Four races in we are starting to see who the series leaders might be... It was a reasonable sort of F2 breeze, cool and overcast, but a decent sailing evening. Tonight we had a q course, with a beat, shyish reach, a very shy reach and relatively long run. The very tight middle reach is an interesting option because if you get forced down to far by a gust its a hoist and drop in very short order, and the normal options of dropiing early or hoisting late still leave you with two hoists and drops per lap which isn't kind on the less fit crews! The wind was swinging around a bit and there were definitely times when boats had kites up on the second reach which weren't altogether helping... On the other hand the wind swings meant that the run was sometimes more of a broad reach which does favour the spinnaker boats.
Graham Potter's Albacore took an early lead from the slow start, but chased hard by Tom Winskell/Carl Mayhew in one of the Club RS Visions and Ian Hailton in the Xenon. Gareth wasn't far behind in his Solo either. From the fast start Mike Curtis and Julie Harrison seemed to be making good progress through a slightly depleted Laser fleet, led by Evan Cairns.
From a spectator's point of view the big fights on the track were, to a lesser extent the Albacore/Vision/Xenon which was more of a "will he/won't he catch" variety, but most especially a spectacular battle between Paul Playle, CJ Cavallari and Chris Smith, who seemed to be swapping placings with specatacular frequency...
On the first beat of what was to be the last lap Graham Potter suddenly seemed to be struggling with a flapping mainsail, and headed in. It transpired that his gooseneck "firmly bolted fifteen years ago" had been slipping down the mast and had come completeley detached. That left the Vision to take the gun from a fast catching Mike Curtis.
So in the scratch series Tom Winskell won, Gareth Griffiths was second from Michael Curtis, Evan Cairns, Ian Hamilton and John Smith (Laser). The Personal handicap race went, yet again, to Ian Hamilton (must review that Xenon handicap!) then John Smith, Tom Winskell, Ian Cleaver (RS200), Chris Smith and Tom Swithinbank (RS Feva).