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Wednesday 27th May

  • Overcast, windy, pretty gusty and shifty. Good though - a fun evening after a series starting with mostly quiet races. Those who, before the start, suggested Fiona's quadrilateral course was going to be over friendly to the spinnaker boats hadn't quite got the effect of wind strength dialled in - shyish reaches that would have been very comfortable in a F2 were definitely a struggle in what I guess was averaging F4. The single sail boats on the other hand were flying...

    Incidents... your correspondent was managing plenty of his own, but noteworthy was the gust/shift on the first run that took out both the leaders in the Laser fleet, heard commenting afterwards that this running by the lee technique might have its disadvantages... I must say though, I have noticed that skill in that particular technique seems to be a good marker of the front of fleet competitors amongst our Laser Sailors... John Smith gratefully accepted the lead.

    The most dramatic moment I was involved in was duelling with Mike Curtis' RS400, hurtling down the bottom reach on lap one without having pulled the sliding seat aft on the Canoe. The result was that the Canoe was seriously considering investigating the depth of the reservoir with her bow whenever I tried bearing away. All well and entertaining, but ahead of us, and just within three boat lengths of the mark was Alistair Smith in his Topper, glancing worriedly over his shoulder at the heavy metal coming up behind in clouds of spray... Mike decided (if I interpreted his shout correctly) that I didn't have water at the mark, leaving me wth the choice of attempting to go behind him, in which case the only way I could have avoided his rudder would have been if the rapidly submerging bow had passed beneath it, wiping out the Topper, whose 100% right of way was undisputable, or luffing up and missing the mark... I missed the mark, but not (to add injury upon injury) a capsize trying to retrieve the situation too hastily...

    Meantimes Peter Curtis, freshly back from 8th at a Feva nationals cursed by light airs, was hurtling round in his RS300. Lets say that I don't wish to dwell on his on the water position in relation to those of us with faster boats. Graham Potter (Albacore) and of course Gareth Griffiths (Solo) wwere looking pretty good from the first start.

    And results? Well Peter won by a margin with the standard handicaps. A damp John Reay was second with his Laser, Gareth 3rd in the Solo, Graham 4th with the Albacore, and Mike Curtis 5th in his RS400. Looks as if the handicaps worked then. Peter Halliday, who's suffered quite a selection of glitches so far, was 6th in his Solo. In the personal handicap John Smith (who was second Laser in scratch results) won by just three corrected seconds from Alistair Smith's Topper, with Graham Potter 3rd and Peter Halliday 4th.