Radio Yachts News

On Sunday one of the biggest fleets we have seen gathered to race DF65s in the Squadron Pond. 16 skippers enjoyed warm, sunny conditions and a light 5-7 knot sou'easter streaming straight down the Pond. With a few left hand shifts, it made for very interesting windward legs dominated by the A+ rigs. However they didn’t get it all their own way with Graham Jennings and Chris Kellaway sometimes finishing in front of the A+ rigs.
Congratulations to Kel, Steve and Peter for podium finishes and to Graham Jennings for winning the A rig fleet. Thanks to Nigel Moreton for buoy laying duties.
It was fantastic to see so many skippers racing and it created new challenges for finding open lanes and clear air. While doing my RO duties for the day, I paid close attention to the back markers, and here are some observations to help you improve:

1.    Rapid rudder stick movement. Thumbs were too aggressive causing sudden boat movement and slowing the boat… be gentle!

2.    Balanced Rig Tuning – Poor sail settings caused too much weather helm making the boat round up and slow down before the rudder could respond. You need to get the balance right so the boat sails itself with an occasional touch to keep the power in the rig. This takes practice. Make sure you use the Tuning Guide as a base setting, then tweak the rig for the race conditions.

3.    Not keeping the boat powered up. These boats are very light and lack momentum, so as soon as you sail too high, they will slow down quickly. Don’t try to point too high, and keep the boat leaning over and powered up.

4.    Contact with other boats – I called quite a few contacts between boats and those involved always lost many places. Avoid other boats – even when you may be in the right. The correct call is their sail number then '234 starboard/water/inside overlap/windward boat etc'. If there is contact or you have been disadvantaged and believe you were in the right, then you must hail '789 protesting 234' repeated twice, and make sure they hear you. Resolution is by gentlemen’s agreement between skippers and not the RO. We will be more observant with these issues for future races, and particularly the points scoring Club Championship heats.

5.    Clear Starts – Many races are decided in the first 30 seconds. Getting the favoured starting position is not always the fastest off the line. Get clear air away from other boats – but don’t be late!
RSYS Trophy Night
This is on Friday 31 May. We are meeting for drinks from 6.30pm in the bar, then moving upstairs for the presentations.
Next Racing
Make sure you get along for the first pointscore race of the season. The Club Championship will start at 2pm this Sunday. I’ll be there from 1pm if anyone would like a rig tune up and practice before racing. Bruce has buoy laying duties, but let me know of you can’t make it.
Sunday 26 May     2pm    Club Championship Heat 1    Scratch    Bruce McArthur     
Friday 31 May       7pm    RSYS Annual Season Prizegiving Presentation Evening - Carabella Room
Saturday 1 June  10am    Travellers Trophy R3    Cancelled    Workers Hubertus, Luddenham
Sunday 2 June      2pm    Heat 3 Winter    Handicap    David Flakelar    Practice and Coaching available
Sunday 9 June      2pm    Heat 4 Winter    Scratch    Kel Burgess    Queen's Birthday Long Weekend


By Phil Burgess