We had a lower than usual turnout for our first TT of 2020 at Draycote Water, with only 10 boats entered. This may have been down to the forecasted strong winds. In any event we had 6 home boats and 4 visitors. The forecast had been predicting 20 knots, gusting up to 33 knots from the SW. There was some slight apprehension from the local sailors but also a general keenness to give it a go! Tim Case our Race Office gave a quick briefing, assuring us that he would keep the races short and we headed off to the start line. As we sailed away from the lee of the dinghy park and club house, it became apparent that this was going to be quite breezy sailing conditions and possibly more than the 20 knots forecast, with white horses on the start line.
The first race got under way, with Paul Grattage out in front, pursued by the rest of the fleet. Paul was first to the windward mark, followed by Ed Tuite Dalton, Pete Slater and Simon Hare. As the race progressed, conditions became more challenging for the fleet and after the second lap a number of boats decided to retire. At the end of the 5 laps, only 3 boats had managed to complete the race, Paul first, Ed second and Nigel James third.
In the strong winds, there were only the same 3 boats at the start of the second race, with the remainder having headed back to shore. With a port biased line and a competitive start, Paul managed to hit the pin end of the line and had to re-round, letting Ed take the lead for the first lap. On the second lap Paul started to close the gap on Ed and as they went up the beat on the third lap, they were pretty well neck and neck. However as they approached the windward mark Ed was able to call starboard on Paul, who tacked off but was unable to make the mark, allowing Ed a clear lead. Ed went on to win the race, with Paul second and Nigel third.
Both Paul and Ed now had a 1st and a 2nd so it was all to play for in the third and final race. Paul again managed to get pole position, but this time he didn’t hit the pin and managed to pull away from Ed and Nigel and maintained his lead over the three laps, giving him a comfortable win to become the winner of the TT, with Ed second and Nigel third.
Although we only had 3 boats complete all three races, the general feeling was that everyone had had a go in the testing conditions and it had been worth running the event.
Full Series Results available here