Sunshine, sunshine with overcast admittedly but sunshine, reasonably warm, and a nice breeze. Pretty reasonable.
The course, was a bit subject to the vagaries of the wind, of which there were several. A beat up the pond, maybe a bit one sided, a shy reach come fetch come onde sided beat across, depending on the mood of the wind, a deep reach, usually deep enough to require gybing downwind for those that do, and a final reach across to the start which varied in shyness from perfect for Cnoe to perfect for RS500 with kite.
Before I get onto the race, here's a digression on starting races and OCS for race teams. Its worth reading the RRS from time to time, they are published here.
Firstly here's the vanilla RRS:
29.1 Individual Recall
When at a boat’s starting signal any part of her hull, crew or equipment is on the course side of the starting line or she must comply with rule 30.1, the race committee shall promptly display flag X with one sound. The flag shall be displayed until all such boats have sailed completely to the pre-start side of the starting line or one of its extensions and have complied with rule 30.1 if it applies, but no later than four minutes after the starting signal or one minute before any later starting signal, whichever is earlier. If rule 30.3 applies this rule does not.
29.2 General Recall When at the starting signal the race committee is unable to identify boats that are on the course side of the starting line or to which rule 30 applies, or there has been an error in the starting procedure, the race committee may signal a general recall (display the First Substitute with two sounds). The warning signal for a new start for the recalled class shall be made one minute after the First Substitute is removed (one sound), and the starts for any succeeding classes shall follow the new start.
And secondly here's the paragraph from our sailing instructions which modifies it:
Individual Recall – This instruction changes RRS rule 29.1. The time periods in 29.1 do not apply and boats may comply with rule 29.1 or 30.1 at any time while the race officer is on station at the start line.
General Recalls - This instruction changes RRS rule 29.2. A general recall shall be signalled in the same way and for the same reasons stated in RRS rule 29.2 The code flag ‘first substitute’ may be ‘hoisted’ by waving a pole with the flag attached. The new start sequence commences, accompanied by the warning flag and any start penalty flag, one minute after the First Substitute is removed with one sound signal.
During a multiple start sequence, where the recalled fleet is not the last fleet to be started, the recalled fleet shall go to the back of the queue of fleets to be started. The code flag "First Substitute" shall be lowered 1 minute after the unsuccessful start without an accompanying sound signal. The preparatory signal for the recalled fleet, accompanied by the class warning flag and any start penalty flag, shall be made at the start signal of the fleet previously at the back of the queue.
Its also worth being aware of the following in the "Case Book", which is effectively a list of precedents/examples to help protest committees interpret the rules correctly.
When the correct visual recall signal for individual recall is made but the required sound signal is not, and when a recalled boat in a position to hear a sound signal does not see the visual signal and does not return, she is entitled to redress. However, if she realizes she is on the course side of the line she must return and start correctly.
This is largely self explanatory, but there are some subtleties. RRS 29.1 it uses the word "Must". These are things the RC has no choice about doing. However in 29.2, the general recall, the word is "May"
So, for our purposes, if you see boats OCS you *must* make a sound signal and wave the flag within a very few seconds, and keep the flag up for a reasonable period: long enough for everyone who may be over to observe the flag. If you don't keep the flag up a reasonable time then a boat which was OCS may quite reasonably think that they were not OCS and not return, and if this is the case then a protest committee would be required to give them redress.
OK, back to the race. Some went left and some went right, but I'm not sure we could definitively say one side or the other was better, which was definitely not the case on subsequent laps... I think I managed to pass the mark second but round it 5th due to a particularly faulty tack, but Peter and Fiona were definitely first, with the other RS boats and I think even some Solos in the mix, it not being an especially long beat. This time round the reach was a very canoe favourable shy reach, and I was reasonably close to Peter for the start of the run, with I think Harry Phelps in third place in his RS300.
Second lap the wind went round quite a way. I think it was this lap when I got away from Peter on the beat, and then blew the whole lead on a singularly awful tack for the mark, but basically Peter/Fiona and I had a good old ding dong race with much changing of places, predictably with the Canoe gaining upwind and the RS500 downwind. Unfortunately we were so preoccupied with our own race I did minimal spotting of the rest. ISTR that Solos were notably close together, and the results seem to bear that out with the leading four finishing within a minute and none of them Gareth... Also seen was a Phantom going for an early bath, which turned out to be toe strap failure...
I remember, I think it was lap three, one particularly nasty gust which scattered a few pins... I seemed to miss the worst of it as I was by far the closest to the windward bank at the time, but it took out quite a few boats. It was one of those nasty ones which headed as it came in, then suddenly freed as it really hit hard.
Results: Paul W/A took the win, and by a very healthy margin too. Second was a new member, Andrew Norman, who I think we shall allocate to band zero in the personal handicap starting with that form... Paul Playle took third, CJ 4th, all 3 in Solos, Peter and Fiona 5th and Tim Lewis 6th in another Solo. It wouldn't have thought it should have been that much of a Solo day, but the Solo fleet is very hot these days, and talent will out.
In the personal handicap, Dave Baldwin won, albeit with a very generous personal handicap based on his very early days with the boat. CJ was second, Chris Smith 3rd in his Streaker, Paul W/A 4th, Matt Young 5th in another Laser and Harry Phelps 6th.