Another windy evening - early on there was 15, sometimes 20 knots of breeze coming over the northern bank and swirling round the clubhouse into a complex pattern of gusts on the water. Yep, the windward marks were going to be interesting and challenging. The course for the evening was a straightforward quadrilateral with a long beat and a long run interspersed with two moderate length reaches, both of which were too shy for spinnakers in the prevailing conditions. The upwind reach up under the bank, and also in the lee of the clubhouse was going to be especially interesting!
I'll have to confess, as I sat on the bank fairing a daggerboard, it was not with especial suprise I saw Gareth rounding the windward mark first... Paul Wright-Anderson was generally in the lead amongst the Lasers from Evan Cairns, and they were also being chased hard by James Curtis, making a rare singlehanded appearance in uncle's Laser and going rather better upwind than someone of his weight had any right to in those conditions.
I believe a couple of the fast fleet boats liked a rather hotly contested start so much they went back and did it again [grin]. There was also some swimming on that first beat I think as expected competitors arrived rather later at the top reach than I had been expecting. Mike Curtis was making good progress as you'd expect, but maybe not as fast as he'd like, because that Solo was a long way ahead. The relatively broad bowed 400 is maybe not the fastest shy reaching boat on the planet, and I think they'd rather have liked at least one more spinnaker leg. There seemed to be quite a fight going amongst the RS200s with Ian Cleaver chasing new member Simon Hamilton hard, with things eventually resolved in Ian and Clare's favour after the other two elected to test capsize recovery in the club RS200. They were by no means the only ones.
Late on I remember seeing Dave Nunn's 600 storm through the fleet up the left hand side of the beat (after an earlier incident!) to almost get past both Gareth and Mike C approaching the windward mark. Sadly almost was the operative word, and the port tack 600 had to crash tack, and then a series of nasty wind eddies saw Dave badly teabagged and with a whole lot of ground to get back again. I don't think he managed to get back ahead of the 400 again by the finish.
So results. It looks as if I have managed to put only last night's results up, not the whole series. I'll sort that out later. As Gareth won the race again you won't need me to tell you who's in the series lead... Behind him Paul W/A took second, Evan third, Chris Smith 4th in his Streaker, Mike Curtis 5th and James Curtis an exceedingly respectable 6th with so little time in the Laser.
In the personal handicap I to make some guesses: James C got the same band that he gets in his 29er, which is arguably harsh with so little time in the boat,. and as Simon H appeared to be circulating at around the same speed as Ian and Clare he got the same band...That put Evan Cairms first, just a few corrected seconds ahead of James, who arguably gets a moral victory, with Peter Halliday's Solo 3rd, Ian and Clare 4th, Simon 5th and Dave "port" Nunn 6th...