Glorious weather, F3 at rigging time, although it tended to reduce. Course set was beat, long beamish reach, run, somewhat one sided short beat, short broad reach to the finish. Not kind to spinnaker crews. The Solos got away after a energetic start in which Gareth Griffiths got away well on port tack. The Lasers were not pushing the line too hard, but the fast fleet... A big bunch, all close to each other and nearly all over the line. They were so packed that there was no way to separate them, so three hoots and a general recall it was... They were pretty keen six minutes later for their second try, and one poor soul had to come back - and a long way back it was too when he worked out that yes, he was the victim...
Lap one looked awfully good for Richard Barker's Phantom, but it wasn't to last: the wind dropped, gained holes and shifted, and he found a snake in the snakes and ladders game. Graham Potter (Albacore) and Gareth Griffiths (Solo) were doing well, aided by a lack of faster boats getting anywhere near them due to the recall. Mike Curtis' RS400 was looking much the best of the fast boats from the second lap onward, although Carl Mayhew's RS 200 wasn't badly placed, catching the Phantom and Rooster which had been a good bit ahead on the first lap.
The last lap was a bit of an anticlimax really, we got something of a sunset drop at about twenty past eight... Approaching quarter past the wind was looking good enough to get a 4th lap in, but at twenty past there was a sudden rush for the S flag to shorten at 3 laps, and the later finishers really suffered. A particular commisseration needs to go to poor Ian Cleaver, whose last lap didn't so much feature a snake as the entire worm Ourobouros... He actually finished on handicap behind the late starting RS400 that he had been so far ahead of on the water that we had stopped the 400 after two laps.
So results. Gareth won the scratch handicap from Mike Curtis. The rest of the top 6 were Graham Potter, Carl Mayhew (RS200), Maggie Futcher (Byte) and CJ Cavallari (Solo).
Maggie Futcher took the personal handicap in her Byte CII: the rest of the top 6 were Graham Potter, Gareth Griffiths, Cj Cavallari, Dave Baldwin and Caroline Baldwin.
Series: this week Gareth took the series lead from the Storeys. I reckon any of the top seven at least are very thoroughly in contention, and of course in theory someone could yet turn up, and win the series just competing in the remaining races. In the personal Ian and Claire have a bit of a lead, but there's a long way to go yet.
Duties: A little reminder that all competitors in the Wednesday series are expected to do at least one duty. There are a lot of people yet to sign up, and if no-one signs up we won't have a race next week.