Leave or Stay? (Weds 22nd June)

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It was certainly the sort of evening's racing when it was awfully tempting to leave the racecourse early. There'd been a nice breeze most of the day, but it dogged out at race time, which was a shame because the rain free warmth made a pleasant change from much recent weather.

Course was a sort of L shape, but really a modified P course. beat, starboard close reach, broader port reach back to the X mark located near the windward mark, run back to the start. One of the little glitches that can strike race managers was evident. The course was drawn on the board with the X mark to the right of the straight line between the last mark and the first mark, and so the course was marked up with the last mark to starboard, which would be good practice. However in practice X was laid to the left of the rhumb line, which on the whole was a better place for it, but meant that the last mark really should have been a port rounding.

This isn't a significant problem in our racing, because in our sailing instructions all marks are defined as rounding marks. However if that definition wasn't active people could have sailed direct from X to the windward mark, missing out the leeward mark completely leaving it to starboard 400 yards away! The only real issue in our racing is that boats are potetntially crossing close to the mark, but when one of the leags is a beat, as was intended, that's not a great issue either.

Coming up to the first start the wind dropped spectacularly. This left many of the starters going very slowly near the line. It didn't, I notice, seem to faze Kevin Pearson, who seemed to avoid all potential trials and tribulations to arrive at the windward mark before I'd got halfway up the leg. Good turnout too, second best of the year so far. I reckon several were probably convalescing from the dreaded exam fever, which means it was a shame the clerk of weather dealt out wind that was unsuitable for Fevas, 29ers and Toppers, but hopefully you worked some tension off at least. Maybe that was responsible for the suprisingly large number of hails of 'protest' I heard?..

Speaking of convalescing, Mike Curtis had taken advantage of the gentle conditions to get out in a boat again, and was soon in the lead, but not, I fear, as far grom the dreaded Griffiths chocolate bar as he would have liked. As you'd expect the leading Solos were reasonably well placed too. After the first lap the wind went round enough to largely convert the course into that irritating beast, the series of fetches with shifts that sometimes head you off the mark and make you put a tack in at the last minute. Somehow it wasn't nearly as bad as it sounds though, and for some reason I rather enjoyed drifting round dripping sweat froma wetsuit that was definitely de trop. 

So, here are the results

The dropping wind meant we all tailed in from the race rather slowly, which was a shame as there was a well set out table and curry dinner waiting for us. The alternative was to sit outside in the cool of the evening and watch the light show as lightning passed over Cobham and Epsom.