Hot Hot Hot 

 Blaze Open Meeting at Warsash 13th & 14th July

by Myles Mence

Under a cloudless sky and on the sun burnt grass of the Warsash Strawberry Field the Blaze fleet slowly rigged up for the third travellers meeting of the season. Slowly because there was no wind and therefore not much hurry; there was no sign of any developing for hours.

The buzz around the dinghy park was how to set up the new carbon mast. Most had only received their masts a month ago at the Paignton Nationals and then the best guess was fairly upright and modestly tight rigging. A month later the hot money was on loads of rake and shrouds you could ping. Mike Lyons an early adaptor fitted a forestay lever and thought top C worth a go, others went for a lower note.

Peter Knight race officer for the event made several postponements then pronounced a one o’clock launch for two thirty start, the first of several difficult weather calls to anticipate the sea breeze and which all turned out to be spot on. The sea breeze duly filled in and race one got underway with a ten knot south westerly.

Rob Jones (Warsash) the National Champion fought out first place with Mike Lyons (Burghfield) with Martin Saveker (Chase) occasionally splitting them up and Mark Astbury (Warsash) on the heels of the leading pack. The courses were the old Olympic configuration and there was already enough breeze to plane down the long reaches.

Under an unbroken blue sky and relentless sun, reader it was hot.

Lyons took the first race and Jones upped his game: always starting clear at the pin end Rob’s style was to drive off hard to leeward of the fleet, keeping the boat bolt upright and keep momentum in the chop. This paid and he established a good lead. Unknown to him he also had an advantage in that Lyons had forgotten to wear a watch and was trying to time the starts by counting down from sixty - one elephant - two elephants - three etc. Bob Cowan (Warsash fleet captain) always fast and yet stung by jealous criticism at the Nationals that he never sat out decided to give it a go and promptly capsized. Thereafter he stuck with what he was comfortable with and perched on the edge.

By now the breeze was up over twelve knots and those with over-tight rigs were beginning to suffer. David Entwistle (Burghfield) showed good bursts of upwind speed likewise Andrew McGaw (Northampton) in one of the newest boats in the fleet. Martin Saveker always amongst the leaders was the token alloy mast boat in the top five. Rob Jones took the second race from Mike Lyons with Ian Clark in third position, Bob Cowan finished in fourth place in spite of his cooling dip.

Race three started at nearly five o’clock, the sea breeze now touching fifteen knots and conditions ideal. The leading pack was once again made up of Jones, Lyons, Saveker with David Entwistle making an appearance in the top four after a capsize in the previous race closely followed by Ian Clark.

Jones took the gun followed by Lyons and Saveker.

The long planing reach back to Warsash from the finish was memorable in the uncanny continental temperatures.

By Sunday morning the fleet was depleted by a number who did not want the long wait for the breeze as it was obvious conditions were to be repeated. At midday an early launcher was Martin Saveker. He entertained the watching fleet by mistiming his push off and falling in the mud. There is a lot of mud at Warsash and once committed to the mud scenario on a lee shore the helmsman struggles to maintain his dignity. Martin is a regular for topping up the fleets’ morale.

Both Rob Jones and Ian Clark discovered a deficit in their family leave passes and failed to make it to the start line. This gave Myles Mence (Royal Solent) a clear lane to mix it with the leaders as race four got underway. In the marginal planing conditions Mence was able to get through Lyons and Saveker on the first triangle only to blow it on the next beat by failing to cover giving the lead back to Lyons with Saveker taking second place.

Going past the normal Sunday close off time of two thirty the race committee started the fifth race in the steadily building breeze and Lyons established a small lead by the first mark from Entwistle and Saveker. Mence again managed to get through to second place on the downwind legs but was unable to close with Lyons who took the gun with Saveker in third place and Cowan fourth.

That the meeting was a huge success was no little bit due to the faultless reading of the conditions by Warsash SC Race Committee and their generosity with their time. It also goes to show that it is worthwhile looking beyond the accuracy of on-line gradient weather forecasts to the local conditions that can be anticipated to occur on the day.

The Blaze fleet looks forward to returning to Warsash SC for their National Championships in 2014.

 

Final Results

Blaze Class

Sailed: 5, Discards: 1, To count: 4, Entries: 14, Scoring system: Appendix A

 

Rank

Class

Sail No

Boat

Club

Helm

Crew

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

Total

Nett

1st

Blaze

806

 

Burghfield SC

Mike Lyons

 

1.0

(2.0)

2.0

1.0

1.0

7.0

5.0

2nd

Blaze

774

 

Chase SC

Martin Saveker

 

(15.0 OCS)

5.0

3.0

2.0

3.0

28.0

13.0

3rd

Blaze

7571

 

Royal Solent YC

Miles Mence

 

4.0

(6.0)

5.0

3.0

2.0

20.0

14.0

4th

Blaze

772

 

Warsash SC

Bob Cowan

 

6.0

4.0

(8.0)

4.0

4.0

26.0

18.0

5th

Blaze

678

 

Warsash SC

Rob Jones

 

2.0

1.0

1.0

(15.0 DNC)

15.0 DNC

34.0

19.0

6th

Blaze

781

 

Burghfield SC

David Entwistle

 

7.0

(14.0)

4.0

5.0

5.0

35.0

21.0

7th

Blaze

695

 

Warsash SC

Ian Clark

 

5.0

3.0

6.0

(15.0 DNC)

15.0 DNC

44.0

29.0

8th

Blaze

751

   

Paul Taylor

 

8.0

(13.0)

11.0

6.0

6.0

44.0

31.0

9th

Blaze

754

 

Warsash SC

Mark Astbury

 

3.0

10.0

9.0

(15.0 DNC)

15.0 DNC

52.0

37.0

10th

Blaze

510

 

Draycote Water SC

Richard Botting

 

(13.0)

12.0

13.0

7.0

7.0

52.0

39.0

11th

Blaze

805

 

Northampton SC

Andrew McGaw

 

9.0

7.0

12.0

(15.0 DNC)

15.0 DNC

58.0

43.0

12th

Blaze

720

 

Warsash SC

Nick Thorne

 

10.0

11.0

7.0

(15.0 DNC)

15.0 DNC

58.0

43.0

13th

Blaze

691

 

Mudeford SC

Andrew Williams

 

12.0

8.0

10.0

(15.0 DNC)

15.0 DNC

60.0

45.0

14th

Blaze

575

 

Warsash SC

Richard Hill

 

11.0

9.0

(15.0 OCS)

15.0 DNC

15.0 DNC

65.0

50.0