ICE BREAKER RACE 8 Jan 2011

ICE BREAKER RACE 8 Jan 2011

race

analysis of the race

 

There was just one race yesterday to start the Winter series and the New Year.

 

The attached power point slide gives us the picture of the wind behaviour, the course and the general tactics adopted by OUR COMMODORE for the race.

 

View the diagram.

 

The wind was a solid and fairly constant westerly, plus minus 10 degrees.  Of course this was measured on the north coast so would probably be different elsewhere. Whilst there felt to be windshifts they were mild compared to sometimes at MSC.  The strength was a pleasant 8 knots (F3) with the occasional testing gust.  It felt as though there was swing from a mildly southwesterly on the south side to a definite south westerly parallel to the shore along the race box.

 

A massive port bias start line led us down into the middle of the lake rather than towards creek.

 

The tactic chosen was to seek the stronger wind in the centre of the ressy not going too far to the north shore,  tacking back onto starboard keeping below the lay line until a suitable approach line back onto port to round the #6 mark.  This avoids the usual rubbish winds on the northside of the buoy.  As there were no other boats around we had total freedom to choice wind tactic over boat conflict considerations.

 

Similar back into the middle tactic at #3  as an immediate starboard tack choice may get a lift along the shore but more likely disturbed winds and a ridge of sand jutting out from the shore to catch a centreboard.  Tack back onto starboard. Then a close fetch to round #4 on starboard.

 

Nice port reach with puffs down to #7 to enter the trickiest leg of the course towards #1.  A direct line may have been a run so depending on boat type the choice would be to stand on port, gybe back to be well placed round #1 for a easy reach up to #2.  However, better wind would be out into the middle so bear away at #7 directly to #1, maybe a tactical gybe onto starboard, then back again then another as the #1 buoy is rounded to travel up to #2 on starboard.  This would give you an interesting time at #7 as you came in on port towards the starboard boats coming from the shore choice but with possible mark room rights.

 

Same again until the interesting finish from #7 towards finish buoy "a".  A tricky one tactically as one might assume to follow the path close to #7 the to buoy "a" but the straight line in clearly towards the box end of the finish line.  As it happens the best point to aim for was actually the point a few inches from the shore requiring some rapid gybe right at the race end as the line was crossed. Merlins might have dropped the spinnaker a few feet earlier!

 

Chris Winters won the race easily with superior boat speed as he whizzed round the course.  Good tactic taking the Commodore to leeward leaving significant room so that he gained luffing rights and the inside line at #7 should he have needed it.