Up River Winter Series 2011 – Battle of the Lightnings

Sunday was the first of the URYC Winter Series, when we get visitors from Eyotts SC which is even further up river than we are. There are usualy a few bandits from up there.

Unfortunatley only 4 Lightnings from the fleet of 11 came out to play, probably more to do with the Prize Giving Dinner Dance the night before than anything else. All told 13 boat were on the start line in the Slow handicap fleet.

Race 1 was interesting, Penny started perfectly, proving a hangover is not always a bad thing (except for the pictures on facebook) and sailed off into the distance never to be headed for the race win on the water and on handicap. Dave East in 286 also started cleanly and chased Penny. Matt was over and on returning committed a foul so had to do turns whilst I was rafted between a Comet Zero and a Miracle as the gun went, also having to do turns. As the race progressed both Matt and I chased through the pack to overhaul David on the beat home to finish Simon 2nd, Matt 3rd & David 4th on the water which calculated to 3rd, 5th and 6th on handicap.

Race 2 and Matt and David had the best starts with me and Penny hot on their heels. Boat speed was going to be compromised in this race as the block Wayne tied on with his supper strong Dynema snapped as the gun went leaving me with no kicker. On the beat up the river there was a very high tide covering the salt marsh and David pushed it a bit too far and found himself aground in 6 inches of water. Matt held the lead throughout and took the win on the water and on handicap. Simon and Penny played silly buggers for most of the race slowing each other down enough that 2nd and 3rd on the water only translated into 3rd and 4th as the Comet sneaked through to 2nd again. David after his expedition could only manage 10th.

So after day 1 Penny is in 2nd place 1 point ahead of Matt and me who are tied on 6 points. David is 8th. See the full results on the URYC website results page.

Racing resumes on the 13th November…………………….

Second Weekend of the Up River Winter Series and 14 boats took to the water. After a disappointing day by her standards at the Rum and Mince Pies on the Saturday Penny came out today with all guns blazing.

First race was a long beat down river against the incoming tide. Simon looked the early favourite establishing an early lead but Penny reeled him in and with an interesting call of ‘but I have nowhere to go’ whilst sailing up the bank on Port to Simon’s call of Starboard Penny took the lead leaving a bemused Simon to follow in her wake for the rest of the race wondering where this was in the RYA rule book! Matt meanwhile was having a hard time of it with a centreboard coming up on every tack struggled to stay in touch and whilst finishing 3rd on the water would be swallowed up by the slower boats on handicap for a result he would rather not mention. Penny consolidated her lead on the reaches and run back down the river to record the win ahead of Simon. Graham Lazell came out to play for the first time in 282 and was respectfully mid fleet on the water unfortunately translated to 14th in handicap, discovering his many years of sailing his yacht was going to take some translating into sailing a Lightning.

Race two, up the river is normally Penny’s strong race and this time she lead from the start. Simon and Matt kept her honest until Matt did a spectacular dismount of his yacht by missing his toe straps. And yes it was all captured on video by his Grandad. See our Facebook page to see it in full glory. This left Simon to chase Penny down by engaging her in a tacking duel for the half mile beat home. It nearly worked with the minute deficit at the last mark reducing to a couple of seconds at the line in Penny’s favour again. Unfortunately it was not enough to stay ahead of the handicap bandit boats and they had to settle for 4th and 5th. Matt recovered from his swim for 8th and Graham took his first scalp coming in 13th

So Penny now leads the series from Simon at the half way stage, a Comet 3rd and Matt 4th out of a field of 18.

Next event 27th November………………………….