Ten Sabres representing four clubs – EFYC, SBSC, PDSC AND MYC, faced the starter at Maylands Opening Day, the largest fleet of the day – and got away in a gusty south westerly that ranged from 15 to 18 knots. The starter got the fleet away on time, after most of the the Mirror fleet had missed their start and were still on the beach. Half the Sabre fleet missed the fact that one Mirror had actually started on time – and before they realised it was ‘blue peter’ drop time, with one minute to go for our fleet, they were still far from the line.
Lesson 1 – stay close to the line before the starts.
Ed Bannerman and Craig Nyland quickly moved up to the leading bunch of 4 ‘on time’ starters – Pete Coop, Paul Giadresco, Tony Carr and Chris Holyday. These 6 boats then had a handy break on the rest of the field. Pete Coop sailed a faultless race to never be headed at any mark, although the chasers were right up with him at times. The gusts were swinging between south west and west, ideal sailing for the Maylands flat waters giving a good beat to windward and some very fast reaching past the clubhouse for the spectator gallery up in the club rooms.
Lesson 2 – Sail more to leeward on the runs and reaches in a sea breeze at Maylands to get more wind.
All sailors enjoyed the flat water fast sailing, with some close upwind crossings on port and starboard due to the swinging breeze. Pete Johnston made up a lot of ground in the final upwind legs by keeping in the right wind slots and almost got past Chris Holyday. The top 6 or 7 boats would have finished within 2 minutes of each other – great close racing!
Lesson 3 – The leeward shore may not always be the fastest upwind at Maylands, lifts are there to leeward for sure, but occasionally good lifts can be found to the right – but not too close to the shore! You normally lay windward rounding marks on port tack at Maylands in a sea breeze so you keep the breeze longer before rounding.
Happy to share some of the secrets of sailing at Maylands in a sou’wester.
We look forward to the final heat of the Opening Day Series next Saturday at PDSC.