Yes, we had a guest for the Wednesday evening series: RS had brought along their demo boats for an Aero session in the afternoon and RS Sales manager Charlie Merchant decided to brave his own product and take part in the race. I was nice to him and acted as pathfinder with a motor boat for the first lap so he could find his way round, which turned out to be of considerable assistance since he soon headed for the front and stayed there for several laps...
It had been a nice breezy day - usually 20 knots plus in the afternoon, and it was mostly in the teens for the race. Well, its good to have a variety of courses for handicap racing, and we certainly got that last night, although the Asymettric sailors might not have agreed. There was a long beat up to around the clubhouse, a shy "can-fly-the-kite-but-are-you-sure-its-going-to-pay" reach across the top, a 180 degree gybe with a definitely to shy for kites reachback to near the windward mark, a long run down and another short shy reach back to the start. Challenging. I expected the 180 gybe to promote more water cooling than actually happened though.
Charlie got round the windward mark first with Kevin Seebaluck and Mike Curtis' Lasers chasing. His Aero 7 definitely had the legs of the Lasers on the shy reaches though and he built up quite a lead. Meanwhil from the fast start Richard Barker's Phantom was cutting through, with Gareth Griffiths'Aero 9 and John Oldham's Phantom having a good battle just behind. A little further back Harry and James were having a fair race in 300s, mixed up with Ian and Douglas' 400, but there didn't seem to be quite the frenetic place changing of last week.
The faster boats reeled in the Aero 7 on lap 4, and the Phantom took the gun from Gareth's Aero 9, but Charlie held off the rest of the chasing pack.
So results. Gareth just won on handicap from Charlie, Richard Barker took 3rd, Kevin 4th from Mike Curtis in 5th. Paul Playle took 6th and John Oldham 7th. 3rd to 7th will move up in the final analysis. Yes, it was a bit of a singlehanders course. Well, maybe a lot of a singlehanders course: I would have loved it in the Canoe!
Series wise, well, the multiple boat habit is making it difficult to work out. All you can say is that its anyone's game. Gareth took his first win, and moves up to 3rd, even with the other boats I think. Mikes' really a 4th brings him somewhat closer to Paul, who still leads.
Mike Jones still a way clear in the personal handicap.