The Wednesday evening series kicked of this year on what was frankly a pretty unpleasant evening. Persistent drizzle with some wetter and some dry bands coming through. When the team arrived at the club the wind was a bit south of west and a reasonable force 3. There were clouds about though, so swings and things were always possible. As people started to rig and we started to set up a course the wind went round to south west and dropped to 1-2ish, with a few glassy patches appearing. There was also a big black cloud that looked ominous. We figured that with the available light a 40 minute race was all we could hope for, and set a course that we planned to be beat, reach, run, tight reach, broader reach back to the start.
When we got on the committee boat to set up the start the wind dropped more and went South more, so we set a different beat and left the rest unchanged, expecting the wind to maybe swing back, and set the line with plenty of port end.
A rather small fleet joined us on the water, and frankly who can blame them... It was very light for the Solo/slow handicap start, and Gareth Griffiths and Arthur Phillips duelled some at the port end and took a light/middle course up the beat with the others in much the same area. In the Lasers Rob Petit and John Smith took the port end, but Mike Curtis took, suprisingly, a rather unfavoured looking middle to right end of the line and headed determinedly right, tacking off a fair way up when it looked rocky ahead... The fast start was a quiet affair with Mike Storey (EPS) and Carl/Julie Mayhew (RS400) both taking the port end. Just after their start the wind came in quite a bit and went a bit towards the west. The fast boats stormed up the beat with the extra breeze, soon taking out all the lead the slower boats had established during their six minutes start. Frankly that was pretty much the race over. The angles on the reaches came just right for Carl and Julie, who sailed their normal measured and controlled race to win at a canter. Mike Storey sailed a nice neat race to be a good second, an the rest fought for the scraps from their table, with Arthur Phillips getting the last podium spot. Mike Curtis took 4th, and his mid line start seemed to have been the right choice. Still coffee was warm, beer cool, fish and chips freshly cooked: there have been worse evenings in my life!