With a forecast of 30+ kn gusts it was a brave few who set sail on Easter Sunday - but before we get to the sailing a HUGE thank-you to the Scotts who stepped in to provide a duty team - I think somehow this date got missed because originally it was down as working party before we realised it was Easter. With a small fleet and extreme conditions they rigged two safety boats with a shore start for the pursuit races.
Undeterred eight boats launched - 3 RS200's, 2 Aero 7's, 1 Solo, 1 Streaker and one Laser 4.7.
The tone for the day was set on the first start as Jo Dunn had a brief dip as he tried to power up over the line. Undeterred he quickly righted and set off followed a few minutes later by the Solo and Streaker. Finally the two Aeros started one minute ahead of the 200's - with Peter Curtis helming for Uta as his 500 crew hadn't turned up.
Gareth drove off the line away from Paul W-A in a blustery force 4-5. After a couple of laps an ominous cloud was seen to the West - would it miss us or would we be deluged. Lightening was spotted and the saftey boat warned the fleet. Some retired - some had already been swimming... For a while it looked as if the squall would miss but the wind swung through 90 degrees and the horizontal hail began. Gareth was over near mark 4 and couldn't see the clubhouse - the water was just spray - probably 40 kn squall. Peter C kept going and overtook Gareth who stopped for a couple of minutes to let the squall pass. Even Peter bailed out of the gybe dropping the kite and wearing round. Gareth quickly got going again in hot pursuit of the 200 closing the gap on beat and two sail reach to be right on the 200's tail at the start of the beat. A couple of good shifts and the Aero slipped past again to hold the lead to the finish. Andy Barnett and Jo Lloyd kept going for a well deserved third. Either the squall or the lightning had persuaded the sensible sailors to retire.
A quick cuppa and recovery on the cubhouse with some people needing to get home for a Sunday lunch... so the second race had just Gareth, Andy B ad Peter now crewed by Nancy in the 500. Not the easiest day for a first crew in the 500 especially when on the light crew side of ideal crew weight. despite another squall or two the 500 dropping it downwind the three intrepid sailors all completed the course with Gareth completing the sweep ahead of Andy who takes second on countback.