Force 4/5 at rigging time, although it tended to drop over the evening to about F3 at the end of the race. With only one name signed up for the duty team (here''s a little reminder for Messrs Matt Stiles, Paul Armitage, Ken Duffel, Stuart Gurney and Peter Hughes to sign up for their evening in the race box) Chris Smith and I left our boats on the bank. I had what would I hope would have been a decent course set when to my horror, at 7pm the wind went right round to west from South West, then swung back again... Such a wind change would make a nonsense of my picked course, so I hastily set something that might cope with such a radical wind change. Naturally the wind then stayed vaguely static in direction and the original course might have done. Anyway what was on offer was a medium sized course of beat, broad reach, run, shy reach, with the run definitely one sided most of the time.
I don''t know what else was on offer tonight, but it was, I think, the worst turnout of the series. And it looked like a great evening to be out there to me. Shame. The Lasers had the best turnout, and they also had the most dramatic stay, with John Reay getting the best of things at the pin end. All were close though, and I think the first three were overlapped at the third mark turning up from the run to the shy reach. A couple of minutes later Mike Curtis, leading the fast start fleet, turned round the mark."you''re being a bit optimistic" I thought, as they didn''t take the kite down. "You''re being very optimistic" I thought, as they failed to keep up to the rhumb line. "Shall I run for it now" I thought as they rapidly approached the jetty I was standing on, but at that point they ditched the kite and two sail reached up to the mark. The Laser seemed to be having a good old fight right through the race in fact, most notably Kevin Pearson and Evan Cairns, who I think were overlapped at the *last* mark and finished seconds and feet apart.
Mike Curtis won by about 10 seconds on handicap from John Reay, with Mike Storey 3rd in the EPS, then Lasers Pearson and Cairns, and Graham Potter rounding out the top six in his Albacore.