his “heavy” cut A+ rig on, Don #99 looked to have the best of both worlds in what turned out to be tricky conditions. Never quite cracking a podium place the Unflappable one still managed fourth overall and a very enjoyable days sailing.
Surprisingly, Graeme’s high aspect rigged RG65 rocket ship didn’t manage the gusty conditions as well as expected. Often a fierce performer when the wind gets above 10 knots, today it never really got there except for race two where it claimed an excellent second place to the PPE (see above).
Sailing all morning with his A+ rig was Bloody Geoff’s twin brother. He managed good results, never missed a mark, never started a raft up nor was involved in any collision. Despite the confusion, some say it was indeed our own Bloody Geoff…… just with a better prescription.
Our esteemed representative from Toad Hall productions was with us once more to capture the day in moving pictures. We are grateful to have the honourable Kermit’s work to relive and enjoy the days fun all over again, thanks mate.
Ending the day just two points shy of the outright winner, our Phil #32 was on song. Good clean starts and wise tacking decisions placed the smiling assassin in four good podium finishes and second overall today.
He’s back …… our Pete #78 gave a masterclass of consistent sailing and podium finishes in every race today. Never off the podium, you know you had a good day when your lowest finishing place drop is a third. Well done Pete and congratulations on a triumphant return to the winners circle.
After seven races with one drop the final results are:-
Dave on 64 points, Col on 63, Ross on 56, Kermit on 53, Graeme on 44, Ricky on 38, Ron on 36, Don on 32, Geoff on 30, Trouty on 28, Phil on 25 and our winner today Pete on just 15 points!
Special thank you’s to Sue for scoring and Kermit and the Admiral for media.
Next week after weed clearing (see below) it will be DF95/IOM race day. Last time out produced some startling close finishes with the DF95’s actually being faster on some points of sail. Bring either/or both and have some fun.
Due to a large buildup of weed making setting and sailing a proper course difficult, it is planned that next Tuesday at 8.30 am it’s “all hands to the ropes and launch the Terminator” once more.
Though this year it has come a little earlier than others, weed clearing is an annual chore for the Puddleduckers. With plenty of bodies and long ropes we launch the terminator and clear the shallower areas of the keel grabbing stuff.
Usually it only takes an hour or less, is a fun group activity and by starting early we can still enjoy a full mornings sailing and refreshment as we usually do.
See you there.
Words by the Admiral, fun by all unavoidable.
19 January 2021 at 17:55 #7074
19 January 2021 at 17:57 #7075
19 January 2021 at 17:59 #7076
ADMIRAL PICS WERE SENT
19 January 2021 at 19:29 #7079
20 January 2021 at 12:38 #7080
Thank you one and all – another great day at the Duck. The attrition rate was higher than the wind would have suggested, but battling our way downwind was a lot of fun.
20 January 2021 at 13:02 #7081
Definitely a character building day, but still great fun
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