Not perhaps the most inspiring of evenings, light winds, dull, overcast. Then rain coming in at rigging time, although the rain did at least bring in a bit more wind. A good force 1 would be my estimate. Course planned was a simple quadrilateral, well short of the windless windward banks, but after the rain had gone through and it was time to start the sequence it was clear on the committee boat that the wind had gonr round enough to make a nonsense of that. I *think* they elected to set a beat/broad reach/shy reach triangle, but I was feeling a little crook so had stayed on the bank so I''m not entirely sure... A bit more boat swapping was going on: Mike Curtis had got his Laser out for the evening, Julie having, as seems to be the fashion amongst the ladies at the moment, one knee out of action...
Racing... well Graham Potter seemed to take up a good lead from the slow start, with Gareth Griffiths predictably not far away. There seemed to be a good old ding dong amongst the Lasers,with Kevin Pearson, Mike Curtis and Evan Cairns all involved. This had particular vigour in it, because Mike was 0.2 points ahead of Evan for third place before the race started, so Evan had to beat Mike and get a good enough result to discard an earlier result... There was a good Laser fleet numbers wise too, whereas the fast boats where somewhat depleted. Funny how that changes over the series...
Meanwhile Kirstie Johnson was cooking another of her excellent Thai Curries, intermingled with selling used sailboats, so I was roped into a little vegetable slicing and saw even less of the race...
Well results. Usual place. Well, good grief, Gareth won. That was enough to give him a clean sweep, counting only wins. With the generous discard allowance we have it would be technically possible to come second in the Wednesday series counting only wins, but the others were well scattered and Gareth took the series by a mile. Second went to Graham Potter, whose series position was compromised by the unlucky run of gear failures he''s had this season... Richard Barker''s Phantom took third, and Roy Poole an excellent 4th in his Solo. The Laser trio, Pearson, Curtis, Cairns, took 5th to 7th in that order, so Mike held on to third overall.
In the personal handicap Nick Marley''s Vareo won: I shouldn''t have thought it was Vareo weather, so that''s a good effort. Roy Poole took second, whilst Ian Hamilton''s third in the RS400 was enough to snatch the series win back from John Smith at the last gasp. Dave Baldwin was 4th Graham Potter took 5th and Mark Phillip rounded of the top 6 in a Solo.
Series wise... well congrats to the winners of course, but here''s some subtler credits... Lets look at the Handicap Bands and how people in those bands placed in the scratch series. To be top of your band in the scratch series is a worthwhile achievement.
Band 1: Paul Wright Anderson was the first series place in Band 1 and Mike Curtis 2nd
Band 2: Dave Nunn, then John Magrath
Band 3: Ian Hamilton, John Smith
Band 4: Jamie Scott, Tom Swithinbank
Band 5: Nick Marley (also beat all Band 4), Kirstie Johnson