Monday, March 13, 2017

April 1 Race

Since 1 April is fast approaching, I thought it would be a public service to publish the Sailing Instructions for a race we held on 1 April last year.


As the fairy Puck so eloquently puts it in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “Lord, what fools these mortals be!  

So, fellow fools, let’s celebrate the one day a year dedicated to all of us and have some fun!

As Head Fool for the race scheduled on 1 April, I hereby decree we will race the following course.  To the extent this deviates from the Club's Official Sailing Instructions, deal with it. 

The course will have 4 marks with the start/finish line in the middle which is also the Gate (following diagram is non-contractual, not to scale and may be wildly different from the actual course):

The single start will be downwind and to complete the course you must round each mark, in any order and on either side, but you must pass through the gate, either way, between each mark rounding. 

After having rounded the 4th (or more if you wish) mark, the finish line must be crossed from the leeward side.

The Class flag for the Warning Signal will be a white background with a fish on it – ask your French friends why.

Bonus points awarded to those who correctly calculate the total number of different possible routes. 

Please note that RRS 18.1 provides that “Rule 18 applies between boats when they are required to leave a mark on the same side….”  Therefore, Rule 18 would not apply to mark roundings in this race and, as Head Fool, I hereby illegally (See RRS 86.1(b)) change Rule 18 to provide simply “At all marks, be careful.”

I trust this is all very clear.

The Committee of Fools on the Committee Boat will try to keep tabs on all and ensure that each boat complies with these rules. In the event the aforesaid Committee fails in its duty, we will rely on the integrity of each fool competing to faithfully and honestly complete the course (assuming he or she can figure it out).

Special prizes will be awarded in the Bar following the race.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Good While It Lasted

After several days of thick fog lasting until late morning - yes we get that in Abu Dhabi - it was a clear day on Friday, with winds predicted at close to 20 knots. They didn't get quite that high, but it was a good breeze.  A nice day for the first race of the New Year.

The race started well - I had a good spot midline and relatively clear air. I worked hard the first couple of minutes and found an opportunity to tack away.  Then, I realized our top Kiwi sailor was not ahead of me - how was that possible?  After the race he said he thought he was OCS and so had gone back.  Oh well, during the race, I was happy to indulge in the fantasy I was just sailing well.  I was first around the windward mark and had lengthened my lead to at least 5 or 6 boat-lengths at the gybe mark.

Then my luck ran out.  Concentrating on a smooth rounding with a gybe, I did a great job until my boom gently kissed the mark.  I thought I still had time to do a quick 360 before the others rounded the mark. I tacked and the others were just at the mark, I started to gybe when the first one was rounding the mark and I realized I would have to complete the gybe very quickly or I would be interfering with him. Haste then quickly made waste - or, more accurately, a swim.

And that was it - I capsized to windward, so that meant a second capsize to leeward (no California roll).  A good part of the fleet passed me and I managed to catch several boats but it was all over.  Just spent the rest of the race practicing.
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