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WEEK EIGHT (JUNE 18TH) WINDY AND GUSTY

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Week Eight (June 18th) Windy and Gusty

Well, I dunno, what happened to week after week of hot sun and light airs dying as the evening goes on? Like last year the Wednesday series seems to be notably windy. This one was greeted with at least F3, often F4 with plenty of Force 5 and more gusts. Southerly win, not as dramatically shifty as at the weekend, but still pretty nasty at times...

With a straight onshore wind at the clubhouse area launching was fun for many... We invented a new way of launching for Matt Stiles' International Moth after more conventional techniques failed. I call this the "off pontoon waterstart". You take the moth to the end of the Pontoon on her side, and the assistant holds the boat by the rig, heeled about 45 degrees to windward and roughly on a close reach. The sailor jumps in the water, positions himself in the toe straps and takes mainsheet and rudder. At the crucial moment he sheets in and the helper throws the rig up, and the Moth joins the race very handily.

We had a beach start fairly close to the bank and leeward shore, so starting could be a bit fraught for those of us who are less masters of our chosen boats than others are... Stay upwind and duck downwind on the 2 minute seemed to be a common choice... Those who were well in control found this a bit irritating I think... The best end, for those who were thinking about such subtleties, was changing frequently, varying from mildly right end to (when I started) quite challenging to get across the line at all on starboard whilst avoiding right of way and perfectly under control Scorpions...

Race wise... Well, I confess I ran through my capsize/energy reserve fairly soon, and didn't pay a great deal of attention. There were one or two quite unaccustomed swimmers between those of us with thin blue boats who are a bit more used to unscheduled visits into the water. My excuse is I would have been fine in XXX hadn't capsized just where I was planning to tack for the windward mark. Yeah right... Carl and Julie Mayhew's RS 400 were seen disappearing into the distance in much spray, although they reported having trouble holding the boat down upwind. Ha. You should worry! I remember seeing Mike Storey going very fast down one reach in his EPS on a big gust, Gareth Griffiths leading the Solos from quite early on, Alex and Tessa Groves looking good in their very good looking Scorpion...

Results wise Carl and Julie took the race by over a minute from Peter Curtis in his RS300. Gareth took third with the Solo. That's also the current series top three! Mike Storey took 4th, Alex and Tessa 5th, and Arthur Phillips rounded off the top 6, also in a Solo.

Series wise I guess we're about half way and its looking very close between Carl/Julie Mayhew and Peter Curtis. They've been swapping wins and overall lead regularly. After them I think its anyone's game between Gareth, Mike Curtis/Julie Harrison, Mike Storey and Arthur Phillips. Game on!

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