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Sailing reports

Between 16th and 23rd September 2018, my wife and I went to Paklenica in Croatia through Neilson.

Sailing areaSailing area

I joined the racing clinic that only took place in the afternoon. On Monday and for the all week, the wind was light with slightly overcast sky and probably slightly above average temperature.
On Monday, the first day was the start line preparation. After a few exercises, we did three races. On the first race, I was about on time with some speed but no free air. I tacked immediately and got lucky with a gust. After three short laps, I won the race. On the second race, I had a better start with free air and some speed. However, I made a mess on the first buoy and never recovered the position. I still finished though. On the third race, my start was not bad but I did not accelerating on time. I still finished in the top 3. All the three races saw my poor mark rounding.
On Tuesday, the exercises were on mark rounding. After a few of them, we raced again. On the first race, I was boxed at the start. However, my mark rounding was better and I gained a few places. On the second race, I had my timing wrong but I tacked immediately. I managed to gain a few places. I passed one boat on the leeward mark because I was much tighter on the exit than him. My roll tacks were not as effective as I wanted them to be.

Aborting going back to the beach

Because my wife and I booked a trip to see Zadar by night(see Zadar galley), on Wednesday, we did not race in the mid-week fun regatta. Instead of this race, we tried the Argo. We sailed for about 1h30. We swapped roles and hoist the kite. The boat was easy to steer. However, there was not enough wind to enjoy its potential. We did not manage to plane it.
On Thursday, the focus was on gybe and mark rounding. After a few exercises, we raced. On the first race, I had a poor one. In addition, I selected the wrong buoy on the run. The other buoy was a better choice as the wind turned. On the second race, my start was equally poor but I gained a few places as I realised that one guest could turn as fast as the other. I could have won another place if I had trust my memory.
On Friday, for the big regatta, my wife and I took an Argo. We knew that we would not do well and we were not disappointed. The start was a completely disaster as the start line was the opposite of the diagram. The end result of the mistake is that I gave several minutes to everybody. In addition, there was not enough for us. Even with the kite, we could not move fast. On the second lap, we went for the wrong buoy and lost more time. The race re-enforced our views that we needed a force 4 to sail the Argo.

Us at the regatta

On Friday, I sailed again on an Argo but with another guest this time. We practised hoisting and dropping the kite. However, because we were miles away from the start line at the 3 minutes, we were very late. In addition, we could not turn or go anywhere. For the second race, I helmed. Because of the swap, we were miles behind. However, it would not have matter. More importantly, I realised that the boat, like many dinghies, does not like very light wind and you have to bear away more than usual in light wind with this boat.
In summary, it was a relaxing week. The wind conditions do not appear to be much greater than force 3. The resort is ok but not for experienced sailors.

On Sunday 30th September 2018, I raced at Largo Bay SC. The sailing conditions were challenging i.e. slightly below average temperature, overcast sky, rising tide and strong wind (gusts up to 26mph). On the first race, I arrived slightly too early and I had to gybe at the last minute. To be fair, everybody else had to do similarly. The gusts were difficult to read. On the beat, because I used a Radial rig, I managed to keep the boat almost flat. I got myself confused with the buoys and went too far south of the correct buoy. I did almost the same mistake on the last buoy. I finished second. On the start of the second race, I was not too early as I gave too much ground. I carried out as I left it on the first race. The only difference was the race course was different on the second race. The difference suited more. On both races, I had fantastic acceleration on the run and reach. However, I felt like a passenger on several occasions. Saying all that, I won the second race and was enough to win the trophy.