Actually, to be fair, it was pretty d*** windy at launching time (again!) and some of our more mature sailors elected to stay on the beach. On the other hand the fast fleet was very well populated with as good a turnout as we've had this seaon, in spite of two of the fast fleet regulars being on the committee boat...Course wise, with just about the longest evening of the series and plenty of wind we elected to do something a little different. So it was a long beat, a shy reach, a long run back to the bottom of the lake, a shorter beat, then a shy reach acrops the lake and a "not quite a run" back to the start. That's not very clear is it? Oh well. We ope there was a leg for pretty much everyone...
The first two starts did not, as you might say, "push the envelope"but the fast fleet start was well contested with the gold star going to Mike Storey in the EPS. Weather at this stage was I guess F5ish, somewhat gusty, but without some of the vicious shifts we've had the last couple of weekends... The earlier starters seemed to find most of the wrong shifts up the first beat and maybe didn't get as much of a lead as they'd have liked in the conditions. The fast fleet was well condensed, although Carl Mayhew showed ahead early, tonight sailing in his RS600. A very tight race was also evident between Fiona and Rob in their RS200, the two elder Groves Tessa and Andy) in their Scorpion (which has a very similar yardstick to the 200), and the two younger Groves (Nicola and Alex)in another RS200. Fiona and Rob were ahead at this stage...the wind then tended to lighten somewhat.
On lap two, aided by an aqueous adventure from Mike Curtis and Julie Harrison, which put them back with the RS200s and Scorpion Carl started to build a lead. Amongst the Lasers John Smith had built up a bit of a lead and was making good progress, and Nicola and Alex had cleared the other two of their three way battle. Mike Storey was looking pretty well placed too until a rather extended capsize cost him several minutes. Looking at the race situation on Lap three we decided that the wind was dropping, and it was going to be best to finish everyone at the windward mark on lap 4, so we took a quick confort break before headed back out with the S flag. At ths point of course the wind piped up a bit, and we had a quite a struggle to get to the commitee boat in time to hoise a flag and give the sound signal in tie for Carl, and then an even bigger struggle to get the anchor up and motorup the windward mark in time to finish him!
Results wise Carl took the race by a narrowish margin from Nicola and Alex. Nicola claims this was her first race steering a boat for several years, so was pretty pleased, but of course in the mean time the Groves siblings have collected plenty of glassware and better in their regular craft, so the rest of us were expecting that sort of result:-) I have a feeling this may have been the first time Carl has won a wednesday evening race in his 600 (although loads in the 400 of course) so he should be pleased too. John Smith was a very competetive third in a Laser, Tessa and Andy 4th in the Scorp, Fiana and Rob only 4 corrected seconds behind for 5th, and Mike and Julie 6th.