Rollesby ‘Solo’ Sailors (All others more than welcome) Saturday 5th April 2 pm
Several people have asked me if I would repeat the training day I ran about 3 years ago. I have been trouble finding a suitable space in my diary! I would intend this particular session to be land based only; though nothing to stop people having a sail afterwards. To talk through set ups and maneuvers. I will be laying my boat on the lawn so we can play with control lines (could someone with a stiff rig supply a boat to do the same so we can compare the two).
If you would like to have your rig measured / tweaked I intend to be there by 1 pm (could possibly also fiddle afterwards) bring your boat, rigged but without sail to the main lawn area and I’ll try to help as best I can.
I imagine the formal session lasting around an hour – though it depends on how many questions are asked! If you you sail another single-hander I’m quite happy to talk about those too. Should be time for a sail afterwards if you are so inclined!
As I am unlikely to be traveling so much this year I hope to be able to offer a single-hander on the water session later in the season (and a separate double-hander afternoon as well).
If you have any questions please contact me directly (see below) rather than replying to this mail
A strong westerly breeze coming over the trees on the west bank
meant conditions were tricky at Rollesby Broad on Sunday 18th March,
indeed given the number of capsizes it was impressive that there were only two
retirements amongst the 15 starters.
The Solos were dominant in the single handed fleet; Roger Wilson
started fast in race 1 having shut out Daniel Bull in his Laser; to round the
first mark on a lifting wind-shift and gain an already good lead from Ian
Ayres. Bull worked hard to catch up but capsized both times that he looked like
putting in a serious challenge; meanwhile Tamsin Highfield in her Streaker was
leading the pack with Terry Palmer in close attendance. Palmer was close enough
at the finish to give the Solos a clean sweep of the podium places.
In race 2 Wilson was again away first but infringed Steve Whitby
in his Minisail and had to do turns. Phil Highfield, having taken over the
Streaker, led up the second beat pursued closely by Ayres; however a large
shift coming through the trees turned the top six upside down and it was the
lasers of Keith Sykes and Stuart Highfield who led the rapid charge back down
the broad with Kevin Postlethwaite leading the Solos. Alas the Lasers could not
cope so well upwind and Ayres spotted an early wind-shift to take the lead up
the next beat; Phil slowly closed in, especially downwind, but despite
splitting the Solos on the water could not beat Wilson on handicap.
Despite a capsize in race 1 Dave Houghton & Jon Symonds
(Wayfarer) won both multi-sail races. John Saddington & Dennis Manning
retired after suffering the same fate, whilst Bob Sparrow & Steve Gibbons sacrificed
speed for safety flying their jib rather than genoa and took (an albeit
distant) second in both races.
It was definitely a game of two halves; to mix sporting metaphors;
at Rollesby Broad this Sunday (3rd March). Race officer Matt Boreham
chose to set 4 gybes on a downwind slalom as opposed to the three previous
weeks of long runs.
Race one was bit of a damp squib (literally) as the gentle force 2
the race started in came down the broad in varying puffs accompanied by
occasional drizzle. Dave Houghton & John Symonds won the Wayfarer race by a
margin from Bob Sparrow & Steve Gibbons who only just pipped John
Saddington & Dennis Manning for second. In the single-handers David Frary in
his Finn, slowly pulled away from the fleet of 14 led by the Solos of Robert
Hawkins and Ian Ayres to take the win.
As the noon start time for the second race approached the
postponement flag was raised and hung limply from its hoist as the sailors
wandered around ashore quaffing coffee and pondering whether or not to give-up
and go home! At 12.15 a few ripples appeared on the water, the flag was lowered
and launching commenced. The first capsize (Keith Sykes in his Laser) was less
than 5 minutes away as the anticipated storm Freya arrived with aplomb.
Only three Wayfarers started; Houghton wobbled down the first short run with Saddington in pursuit; Sparrow already on third, decided to wear round at the first gybe, only to end up in the reeds. Houghton took a somewhat cautious approach from there on but was able to hold on for a narrow win from Saddington.
