Week Six Wednesday Series

Well, its sure looking as if its going to be a light one this year...Tonight was perhaps the lightest wind so far, bordering on unsailable at times, depending on what sort of boat you were in... I reckon if Thames Water had been pumping water in and out of the reservoir then getting the "tide" right would have been a race winning strategy... On the other hand, if you wanted to sit outside with a glass of wine or something then it was a glorious evening, and we lost a competitor or two who went and did just that faced with the prospect of racing in it...

The best wind of the evening was actually about (late) start time, the start having been delayed to reset the course into what I call a "Bruce Banks" course because it matches their logo - beat, port rounding, broad reach on starboard gybe, port rounding to shy (90 degree) reach, starboard rounding, broad reach to the start again.

The right start was always going to be starboard tack at the port end, which had the committee boat. This was nearly a considerable challenge for Gareth Griffiths at the first start, as he found himself rapidly approaching the committee boat and running out of line... According to the RO he was one inch behind the line and no further clear of the CB bow...

The Solos showed early in their fleet, although Malcolm Nash in a club Enterprise was well placed up the beat. The Lasers were having a fairly good battle - well, more of a light skirmish really in the circumstances - whilst the RS400 of Mike Curtis was easily clear of the rest of the fast fleet very early on, having spotted the right place to span the light patch between two patches of "breeze". From there on the race really just got slower and slower. The wind was patchy of course, but never really seemed to have much strength in any of the gusts, and boats tended to separate rather than be brought together - with the notable exception of the Solos of Paul Playle and Tom Wilson, who were so close they were practically sharing a room for much of the race... All 3 reaches were good for a kite, but the wind was really too light for the lighter canvassed boats... Particularly suffering were Nicolas Houchois in a Topper, and Alicia Cox in a Laser Radial. Just to add insult to injury poor Alicia was sent round for a second lap with the full rig Lasers, at which point the wind had dropped so much the boat was hardly moving.

Anyway results.

Hands up anyone who''s suprised that Gareth Griffiths won in his Solo? No-one? Mike Curtis was only about 30 seconds behind in his RS400 though, pretty good in the conditions even though, given just a tad more breeze, the course would have been very RS friendly. Third and 4th were the almost inseparable Wilson and Playle, Paul just managing to get the gun. Rob Sumner took 5th in his Laser, and Dickon Maclean, qite a rare guest these days, took 6th in an RS200. In the series its now very tight between Carl Mayhew, Gareth and Mike Cutris.

In the personal handicap Paul Playle won again and is jointly leading the series with Alisdair MacLean. Speaking of joints Alisdair was on the bank tonight with a freshly operated on knee: best wishes for a swift recovery from all of us I''m sure. Graham and the Enterprise were second, Tom Wilson third, Gareth 4th, Mike Curtis 5th and Xlare James, currently third in the series, 6th. The favourites are starting to appear in the two series: take a look...