An interesting report from Stephen Corcoran about the varying wind strength and directions on Colemere and an unconventional (but controversial) way of dealing with it.
Yesterday, having been warned that today the rain would be lashing down from dawn to dusk (not in fact true), I went for a sail. I had the lake to myself, so I rigged the Seahopper and set out. The wind was brisk, off the dinghy park, ruffling almost the whole lake. I did a quiet reach to X and another back, to check if I had put all the bits on the boat. All well, except that I needed a bit more weight to windward, so I pulled in to the clubhouse jetty to adjust my fore-and-aft thwarts (described by the makers as “the racing kit”). The wind was if anything brisker, and I was glad to be able to put my weight well against it. I found that C was as still as the clubhouse jetty, and B looked similar. After some experimenting, I set myself a course LZYXP, which was pretty zippy, and conveniently avoided the constant busy tacking which the Seahopper does not do very well. Each leg was straight! However, after a lap or two, I noticed that the YX leg was getting more difficult, and finally I was forced to tack. The wind was backing, but steadily and consistently, not here and there as it usually does to me! Then it reached the point where the air at X was still, but brisk on the rest of the lake. Without X the course was not so much fun, so after a bit of to and fro I came in – whereupon the wind started to die.
I have often wanted to alter the course I have set as duty officer, and this outing showed me how right I was. In particular, I have wanted to move the odd buoy, probably not very much. I can remember an occasion when the wind was fairly OK, but it had just deserted M, leaving Nick Edmunds alone and static while the rest of the fleet steamed up on him. It would have been nice to have been able to shift it (only 20 yards would have been needed) after the fleet had escaped it, but it had to stay there, and the succeeding laps were worse. Anyway, I am now a firm devotee of constant course revision.
Please don’t put me on trial for heresy!