RS AERO WINTER SERIES - Round 6 . . . Grafham Grand Prix
22/02/2015 - 22/02/2015
Report by Matt Thursfield;
The Grafham Grand Prix was the final leg of our RS Aero Winter Series and the overall GJW SailJuice Winter Series.
The forecast was for a windy one, however as the weekend approached, the low pressure that was going to deliver these 30-40 mph winds just slowed, resulting in the morning of 22nd Feb bringing a 10-15mph breeze, although all launching knew the needle was only going to go one way on the anemometer.
Five Aeros launched, Peter Townend erring on the side of caution in his 5 rig, Matt Thursfield and Michael Tayler in the 7 Rigs, Jamie Freeman and Richard Woods with their 9s. As soon as we were away from the lee shore, it was apparent the wind out on the water was going to be a tough sail, the gusts hitting from all directions with increasing strength.
The course; a long beat before a very squished trapezoid where the reach just wasn't long enough; the never ending run, the last reach being in the stronger breeze on the far side of the lake, a perfect angle for single handers.
The Aeros were in amongst a menagerie of dinghies and cats, with the Fireballs leading the way, theoretically the 5 rig of Pete's the slowest boat around. With each rig represented it was a great opportunity to see who was favoured over a variety of medium to strong winds.
Lessons to be learnt from day - don't be over rigged - a 7 rig is faster when fully powered than an overpowered 9 rig; flat is fast; don't sail in a Flying 15's dirty air - it is slow; the Aero requires real concentration to get going fast upwind, downwind it's a dream. Nothing we didn't know already.
Oh and it was cold - oh so cold.
3 races, best 2 to count.
66 entries, 42 competed, 32 completed two races.
Matt Thursfield Chelmarsh SC 13th
Jamie Freeman Waveney & Oulton 25th
Peter Townend Chelmarsh SC 28th (18th?*)
Michael Tayler Grafham SC 42nd
Richard Woods Chelmarsh SC 43rd
Martin Hewitt Nottingham SC 43rd
(*Peter competed with a 5 rig but was scored with a 9 rig handicap. If he had been scored correctly with the 5 rig handicap then my maths puts him in 18th overall. PB)
Full results here;