Another fairly sketchy report I'm afraid... perhaps someone else should volunteer to do these! When I launched, very late, and, it turned out, with a football sized lump of weed round the rudder it was about 30 seconds to the gun. If it were not for said weed that would have been plenty of time to make the start which was at mark 1, so very close to the club pontoon. The course was a beat, a (usually) broadish reach, a run, then a quite delectable shy reach back up past the clubhouse and then a rather cramped gybe to a shortish reach back to the start. Breeze was a decent Force 4 I reckon, gusty and shifty, but not unmanageably so. Delectable reach... well, it was from where I was sitting on the end of a plank with spray everywhere: I understand the feeling was not quite so positive from Laser sailors with knee sinews strained to the limit [grin].
Among the fast boats Peter Curtis (in the RS500 this week) took an early lead from Mike Storey(Laser EPS), but there was, happily for me, no stopping the Canoe once the weed was off the rudder and I inherited the lead after a while... Amongst the Lasers Rob Pettit, who doesn't always enjoy the breezier days, held the lead formuch of the race, but in the end Paul Wright Anderson's knee sinews (and height I imagine) saw him get past on the shy reach. Stephen Day wasn't far behind these two. In the Solo fleet, not very numerous in the stronger breeze, Gareth Griffiths led most of the way round,with Paul Playle hanging on for a good while until he elected to inspect the underside of his boat on the cramped gybe in front of the clubhouse.
Results: well they are here. It was phenomenally close at the top of the fleet, with 38 seconds separating all boats in the top 6. Paul Wright Anderson won, Peter Curtis was second, I took third (two corrected seconds after Peter) on what was probably the most Canoe friendly course of the year, Gareth Griffiths 4th one second ahead of Mike Storey and Rob Pettit 6th a whole three seconds behind Mike.
In the anniversary handicap Ian Hamilton won again, the Canoe 2nd, John Smith and Stephen Day 3rd and 4th, Paul Playle 5th and Nick Marley 6th in his Vareo.
Series - well take a look. I reckon the first places are decided... In the scratch series Gareth has three wins, which Peter cannot I believe match. Rob Pettit can I think snatch 2nd from Peter if (but only if) he wins next month. In the personal handicap Ian Hamilton also has three wins and is similarly safe. The personal handicap is effectively an improvers trophy and without doubt they have progressed at an amazing rate this year, so well deserved I think. See if you can keep improving and do it again next year guys: but it will be a tad more difficult! The other places in the personal handicap are wide open - at least half a dozen with a shout at 2nd I think.