Overcast, with maybe a hint of drizzle about. I heard a Cuckoo while I was walking up the steps into the club: I don’t know I’ve heard one here before. Anyway, sailing. After the dramatics of recent days/weeks we had a nice gentle 10 knot Southerly/South Easterly at rigging time. With the X mark in “hospital” on the bank waiting for some more ground tackle the team got out a couple of the open meeting marks and set a q course – beat, reach, gybe, reach, run back to the start.
And then, not long before the 4 minute gun went for the slow fleet, in came more breeze. Some 20knots for a while., although it calmed down to 15ish. In every race officer’s nightmare the wind also swung some, necessitating a quick course change. With insufficient time to change all the marks the reach section of the q became a very generous length indeed – and shy with it.
The leading slow boats were all together at the first gybe mark, altogether with a big gust, and one misjudged the gybe and went for a quick swim. The Lasers got a lovely gust and hurtled round the P the first time, whilst various RS boats flew kites on a reach that was maybe a tad optimistic, although the 200s seemed to manage well enough. The RS600, of course, was loving it…
By lap two the wind was back down to the 10 knot region with the big cumulus having blown through. There was a spectacular match race at the front of the slow fleet with two Solos trading places. The leading Lasers were pretty much up to them at this stage with something like 7 boats in a tight bunch at the gybe… The 600 looked to be going well until you realised that the transparent sail beside him was a Phantom, not a Solo so he was obviously going exceedingly well…
By lap 33 the 600 was right up with the leaders, Solo, Laser and Kevin Pearson’s well placed looking Radial. The Phantom was not far away though. Breeze had come back a bit for this lap, and a cold breeze it was too: it looked distinctly arctic out there.
Results, well it was certainly never going to be a kite boat evening with two hoists and drops and very shy reaches. Richard Barker's Phantom took the race by quite a corrected margin from Kevin Pearson's Radial. 2nd to 6th were covered by less than a minute, and after Kevin were Evan Cairns (Laser), Garthe Griffiths (Solo), Rob Pettit (Laser) and Paul Playle (Solo).
The Personal Handicap went to Ian Cleaver and Clare Overstall in their RS200, with Kevin Pearson 2nd, CJ 3rd in a Solo, Evan Cairns 4th, Dave Nunn (RS5600) 5th and Richard Barker 6th.