Some of you will be aware there has been some dinghy sailing running on a Friday evening. This is now a regular weekly event (dependent upon tides.....). Fancy having a go? Perhaps the below might tempt you along for a try?
Sun 27th April
Starting the first sail of the dingy season is always an apprehensive one. As a dingy enthusiast you almost wish you could plan the season ahead-Will I need a warmer wetsuit? When will be the best wind? What would I enjoy doing the most from the current conditions? Today being exactly that....leaving the yacht club I was joined by our new cadet Wil and headed to the wave basin with race marks squashed into the already cramped toppers (well for some). We were soon joined by Bob and Simon-secretly competing their way through to the wave basin. Whilst dropping a course the swell reaching through the piers kept distracting me and as we were warming up and playing through the wind shifts I found myself heading out into the deep blue. Strangely reminding me of why I loved the toppers and learning to sail so much-these boats really are indestructible and so quick to put a smile and a boost of confidence in what you do. My confidence must have moved across the water as the rest of the fleet had accompanied me out of the piers and we were soon enjoying the challenging swell towards pan bush. Reaching back through the piers we could enjoy some surfing-yes toppers do actually surf! The race was soon abandoned as sailing in the deep blue was such a brilliant start to the season.
Fri 2nd May
Our first race day. Richard Armstrong has returned-fit and well and keen to be back on the water-but the toppers were not on the cards. Richard kindly offered to do rescue/race officer so I could get on the water and see how much our sailors had progressed over the winter series-a fair bit I can tell you! Starting the first race Bob Leeming was quick over the line followed closely by both Wil and Simon who were hot on his stern. Myself, well not the best of starts but I had mapped my route on the water and was too busy tuning my boat to get in the right position-this soon would be my downfall. Taking the shortest route, both Bob and Wil were working hard to make decent headway through the wind whilst Simon battled on with some fine tuning of his trim. Once again my projected course was ruined repeatedly by blankets and gaps in the wind and I followed the fleet through the finish gate a little frustrated to say the least. Following a slight course revision there was no holding back. All of the sailors were now primed, attentive and hungry for the lead position. A quick start found myself chasing the significantly lighter Wil and Simon off my stern and Bob seemed to be hampered by the wind blocks that I had in my first race. Simon made some brave decisions which didn't reward but Wil stole the beat from me and towards the finish I could have reached out and pulled him from the line but it was well deserved and a hard race won. Returning to shore found the 4 racers extremely cold, blue and a bit wet. Nonetheless they were beaming with the excitement from the first race...we now need to set up our results sheet! Wil was clear winner from the day and we will look forward to be joined by our usual racer Jonathan Deacon soon and hopefully more members. We have 6 toppers available and there are several 2 handed boats that require regular crew. Interested? Look at our dinghy calendar and pop down for one of our sessions.