Warsash Spring Series 3 – Report from With Alacrity – 28 March 2010
No race report last week as kind of hard to be insightful when the wind is quite so light and fickle. Plus, to be honest, we felt faintly embarrassed at our smash and grab raid on the results as I can’t really explain how we went from 5th/6th to 1st around the final leeward mark. Anyway, guess that is sailboat racing - if it was easy & predictable it wouldn’t be so much fun!
This Sunday was a fantastic day on the water as the Spring Series served up another day of most un-March like weather – this time 12-15 knots with the odd patch of drizzle but a lot less chilly than it should be at this time of year. Must admit, though I voted for the Sigma 38s to sail in IRC rather than a separate class, I have been really struggling to get to grips with the starts in such a big fleet. On Sunday we had 30 boats on the start line, almost twice the number of any other class. Our plan was to start towards the left of the line to be able to sail into the deep water earlier and pick up the favourable windward going current. Instead we found ourselves by the committee boat on the right of the start line working hard to avoid collisions and keep some semblance of clear air. After the gun we had Starspray sail over us and decided to tack off to clear our air, which didn’t work as well as we hoped and by the time we were heading back out on starboard to the deep water we knew we had not done well.
Light, at the other end of the line got a great start and were in imperious form to sail to a convincing win. At the first cross it was clear quite how expensive our start had been as they crossed more than a quarter mile ahead along with Marta, and quite a few other Sigma 38s ahead of us. We worked hard to ease ourselves back up the fleet around an interesting course which included a tight spinnaker leg along with a few shorter 0.6 mile legs to keep us on our toes. We had some tight battles with Rapscallion (who seem to be always ready to pounce on any mistake), Kindred Spirit who were sailing a fantastic race until some spinnaker problems let us past and finally Marta who were sailing fast and should have hung onto 2nd place but for an untidy last spinnaker leg that let us slip through at the final rounding mark. By the finish we had made little or no inroads into Light’s lead but happy to nick 2nd place to keep the series interesting.
Being a bit anal-ytical and this being the halfway point in the series, thought it would be interesting to check out some statistics. Light’s win today means we have 3 different boats winning one of the first three races. On Sunday Sigma 38s were the largest class outside of the SB3s, making up one third of IRC 3 which in turn was 58% bigger than the next largest class. Really quite amazing, this should be a great season if we can build on this as a class. Even better that Light proved on Sunday that we have every chance of doing well on handicap if we sail well.
The Spring Series is on a break now before returning for part 2 after Easter. With Alacrity will be spending the Easter weekend doing the first offshore races of the season and look forward to catching up with anyone else going to Cherbourg. On Saturday No Fear & With Alacrity sailed the first JOG inshore race of the season and had a great 3 hour race up to Lymington and back – if anyone doesn’t fancy the offshore races I can highly recommend making a weekend of it and doing one of the shorter JOG inshore races on a Saturday before the Spring series, next one is the Nab Tower race on 17th April !