The Narrabeen Lakes Sailing Club’s first Slalom series was held last Saturday, 25th October 2014, in a 5-15 knot south to south-east breeze. There were some big shifts in breeze, which meant sailors had to not only concentrate on their board handling skills, but also keep a tactical eye out. The first two races introduced some further complications with islands of weed floating across the course. Fortunately it was blown off the course and the remaining six races were more straight forward.
There was some tight racing and at times a bit of congestion at marks. It was great to see some of learn-to-sail people (Dana and Tomas) giving it a go, as well as a couple of windsurfers returning to the sport after several years (decades?) absence (Steve, Peter, and Neale). Regulars Nick, Steve, Rob, Roger, and Rod, had some great battles, especially Nick, who seemed to revel in the short-course races. Also, a special mention for Steve Walsh, who has just returned from Europe after winning the Laser 4.7 World Championships. I think he is still coming back to Earth, but was always in contention for podium finishes.
Eight races were run in all, and included combinations of handicap, scratch, pumping, and non-pumping races. The finishes were close with sometimes only a few centre metres in it, and a first for me, when Steve Walsh and I were judged a “dead heat” in one of the races. There was only one or two points separating the top four spots, with overall results: 1. Roger Crawford, 2. Rod Hozack, 3. Steve Walsh, 4. Rob Jones.
Many thanks to Roger for organising it, and Kerry for running and managing a pretty tight little course, which needed regular adjustments to the start line to counter the shifts in wind direction.