RO Report, 2023 IOM National Championships

26th– 29th October 2023

Wow, that was fun.

Congratulations to the Tauranga Radio Sailing Club for organising a very successful event, and a big thank you to all who assisted with the running of the event during the four days.

Thursday was designated for registration and measuring. Skippers completing this process early made life easier for the measurers who were also racing skippers. Perfect conditions on the water all afternoon for a bit of last-minute tweaking.

Lake Taurikura provides its best sailing in a NE wind with enough room on the water to allow for the wind shifting toward the North later in the day.

Day 1 Friday, the fleet sailed 8 races. Using HMS scoring that is 24 heats – it was pretty hectic. Despite the wind shifting around on the course, sometimes over 30 degrees, the same startline provided fair starts for the day. The course was a top and offset mark at the windward end and an inside/outside gate at the leeward end for all races throughout the event.

I’m happy to confess with the number and rapidity of starts the events of each day have become a bit of a blur.

Day 2 Saturday, we moved to an area further south and had another solid day’s racing starting with a light SE wind, changing to a more NNE for the afternoon. When the wind swung west near the end of designated racing time the B fleet start was abandoned and racing called off.

Day 3 Sunday, a late start while the wind held off until the rugby had finished (not a planned move). A very light wind across the sailing area required three lap races and an early lunch (again). The rugby score must have wound the skippers up as B fleet started, or didn’t ‘start’ with two general recalls. I’ve always had in mind I would never use 30.4 “black flag”, but figured calling 30.3 would just confuse everyone – may pay you to read up the rule book so you know your rights for the next event….. Anyhow “black flag” terrified the fleet and nobody was within two metres of the line at the gun.

Increased pressure for the rest of the afternoon gave the sailors some excitement down wind. A few changed to B rig and were fast upwind but that was cancelled out by the speed of the leading A rig skippers on the downwind run.

As there are plenty of good pictures on the new website, and comments on WhatsApp that’s enough from me except a few thoughts that might help skippers trying to find a way up through the fleet

  • Focus on the course and have a plan – where is the predominant pressure coming from prior to the start, which end of the start line is favoured, where do you want to be 60 seconds after the start, where is the next pressure coming from (look up the lake not just at your boat)
  • Get a position near the line about 30 secs before the start and hold your spot (takes practice). Keep out of trouble – no penalty turns in three days racing is smart clean sailing, turns are expensive. No amount of tweaking the ram or the vang or anything else makes up for not having a race plan and sailing clean.

Thanks guys, I enjoyed it

Terry Valder