6 METRE SPRING SERIES RACE 1 (APRIL) RACE REPORT
The 6 Metres were the second of the fleets to take to the water after the Dragon Flite 95’s had shown the way on the Olympic laid course. The easterly wind had been increasing noticeably during the Dragon racing and from the bank nasty looking gusts were quite evident. Graeme Harris with the new Rococo (118) decided wisely to set a No 2 rig and did the same on his second boat the Tias (34) on loan to James Scrimshaw for the day. The other two boats 30 (Steve Watts) and 86 (Tim Nicholas) decided to start with No2 Jibs and skinny mains.
With the Rococo having a problem soon after launching the first race went to Steve with Tim Nicholas in second. The second race went to the new Rococo (118) which was happily handling the gusty conditions and showed good pace around the course. Race 3 and the situation changed with 30 taking the win after a closely fought race with 118. With the wind still increasing only 30 remained on it’s skinny rig and was struggling to stay upright in the gusts. James Scrimshaw too was struggling with the borrowed Tias which is quite light and was not enjoying the heavy conditions.
Prior to race 4 and the normally very reliable 30 on gybing back to the start line carried away it’s jib tack fitting. Racing continued whilst the damaged boat made a slow return to the North bank where it was recovered. Whilst repairs were made to it with the appreciated help from DF competitors, racing continued with 118 dominating races 4,5 & 6. After the lunch break racing resumed with 30 back on the water but unfortunately with further unnoticed damage. It soon became apparent that it would not sail in a straight line and that the rudder was now offset to one side. Deciding after TX trimming that it would take too long to fix the issue Steve decided to carry on. Some very close Starts and racing continued in races 7-12 as 30 tried to dominate the starts and stay with Graeme and the new Rococo. Trying to force Graeme into errors allowed 30 to take race wins in races 8 & 9 but with 118 taking the remainder.
Congratulations to Graeme who was a clear winner and now becomes the boat to beat!
Tim Nicholas with the Dolphin 86 unfortunately lost power during the last race and ended up in a bad lee shore recovery position on the Westerly end of the South bank. Due to size and weight the 6M is a big boat to recover and discussions have been held as to how to recover them satisfactorily. The effective recovery involved 3 members and proved a valuable lesson for the future and the ability to continue to race in adverse conditions.
Thanks to the race team (Dave and Richard) for their efforts on the day which allowed twelve good races to be run.