Meanwhile the single-handers were either relishing the breeze or stretching the rescue services. More than one sailor was seen to head ashore even before the start. Ayres went for the port start in a cloud of spray, he had to duck a couple of transoms, but only the Laser of Daniel Bull went with him to the right. Thomas suffered the indignity of his mast coming down recovering from a capsize after only 100yds. Bull led round the windward mark, but then put in a double capsize at the first gybe mark. Phil Highfield took the lead in his Streaker only to lose his mainsheet at the last (fourth) gybe of the lap; yes they were all still in the course. Ayres took the lead as a charging James Letts (Laser) flew into second before a wipeout broach at the leeward mark. The next beat proved less eventful but as the fleet turned downwind on lap two the wind was rising; Ayres capsized briefly at the first gybe this time, giving the lead back to Bull and Phil with Stuart Highfield bringing his Laser into contention. By lap 3 the hardy few left racing hard were starting to manage the conditions; but they were still glad to hear the shorten course signal! Bull led Phil across the line but not by far enough; Ayres was third with Stuart fourth on the water, but with Hawkins – the first finisher to stay upright close enough to take him on handicap.
Two things happened with the fleets at Rollesby this week; that
were almost as rare as the un-February like weather. Firstly the multis-sails
outnumbered the single-handers an event no-one can recall in recent years, and
secondly the singlehanded fleet was entirely a Solo fleet in race 2 after the
single Phantom who joined them in race 1 stayed ashore, the Lasers had already
decided there was insufficient wind; which may have been true at 10.30 but
there was a comfortable breeze by midday!
And so whilst Gareth Thomas (Phantom) did for a while lead the
single-handers round in race 1, it was winter member Terry Palmer who took the
win for the Solos from John Saddington and Steve Leigh. In race 2 Kevin
Postlethwaite had a good lead at the first leeward mark with the remainder of
the fleet rounding four abreast. However unable to defend both sides of the
beat Saddington and Palmer were both able to get close to Postlethwaite and
take full advantage of a perfectly timed (for them) gust at the windward mark
to catch and pass him on the run back down the broad.
In the Multisails it was spinnakers to the fore in race 1; the
three boats with, coming out on top. Ian & Sharon Ayres in their Leader
were able to use their greater tacking agility to keep in touch with the faster
straight line speed of Dave Houghton & John Symonds and Peter and Eileen
Dearnley in their Wayfarers. However as the wind slowly rotated to the east
giving less options upwind, the Wayfarers took the spoils. In race 2 Val &
Chris Hanson along with Pete & Rachel Smith both started at the less
obvious but breezier leeward end of the line and as those at the windward end
succumbed to a hole, were able to sail out underneath them and create a tight
top four at the windward mark. As the wind had shifted to stop ‘goose-winging’
the spinnakers of Dearnley and Houghton paid even more and they slowly pulled
away with the Smiths leading home the rest of the pack.
In the afternoon it looked like Saddington and Leigh might hold on the Wayfarers and for a lap they were certainly close enough to challenge, but once again the lopsided upwind leg saw the Houghton and Dearnley pull away to take the top two spots.
A delightlyfully bright sunny morning and a forecast force 4
straight along the Broad, saw 32 boats take to the water for the first race at Rollesby on Sunday 17th February.
With a slightly lighter breeze in reality, the 9 multi-sails were first away; it took a little while for the fleet to settle into an order, but Steve Grey quite rightly led after a lap in his D-One. With a long run it looked like Dave Houghton & Jon Symonds and John Saddington & Dennis Manning flying their spinnakers would have a big advantage, but it was Ian & Sharon Ayres taking a wider route in their Leader who led the main pack at this point. The Wayfarers showed their pace upwind with Houghton eventually winning from Ayres and Saddington. Those spinnakers paid more as the wind rose in race two however Peter and Eileen Dearnley sailing without a kite were flying up the beats and split the other Wayfarers to take second from Houghton this time around.
In the single-handers with 23 boats on the line a clean start was
clearly in order; David Frary (Finn) and Mike McNamara (Harrier) were able to
use their additional boatspeed to establish a small lead on the first beat,
however the midfleet were ignoring handicaps and swapping places regularly.
Richard Brown and James Letts represented the Laser push early on with Daniel
Bull catching them on the second lap, however as the race progressed they were
losing out to the Solos of Robert Hawkins and Terry Palme, indeed had Palmer
not misread the finish they would have been 1 & 2 but instead they were
split by McNamara. The increased breeze in race 2 saw Frary put the hammer down
and establish a good lead, however Phil Highfield in the ‘family’ Streaker had
other ideas downwind as he came back at the leaders on every lap to eventually
tie with Frary for the win, with McNamara 3rd and Brown 4th.
The good weather encouraged 16 starters for the mixed afternoon race and there were two distinct bunches, the Wayfarers, with three boats less than a minute apart and the Solos whose first three finished within 15 seconds of each other! But who would come out on top; it looked like a Houghton win and indeed it was but Dearnley and Saddington had to wait for the calculated results to confirm they had indeed beaten the Solos by a very narrow margin.