GWS (Grouster Watersport Schouw) ready for the start….
KWV Langweer, one of my local clubs, organizes an annual regatta for open one-class sailboats. Last weekend we did the 151st edition. It was difficult this year. In response to comments from previous years I added a fourth race (two each day) and shortened the races itself. That is a busy schedule for us. Two times eleven classes to start, every five minutes (with two breaks of five minutes). But with enough volunteers you can accomplish a lot.
What made it more difficult was that the weather was not very, well, consistent..
Showers and wind one minute and calm and lack of wind the next. Add the threat of thunder and lightning, made me look for the N-flag on both days.
On Saturday the rain-detection radar on the internet predicted a very nasty one at the end of our first starting cycle. We postponed the last two classes and told them to seek a little shelter. Monitoring the approach of the dark clouds and counting the distance for the next 45 minutes made us realize that the hart of the cloud would pass the lake at least for a couple of kilometers.
We recalled the last two classes and started them an hour and fifteen minutes late.
On Sunday the weather predicted was that the really bad stuff would come late afternoon/evening.
But as always a few ‘front running clouds’ made life difficult. We measured Beaufort 7 in one of them.
Every sailor knows that stronger wind itself is not a problem. You rig your boat for it and adapt your sailing. But sudden unpredictable gusts are killers. You almost have no time to respond and every mistake results in punishment immediately. I’m afraid some of the boats did score DNF’s due to capsizing.
Well we sent out all our safety-boats, towed the unlucky boats to shore and continued racing with the rest. I did however shortened the race to just under an hour. That was enough I thought.
My brother found time to shoot a couple of pictures from the starting vessel. You can have a look by clicking on: Langweer 2010
The Regenbogen had a hard time coping with the gusts… only two of the original eight showed up for the last race. But these two had a great race!
The photo also shows you also who won and who came second in the series.
We use to have such nice late summer balmy weekends….. ( deep sigh.)