Inland Championships - Rutland Water SC - October 2015

A good stiff North easterly gradually starts to build, while sailors rig up their boats ready for the first start of the Laser multiclass event. The vortex’s using this event as its Inland nationals. By the time the first signal is sounded for the 4000’s it’s blowing around 12 – 15 knots. The vortex’s tear off the start line and head up to the first windward mark with Carter making an early lead followed by Whitehead, Winchester, Glendinning and the rest of the field.

To hoist or not to hoist this was the question in mind as the fleet reach across to are new windward mark, some of the gusts were strong and shifty there was a danger that you could get blown down below the mark. As the fleet head off on the downwind leg, Tilbrook has some maintenance work to undertake before giving chase towards the leeward mark.

Navigation has never been a strong point in the vortex class with a few boats heading for the wrong mark at the top of the second windward leg. Carter opens up his lead to grab himself a first, Tilbrook second and Whitehead third.

Back up to the start boat for the second race. Glendinning, Winchester, and Whitehead arriving at the top mark, followed close by the rest of the fleet. Glendinning opens out a lead for a while, but gets hit by a gust on gybing and goes in for a chilly dip. Whitehead draws out a lead and grabs himself a first, followed up by Tilbrook and Carter. So it’s a bit of a mixed bag of results so far.

Third and final race of the day, the fleet stay pretty close for the first lap. After a lap it’s a three boat scrap Tilbrook, Whitehead and Carter, with Glendinning not to far away. Drama on the penultimate leeward mark Carter comes in on starboard calling on Whitehead and one of the 4000’s. Whitehead has a problem on the drop and tips in for a swim and out of the race. Tilbrook grabs first (did the whole race without a single swear word). Carter grabs second, spending more time at the top of the fleet Glendinning third, Collins forth and Corteen fifth.

Some of the boats needed some love and attention, Winchester thinks it’s all over and is packing up to go home because of a broken shroud wire. He was soon set back on track with dyneema, and was re-rigged ready for the next day.

Finally it’s down the pub for some food, drink and conversation of the day’s shenanigans.

Sunday morning and the breeze is lighter. Whitehead lost a foil on the last race so it’s 2000 sailing for him today.

Off the line on the first race of the day, it quickly turns into a two boat race between Tilbrook and Carter, leaving Glendinning free to get a bit of a lead, two laps of scrapping and several place changes between Tilbrook and Carter leaving Glendinning to draw a reasonable lead. Tilbrook escapes the Carter grip leaving just one downwind leg to catch Glendinning. A lucky gust takes Tilbrook into the kill zone, and within feet of the finish line steals first place from Glendinning leaving him with second and Carter third.

Race 5 and Carter goes lefty and it looks like it was a good move, but the wind is very changeable in direction and fails to get ahead of Tilbrook and has to tack off. In the first half of the race there are several place changes with most of the boats in the fleet having a turn at or near the top. Tilbrook draws out to grab a first, Carter second and Glendinning third with Winchester on his tail.

Race 6, at the top mark is Tilbrook with Winchester close behind; both boats grab a gust on the reach across and draw out on the rest of the fleet. Tilbrook draws out a substantial lead leaving Winchester and Carter to fight over second. Tilbrook gets the first finish, Carter catches Winchester and comes home second, leaving Winchester third.

This concludes the weekends racing, many thanks to Rutland Sailing Club for a job well done with all six races in the bag and back on shore in good time on Sunday.

Inlands 2015 results