That was fun

alistairedw

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Our Sunday morning dinghy race on the river was a bit more exciting than usual today. With very strong and shifting gusts at the windward mark it was very had to keep control.

6 out of the 8 dinghies ended up washing their sails. The wind was so strong that as you came off the beat and tried to bear away on to the run at the windward mark the dinghies tended to round up and head straight for the river bank at high speed.

Desperately trying to get his Enterprise to bear away one of my pals exerted so much pressure that his wooden tiller snapped. This of course resulted in helm + crew taking a swim.

One chap in a Solo seemed to be controlling his downwind run quite nicely when the a gust caused the dinghy to suddenly spin through 90 degrees and plough straight into the bank.

I had one spectacular capsize early in the race but thereafter managed to just about stay in control. My new crew ( 10 years since he last went sailing) seemed to enjoy the experience, particularly the fairly out of control planing downwind!

I wish the Thames was like this more often.
 

snowleopard

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Those conditions on the Thames can be a bit exciting. There was a story that our commodore was sailing in the lee of a row of houses when someone opened back and front doors at the same time and the resulting gust through the hallway tipped him over.
 

graham

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glad you enjoyed it,I remember sailing a Solo on LLandegfedd Reservoir many moons back. The only time I ever got in the front of the Solo fleet (about 6 of us) ended yards from the finish in a magnificent capsize.The buzz you get as she lifts up on to the plane is unforgettable. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

Danny Jo

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Sounds exciting. I was busy varnishing floor panels and rebuilding the helmsman's seat.

I'm interested in your comment[ QUOTE ]
The wind was so strong that as you came off the beat and tried to bear away on to the run at the windward mark the dinghies tended to round up and head straight for the river bank at high speed.

[/ QUOTE ] Did you ease the main right out and raise the centreboard? I would expect that manoeuvre to result in the bow blowing off downwind even without the help of the helm.
 

alistairedw

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[ QUOTE ]

Did you ease the main right out and raise the centreboard? I would expect that manoeuvre to result in the bow blowing off downwind even without the help of the helm.


[/ QUOTE ]
Me too! I think the problem was that the wind was shifting behind as people came to round the mark, so instead of heading downstream we ended up running straight towards the bank.

The buoy was only about 15 yards from the river bank so finding the wind directly behind when it should be on the beam was quite alarming.

The only safe way to overcome this problem was to tack and then turn downwind back towards the mark.

At the leeward mark there was very little wind as the trees were blocking it. We get all kinds of weird wind 'challenges' sailing this tree lined reach. Big shifts and gusts/lulls are the norm.
 
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