#sb20 – A perfect force 4 NNW breeze and plenty of close reaching provided challenging conditions for the SB20 fleet this evening on Dublin Bay.
OOD Jack Roy set the line up with a pin end bias and Bad (Enda, Jerry and Jimmy), Should Be... (Michael, Owen and Gavan) and Venuesworld (Ger, Peter and Chris) were all in a dogfight vying for the pin with seconds to go... Bad ran out of race track and had to duck below the pin before the start to avoid being over early while Should Be... took the pin with Venuesworld close on their hip. Alert Packaging (Justin et al) and SacreBleu (Richard, Tom and Matt) started further up the line keeping their noses clean.
With a beat up to Zebra mark, Venuesworld tacked off moments after the start onto port and were followed out right by Alert Packaging while Should Be... and SacreBleu continued left, everyone going in search of better breeze. As the boats converged at the weather mark, Venuesworld on starboard had Should Be... by a whisker but Venuesworld had understood the starboard lay line. Should Be... on port tack, passed behind Venuesworld and tacked onto starboard a couple of boatlengths later on the starboard lay line. Venuesworld in turn tacked onto port but uncharacteristically, they had a slow tack putting them on a collision course with Should Be... on starboard. Venuesworld tacked just below Should Be... in an effort to get around the mark in first. As is now an SB tradition, there was plenty of shouting at the weather mark! Should Be... managed to get over the top of Venuesworld and the boats set their kites for a fast close reach down to Harbour mark.
Down the reach, Should Be... experienced some difficulties with their spinny sheets and Venuesworld skilfully managed to get past them, keep their kite flying and the boat on her feet all the way down the tight reach. Also making big gains down the reach were Bad and Alert Packaging. Alert Packaging kept their powder dry and two-sailed it down the reach whereas Bad and Should Be... in front persevered but struggled with their kites, eventually having to drop them.. At harbour mark, Venuesworld had pulled out a good lead and Bad had managed to just overtake Should Be... with Alert Packaging now a very close fourth. A gybe at harbour mark and another tight reach to Bullock mark ensued and Alert Packaging, short-handed, struggled on the reach while Bad and Should Be... made hay of the fast reaching conditions and tried to cut into Venuesworld's impressive lead. Should Be... managed to sneak past Bad down the reach.
Disaster nearly struck Venuesworld at Bullock mark as they were unable to get their kite fully down until approximately 15 lengths after the mark. Fortunately for them, their lead was so great that when they did manage to get the kite back in check, they still held a commanding lead. A beat to East mark, followed by a reach to Bay mark and another beat to finish followed but the boats in front all shut up shop and quickly fell into covering mode, preventing their nearest challengers from overtaking.
At the finish, it was Venuesworld by a comfortable margin in first from Should Be... With Bad a close third, Alert Packaging in fourth and SacreBleu in fifth. Exhausted, the crews adjourned to the bar for some refreshments!
This Sunday is the rescheduled SB sunday no. 3. Please show your appreciation to all the volunteers (of which there are many!) and get out there and race. If you can't sail your boat or if you need help with crew, we can help find people to sail with/for you. The results of the "when to race" survey will follow under separate cover in due course but suffice to say, unless it is blowing dogs off chains (i.e. 30knts constant) and provided the committee vessel can hold its anchor and the rescue crew are happy to proceed, we will be racing this Sunday. It is, of course, at the absolute discretion and sole responsibility of each boat to decide whether or not they wish to race.
Finally, sadly, the SBs are losing one of our own this month as Matt from SacreBleu is returning to his homeland of Canada. Just as things were looking up in this country and with house prices once again experiencing double digit growth each quarter (hold on, that sounds worryingly familiar...), Matt is outta here! As those of you that have met Matt this year will know, he has been a friendly and positive presence in the George this season and he will be sadly missed. Hopefully Matt, you will be able to make one last hurrah this Sunday and go out with a blast!
See you all on Sunday,