Well, some breeze this week. I wouldn''t want to deceive you into thinking there was a lot of breeze: I don''t reckon it ever topped the lower half of F2, but better than it has been so far. The desired wind, hhowever, had turned up on Tuesday night, where it made life a little more exciting than might have been preferred for the trainees on our Adults Trysail Training night.
Rob Sumner set an unusual and interesting looking course. There was a long beat up the side of the reservoir, an even longer broad reach come semi run back down again, and then a smallish quadrilateral finishing in a shy reach back to the start. That''s what he set. Its not what we got: the wind, which had been making up its mind between E and SE, decided to go NE instead and converted Rob''s carefully planned course into a set of fetches and reaches, and in particular three very long spinnaker reaches, which in the conditions gave a pretty strong bias towards the RS two handers. The start/first leg was a fetch, which meant a predictable sort of cram at the upwind end of the line and some penalty turns to be done... There''s no good solution in these circumstances: the twenty minutes that abandoning the start, resetting the course and communicating the change would take is surely unacceptable in an evening race, even if you could be sure the wind would''t go back again in ten minutes time, and to me at least the shift to the north was a big suprise. The original course would, I suspect, have been a lot of fun to race.
Well, from the fast class start Mike Curtis took an early lead and shot off into the distance rapidly catching the earlier classes who had suffered a considerable lull for their first few minutes. As I remember only Graham Potter in his Albacore had really opened up a lead from the earlier start: the rest were all very close. He was pursued by your editor, and then a big pack of almost anything you care to mention... I was concentrating a bit, and saw virtually nothing of the other competitors, so that''s about it on the report front, although I did hear of other bumps and turns... Quite a few were, I think, caught out by starboard mark roundings and the need to be clear of the boat behind before passing head to wind. Judging by the finish times it looks as if the big group never really split up and most were racing boat for boat all the way round the course.
Results here... Mike Curtis won by a generous margin in his 400, Carl Mayhew took second and Fiona Fardon third, both in RS200s. Graham Potter took 4th, and Tom Wilson 5th in a Solo. 6th went, rather to his delight, to your scribe''s Canoe, although goodness knows if I can''t do well on a course like that, even in rather light wind for the Canoe, well... Thereafter take a look at the corrected times: I reckon less than 45secs between 7th and 14th, with two corrected time dead heats... No wonder there was more than a little mark rounding vocalisation...
The Personal Handicap race went to Alasdair Maclean. 2nd the Canoe, and 3rd Clare James. Alasdair and Clare were both in RS200s tonight. 4th was Dave Baldwin (Laser), 5th Fiona Fardon and 6th Mike Curtis.