I was planning to headline this page with an image of the legendary "Phew, What A Scorcher" tabloid headline, but a brief web search session failed to find me one, so maybe its genuinely legendary! Anyway, having negotiated notably heavy traffic (worse than flower show week!) when I arrived early at the club the reservoir was largely glassy so I treated the canoe gunwhales to a bit of varnish. The result was, I suppose, predictable in that a massive cu-nim appeared in the area and a more than decent sailing breeze ensued, clocking round as the cloud passed as one would expect.
With shifting breezes about we got a simple quadrilateral course consisting of beat, shortish shy reach, sometime verging on fetch, long run, sometimes a broad reach, and another shortish and fairly shy reach, which would support spinnakers some of the time. From my view it was fortunate that the heat had cooked off my varnish enough to go racing, but from your view it means a less full report...
The cu-nim had retired a bit and the wind was dropping at start time, but it was still a nice racing breeze. The fast boat start was quite congested, with quite a bunch near the committee boat, but seemingly no-one feeling quite brutal enough (or just too hot!) to do any really vicious pushing over the line: just making it clear that they would if provoked... (Editor's note - Shows how shifty... the Slow start was very congested at the outer end with Chris Smith narrowly failing to make the pin with Gareth close behind just making it and giving him no room to get out - but all very disciplined and no collisions.)
Anyway all got away cleanly onto a fairly intricate beat in which one side and then the other paid at various times. Indeed that was much the story of the race, with holes, shifts, and other snakes and ladders awaiting the unwary and the cunning respectively. The long run seemed to be a particularly crucial leg in that respect, alhough there was plenty of place changing on the beats too.
The race leaders must have been Messrs Potter (Albacore) and Griffiths (Solo), because, frankly, I never even saw them... As one might expect Richard Barker's Phantom was going well out of the fast fleet, but it was more of a struggle for the rest of us and it was hard catching the early starters.
The results are here. Gareth won. By a mile. That's now seven wins out of the last eight races and he's running away with the series. Short of a DNE its hard to see how he can be caught now. Graham Potter was second and Richard Barker 3rd, Chris Smith (Streaker) 4th, Evan Cairns 5th in a Laser and Clare James, in her new (well young secondhand) RS200 6th and the first spinaker boat.
The personal handicap series is looking almost as one sided. Nigel Cope took his 6th win, and indeed has won every race he's started. Obviously his sailing has come on in leaps and bounds, and he certainly won't be in band 5 next season. Gareth was runner up, with Graham 3rd, Ian Peace (Solo) 4th, Evan 5th and Chris Smith 6th.
Series wise Richard Barker is making a bid for 2nd in the standard, but there is no shortage of competition. Evan Cairns may well be a competitor for runner up in the Personal handicap, but that's wide open yet, and also Nigel does not have any spare races, so must avoid too many Wednesday's away or may end up counting a DNC.
Supper: Chilli con carne in (have I got this right) tortilla bowls, with salad, cheese, sour cream... And of course an especially essential pint: purely to replace lost fluid of course you understand...