Warsash Spring Series – Week 4 – Report from With Alacrity
It looked like the 2009 Spring Series curse was going to strike again as we motored out to the start in 3 knots of wind – but after a short postponement the breeze kicked in to a decent 10-15 knots for the whole race, with sunshine as well! Fantastic sailing for this early in the season. Not sure what happened to trying for 2 races to catch up with the ones missed earlier, the postponement was only half an hour but obviously enough for the race officer to give up on that plan.
With Alacrity got off to a terrible start. We thought we were positioned with 2 mins to go to sail close hauled into the line a boatlength from the committee boat, when we sheeted in though we were barely laying the bouy end – bad judgement or a big shift before the start? Either way we were 4 boatlengths off the line at the gun and eating lots of dirty air with little option but to tack off behind most of the fleet for clear air.
This race turned into an object lesson in how small the gap is between mixing it with the leaders and scrapping for places in mid fleet. From a bad start we couldn’t find any way back. We took a few risks to split from the fleet when we could but on balance the shifts went against us and the neapy tide wasn’t quite doing what we expected so we lost ground on 2 out of 3 beats. Competition was still close though with Pavlova III providing motivation agonisingly just out of reach ahead and great to see Premier Cru out for the first race of the season crossing gybes with us downwind. Zanzara & Vitesse were also in the hunt and pushing hard especially on the way to the finish.
Just 32 seconds separated the front 3 Sigma 38s with Persephone winning ahead of Light after they had been swapping places for much of the race. Marta sailed a great race to take a very close 3rd place. Amazingly just 24 seconds was the difference between 6th & 8th with Premier Cru just holding off Zanzara and Vitesse at the finish. Good close one design racing throughout the fleet – I think this season is going to be cracking.