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NewsReader 04-08-2006 04:15 PM

2006 Optimist Selections - Day 3 @ Sail Search RSA
Today dawned blustery and wet. We tried to beat the shipping by launching and towing our fleet of Optimists, but, were pipped at the post by shipping movements. Result; we were only able to exit the harbour at 11:00 a.m. with our little ducklings in tow. The wind was a very light south west, flat seas and overcast after our early morning and welcome rain showers. A little debate about the course and the marks were down with the weather mark inshore opposite Bayworld, the start off of Kings Beach, the reach mark out to sea with the gate straight downwind just past the start. The first race was started in very light conditions, port bias and the left was the favoured side. A few boats opted for an inshore course. Just at the weather mark, a major wind shift resulted in the race being abandoned. At the restart of the second race the entire trapezoidal course had been shifted around 55 degrees to the south east, we had a slowly building east, and increase in swell, port end was favoured and the wind stayed light for the duration. This definitely favoured the lighter sailors (revenge for the strong winds in the first race) and Alex Lehtinen showed the fleet a clean pair of heels, followed by Byron Gray and Scott Stephens. Race no. 3 and the second of today was raced on a new course after another wind shift forced the shifting of the entire course another 15 degrees or so. By this time my arms, back and legs were taking a pounding as Gavin Stephens and I, as the designated "young strong ones", were responsible for gate and pin marks and also picked up the weather mark. With the wind building steadily and swell increasing we again witnessed the inside of the course seeming to pay and the bigger sailors starting to make their mark; 1st was Brevan Thompson, followed by Claire Walker and 3rd Mathew Shaw. Race no. 4 and the third race of today started after minor adjustments to the reach mark and gate with the wind strength touching the 10 to 12 knot south east, ideal and challenging conditions. Local knowledge says go inshore, which one or two of the back markers did. Most others played the shifts and marched up left of the middle. From my position the jury is still out on which side really paid as we lost sight of the inshore boats as they appeared to catch up with the rest of the fleet close to the weather mark. 1st was Mathew Shaw, 2nd Michael Crossland and 3rd Claire Walker. Race no. 5 and the fourth and final race for the day saw many tired and cold faces on the start line, building breeze, swells increasing to the 2 metre mark. Port bias on the line and most sailors again playing the shifts left of middle. Saw a few getting confused as a result of having to sail over waves and ... <a href="">Direct Link</a> <p><a href="">Comments</a></p>

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