Temp 2

Nigel Pusinelli Championship 2014 Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy  By Nick Fisher
This weekend saw the running of the Nigel Pusinelli Trophy at Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy, the home of the 2012 Olympic sailing events where we saw Ben Ainslie win his last Gold Medal with a terrific final race in the Finns, now it was our turn again to make use of this wonderful facility.
The weather forecast for the weekend was not the best with very light winds, this put off a few competitors from travelling, however a turnout of 35 saw the dreaded red & white pennant hoisted as we waited for the sea breeze to kick in. At the earlier briefing Chris Brown brought up the possibility of running 4 races in anticipation of the possibility of no racing on Sunday due to lack of wind. It was pointed out that the NOR showed 3races per day, however, a vote was taken and with no objectors the possibility of 4 races was voted in hands down. The delay was greeted with more water drinking and boat inspections as the blether of Paddy Burns was heard around the boat park. Sun cream was rubbed in as the full force of the sun was felt bay all. Clear blue skies and beautiful surroundings, all we needed was a drop of breeze.
After an hours wait the small wind generator swung round and started turning, the fleet were released from the beach and sailed out into the harbour, where we were told the best wind would be expected. As we sauntered out the breeze was very light and the Race Team waited for half an hour before lowering the AP and getting into the sequence. With the Pin end buoy having nothing showing in the background a transit was all but impossible to see. Needless to say though, the adrenaline was flowing and a General Recall was sounded. The wind was building to. well maybe, force 2. After a small wait we were back into the sequence and this time we were off. Hmmm, when I say off we didn’t exactly shoot off the line like a man in a hurry after a bad curry the night before! Apart from Jim Scott from Carsington, whoops Black Flag Jim. With a very light wind the main parts of the fleet split into the inevitable left and right with a few opting for middle of the road. It looked as though the right was favoured but at the windward marked the fleets met, those who took the middle of the fairway lost out. One of these was hotshot Salcombe sailor Tim Law, having a wedding to go to Tim took the option to keep going and sail back to shore to take up the champagne on offer, meanwhile we were enjoying champagne sailing. With the light wind continuing through the race it was the young pretender Pete Mitchell who took the bullet from hotshot Charlie Cumbley and Michael Sims in third.
Race two and off we went without the benefit of the black flag, Jim having learnt his lesson in the first race managed to stay behind the line this time. Again the fleet split with the majority heading for the left, about a fifth of the fleet had gone right, which looked quite good at one point. The wind shifts were not large and with the light winds the tacking angles were increased, boat speed rather than putting in a lot of tacks seemed to be the order of the day. The wind having increased the fleet was now a little tighter in formation and some congestion was to be had at the windward mark. However, a quite well behaved fleet managed to round without any incidents and very little shouting. With the long reaches, no planning conditions but a small chop beginning to build the gains were slow in coming. The hotshots were slowly pulling ahead and the fleet spreading out a little there was plenty of room to sail fairly unhindered. Round the wing mark and some well behaved sailors drew praise from the race team at the end of the day. This race was taken by Charlie with Pete in second and Michael Chasing in third.
Solo Specific, Auturn
As I crossed the line to finish I was called to the Committee boat, feeling guilty over I knew not what, I made my way across, do you want the fourth race today? Phew. An executive decision was easily made, Yes!

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