Another great evening for a sail, another nightmare for the RO. The wind decided to shift from w to nw soon after we launched. RO made a quick adjustment from 87X641 to 98X642. With the wind still clocking further N that gave a long beat mostly on starboard, fine reach, run, fine reach, run, fetch. Big danger of being somewhat processional, but the wind had a few surprises in it. One solo decided to take a quick bath before the start, and the capricious shifts/gusts between 9 and 8 saw a laser fold in to windward. (I’m told he had the main cleated while altering something else, got a gust, started to hike and the main uncleated.)
The first start with 14 boats in the slow fleet was very starboard end biased and there was a lot of jostling for position with a couple of people being neatly shut out at the committee boat end and some desperate wriggling by others. However despite this all got away cleanly with Kevin Pearson soon pulling clear in the slow fleet. By comparison the fast start with only 7 boats was quite tame although there were a few minor altercations about just how much a leeward boat can push a windward boat. (The answer is right up to head to wind – no proper course before the start) Off the line Gareth had the committee end with a couple of RS200’s hitting the line fast a shade down the line and Mike Curtis tucked in on Gareth’s transom. Mike tacked off and soon had the big RS400 rig powering into the fast lead. Gareth and the leading RS200’s were swapping places on the shifts. On the downwind legs the Aero started to show its speed pulling clear of the 200’s and passing most of the lasers. In the slow fleet Kevin P was still well clear of Ben Jones though the solos of Evan and Paul also looked well placed. By the windward mark on lap 2 the 400 and Aero had pulled through all the slow fleet and were starting to pull away. After three laps they had a good lead over the leading laser – enough that the RO sent them round again. Fortunately the wind held reasonably although there were a few calmer spots starting to develop.
Full results in the usual place – Gareth took the standard race to move up to second overall. Kevin was second with series leader Paul Playle down in 6th. Mike C with a 5th drops to 3rd overall. The series is still wide open – the average point (OOD scores) of the first three overall are 3.4, 3.4, 3.3 – all still to play for.
In the personal race Chris Smith in the Streaker took the honours from Jamie Scott and Dave Baldwin with series leader Mike Jones 4th.