The cups on the clubhouse anenometer were turning steadily but visibly when I arrived, which I reckon means light but usable airs. After a week off for cycling, it was good to have a race again, especially after the day *I* had in the office, although I stopped complaining about that as soon as I heard about poor Julie's day, having her stationary car driven into first thing in the morning. Puts things in perspective.
Turnout was definitely on the meager side. I suppose school holidays, Olympics and the break in momentum. Whilst there was a certain something in seeing TV photos of roads I know intimately (and it was entertaining to note how often the commentators got "lost" on the route) I'd still rather they'd been somewhere else. Thames SC' front yard and impromptu bar was a good place to watch the time trial girls go past though:-)
So anyway, talk about digression. Sorry. Light airs, late in the series so early sunset: a short quadrilateral course. Sensible decision. Amazingly enough the wind stayed steady enough in direction that the beat was always a beat and the run was always (roughly) a run. Strength however was another matter and we had a really spectacular eight o'clock drop which really shut out the RS200s. Still, its mostly been a windy series.
As you can see from the results the fleet was more or less divided in two, with those who had got on the final leg before the wind dropped about 5 minutes clear of the rest. On the water I was expecting the handicap results to be roughly in finishing order, but in fact the handicaps came well into play among the leading group and Gareth all but made certain of a series win by taking the race on handicap. With the other major race winners all unavailable next week in order to lose the series Gareth would have to do something like get last place in a 60 boat turnout to lose first place.
So on standard handicap the top 6 were Gareth Griffiths (Solo), Mike Storey Sophie Storey (National 12), Maggie Futcher (Byte CII), Mike Curtis Julie Harrison (RS 400), Graham Potter Chris Golding (Albacore), Clare James Lucy Gibson (RS 200), and on the personal handicaps they were Maggie Futcher (Byte CII), Gareth Griffiths (Solo), Mike Storey Sophie Storey (National 12), Graham Potter Chris Golding (Albacore), Mike Curtis Julie Harrison (RS 400), Jim Champ (International Moth (Skol)).
Scratch series wise, with what I know about who can get to the last race next week, I think Gareth has clinched first place. Mike Curtis could snatch 2nd overall from Mike Storey, but only if he wins the race: according to my sums nothing else will do. Mike's third, however, is far from secure, because a bad result could take him below Paul Wright Anderson, currently 0.1 point behind, and a win from Carl Mayhew could bring him into play.
In the personal handicap Ian and Claire are unassailable, and I think Graham Potter and Chris Golding have done enough to secure 2nd place, which means that CJ has probably got third wrapped up.
Next week we will have the prize giving, and I thought I heard a rumour that we'll get one of Kirstie's Thai curries, so lets make it a good evening with plenty of boats on the water for the series end.
Incidentally there's a Laser training session this weekend: club members should have had an email, if not contact Paul Wright-Anderson. get the tips on Saturday, practice them on Sunday and see how much better your result looks next Wenesday perhaps?