Wednesday 29th July

Windy again. Not quite champagne sailing, being overcast and with occasional drizzle come rain, but the worst of it did hold off until pretty much everyone was derigged and sat down with a pint and a cooked supper:-) It was Force 5ish early on, dropped some, shifted, built again, shifted some more, dropped again, tending to tail off as the evening (such as it was this late in the season) progressed. This late in the season. That''s a depressing thought isn''t it...

Anyway, its tricky to accurately describe the course due to the aforementioned shifts but it went roughly beat, probably a run, probably a beat, some sort of reach and then a gybe and a short reach back to the start line... Is that clear? If not, sorry! Not the most complex of courses, but it was quite good enough to confuse Carl Mayhew and our Commodore, in Carl''s RS400, who managed to get lost on the first lap and sail to the wrong mark. Lost on an oval reservoir in the middle of Surrey is quite a feat really, although I shouldn''t mock, goodness knows its happened to me often enough when I''ve forgotten to memorise the course board!

Maybe not the most eventful of races... One Laser sailor described it as being a race that as soon as you got the boat set up for breeze it went light, and as soon as you reset the boat for the light stuff the breeze came in again. How do you describe that? Irritating maybe? There certainly wasn''t as much falling over as you might expect in those conditions, even though Gareth Griffiths had a good go after unearthing an old and very flexible tiller extension from the depths of his garage to replace the one where the UJ broke the other week... The flex was too much for the Solo gybe, and his last gybe at the last mark nearly went definitively wrong with the plastic conduit comprising the tiller almost bending double. There''s no excuse for using conduit nowadays mate, not with the fishing tackle Shop in Surbiton doing a 1.8 metre landing net handle for about twelve quid. One trapeze/wing or two conventional sized tiller extensions in one of those:-).

Somewhat dischuffed were some of the fast fleet, being sent round for an extra lap in what seemed to be a dying wind. These things do tend to balance out over a series, most everyone gets an odd half lap or so in something unenviable, but its even less welcome when the lack of wind is seasoned with added drizzle... Anyway, results...
It was pretty close, as you''ll see if you look at the race times. Kevin Pearson (Laser) won by a decent margin, but the next few were very tight on time. Gareth Griffiths took second with the flexibly steered Solo, Mike Curtis (RS400) 3rd and 4th was also an RS400, Carl Mayhew''s with the series points allocated to Rob which is why the results say Laser... 5th was John Smith in a Laser, one corrected second ahead of Fiona Fardon''s RS200. In the personal handicap the top six were Nick Marley, Topaz Uno, Grahame Stevens, Solo, Fiona Fardon, RS 200, John Smith, Laser, Dave Baldwin, Laser and P Hughes, Laser.

Well series... The game is afoot, you might say, and with two races to go and only one discard to kick in there are still three folk with a mathematical chance of winning, although sadly Peter Curtis'' chance is liable to stay mathematical as a change of job has precluded him from reaching the startline for the last few races. Realistically then its between Mike Curtis and Gareth Griffiths. Their "banked" results stand them at 14.1 points for Gareth, and 15.5 for Mike. Gareth''s 8 best results are 3 wins, 3 seconds, a third and an average points for his OOD evening, currently standing at 2.1. Mike''s are 3 wins, 3 seconds, a third and average points standing at 3.5. So for both anything below a third place in the remaining races will count for nothing, and average points are pretty much certain to remain in Gareth''s favour... The permutations are almost endless...

 

The personal handicap is even closer. So close that any of the top six or seven are still in contention for the prize, and the permutations are such that I don''t propose to say anything other than that Messrs Fardon, Scott, Smith, Phillips, Marley and Cairns had better get out there and sail as hard as they can on the next two Wednesdays...