The trouble with going away for 10 days to go on holiday - at least for your scribe, who rarely does such things - is that you (or at least I) can lose track of where in the calendar we are. So having arrived at the club at 10am for a 10:30 start I wasn't completely oriented. Set off on the 4 minute gun and, having decided on a port tack start, was bemused to find the immediate starting area full of Solos and things in the last 30 seconds. Even more bemused to see all sorts of different boats start on the gun. "What start was that?" I yelled as I passed the RC boat. "Anniversary Gold" came back the answer. "Ah", I thought, that explains it.
Anyway, summer appears to have icumen in, my partner reported a Cuckoo singing yesterday and we had warm sunshine and areasonable breeze for the race. Course wise, thewind was a bit east of southerly, rather an unsual direction, and the course was beat, port rounding short shy reach, port rounding, roughly run, short shy reach and beat, all ending with starboard roundings, and then a very long broadish reach back to the start.
Well, the first beat seemed to contain an abnormally large numbers of ways of going wrong, and most of use seemed to find at least some of them. Mike Storey passed the windward mark ahead of several nominally faster boats, although both Peter and I managed to get past on the next reach. There were also several Solos in unwelcomely close attendance. Perhaps as good an indication of the fickleness of the wind was that I managed to build up a big lead on the next leg, a lighter wind run. The Canoe is not that quick on light airs runs at the best of times, and I'm definitely not one of the quicker Canoe sailors on the run, but while the others went right on a series of little puffs that just diied and ded, on the left I lucked into a couple of bands of stronger air... On lap two Peter and I finally managed to get far enough away from the Twelve to sail our own race, and I fear I didn't see too much of what everyone else was doing. First I got away, but then he came bck, especially with the wind lightening on the downwind legs, and he eventually took the lead.
Looking at the results Mark Ampleford won, so those Solos were as close as we feared. Mike Storey took 2nd, Peter and Sophie 3rd and 4th and 5th went to the Solos of Playle and Griffiths. Tony Butler rounded up the top 6 with what I reckon was a pretty good result in a Laser in the conditions.
Now don't set too much store by the Personal Handicap results yet, because I have still to allocate handicaps to some new members whose names and sailing CVs I don't have, but it looks as if the win goes to Maisie Bristow. Well done! Tony Sproat, (Solo) Tony Butler (Laser) Joe Dunn (Laser 4.7) Paul Playle and Dave Baldwin (Vareo) make up the top 6.