Starcross Steamer Jan 2023

Last Sunday saw the first race and first open event of 2023, the Starcross Steamer, a handicap pursuit race on the Exe estuary in the UK.

Pursuit races are a great fun race format. All boat classes have a handicap, the race has a fixed length (e.g. 150 mins), slower boats start first, faster boats later with the idea being everyone is trying to catch up to and overtake everyone else. After the fixed race time, the race is stopped, and positions are taken by the safety boats.

Here’s the write-up and results in Yachts and Yachting, I sailed an RS Aero 9.

It was an early start to the day, and we were rewarded with some lovely views.

The wind arrived later than predicted, and with a closing tide window, the race was shortened to 120 mins. We launched as the wind filled in around the course and the breeze built steadily throughout the afternoon.

I switched up to the Aero 9 which turned out to be a great choice, I wasn’t over-powered, but it was fast and a decent physical challenge. My legs lasted longer than my forearms in the end, and it was my (ahem) brachioradialis muscles (upper forearm) that started aching the most.

Video by Derek Hathaway, view his Youtube Channel.

Starcross YC is a lovely venue, it was a great sailing area and course, the wind was good, and it was mostly sunny. I came mid-fleet-ish which was a new P.B. for me at opens, and not so far off the Aero 9 ahead of me.

What a cracking start to the year’s sailing :).

RS Aero Europeans 2022

I took part in the RS Aero Europeans this Summer, a five-day event held at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), the venue for sailing during the 2012 Olympics. This event was part of the epic RS Games.

I was training up to this one all year, and it was an amazing week with five days of fantastic racing. I learned so much, not just from the racing but from the chats off the water, and fellow sailors offering advice and tips.

There’s a good write-up in Yachts and Yachting and some footage on Youtube (RS Games days 12-16). Here are some of my pictures.

The 7s coming back on day four.

There’s something special about sailing in Weymouth and seeing those rings. The whole place had the most amazing atmosphere.

2012 Laser Radial Gold medalist Xu Lijia sailed an RS Aero 5 and gave a Q & A session one day on downwind sailing, you could hear a pin drop as she talked.

Days one to three, were pretty windy (F5-6). This was day two, racing started at 11am.

August 2021

They say that fair weather never made a good sailor, and August has seen some good breezy races providing some good challenges and crazy fun.

The Swanage Sailing Club Regatta took place earlier this month which featured two days of high winds. There’s a nice write up here in Yachts and Yachting.

These were among the strongest conditions I’ve sailed in with force seven gusts and it was definitely full on.

I tried the Aero 5 sail (below) and it was manageable. The hard bit being very gusty, with a course set inshore and messy offshore wind over the town, was not being able to hike consistently. With the 5 sail there’ll be technique to improve, e.g. to counter the tippiness in lulls such as not over feathering.

I’m in 3328 enjoying the gust. Photo by Adrian Whaley.

Other than sailing, I’ve done loads of windsurfing the last weeks which works out a bunch of other muscles, and cardio at home. The next sailing event is in two weeks.

12th June Sail

I had a play in the bay yesterday afternoon, there was sun and a bit of breeze. I used the Garmin Virb action cam and remembering to turn on GPS, got some data. Not seen here but I’m using it for some self coaching, trying out different things to see how speed is affected.

Lymington RS Aero Open

I sailed at my first RS Aero open at Lymington on on May 15th 2021. There’s a good write up in Yachts and Yachting.

I think they were the windiest conditions I’ve sailed in which coupled with wind over tide made for challenging and exciting conditions. Many things learned, more areas to work on and a super fun day.

Can’t wait for the next event which starts tomorrow at Weymouth. Grin!

First time trying the Aero 9 Sail

A fellow sailor snapped a couple pics of me from his paddleboard this week. It was around about 7am on a very light wind morning. What can I say? The Aero 9 is fast even in super light wind. It’s a revelation.

I stand up a lot in light winds, to see and feel the wind better

My impatience to try the 9 sail got ahead of me putting the sail numbers on, but this is 3328. 🙂

It was also a beautiful morning and I’m ever grateful to be able to do this.