Wednesday 24th June

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Good grief that was hard work! An easterly is never the greatest of wind directions at Island Barn, and this one was pretty gusty and shifty even before it was disturbed by the trees at the east end of the reservoir... Up around mark 2 - which was, you might say, not a universally approved choice as a windward mark - it was a real challenge just to get to the mark at times... The whole course was a long beat, a shortish reach (very short for flying a kite in my opinion, but that didn't stop those who had them getting in the required smart boat handling), a very short beat up the side of the reservoir in the gusts and shifts up to the above mentioned Mark 2, a long run and then a short reach to complete the lap.

Start sequences saw quite different line bias for each start due to the wind changing. Just to make things more exciting the hooter for the start sequence was misbehaving and not always sounding so it was necessary to pay attention to the flags!

There was plenty of drama and a fair bit of swimming going on... perhaps the most interesting leg of the race was the one that saw Messrs Reay and Pearson (Lasers) dicing down the run with Gareth Griffiths (Solo) who was on starboard... It all resolved itself at the mark with Kevin Pearson left capsized and mast the wrong side of the mark... John Smith got dumped out of his boat by a big shift that then left the boat upright and, but for the mainsheet round his foot, attempting to sail away... Much other action, bruises, and damp clothing...

Results.. John Reay, unsuprisingly perhaps in the conditions, won, but Gareth Griffiths was only 9 seconds behind on handicap, rueing the half a lap spent draining the Solo of water after a gust caught him unawares... Matt & Jo Stiles took third in the Club Feva, Graham Potter in the Albacore took 4th with a performance that seemed to involve rather less drama than most of our races, and Mike Storey 5th in the EPS. Series - well take a look... suffice to say its wide open, especially if John Reay can get a decent number of races in over the second half of the series. In the personal handicap Alistair Smith took another race in the Topper, with Tom Wilson 2nd and John Smith 3rd - and those are also the series top three...