Last Wednesday In June

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The 29th to be precise, so beyond midsummer, and beyond the half way point in the series. Who knows where the time goes?


A north westerly wind at rigging time, a pleasant if lightish breeze, but lots of big clouds about and every prospect of an evening full of shifts and gusts... It looked remarkably as if it was going to be a Solo night to me at that stage... Course set was a simple quadrilateral, beat, shy reach under the windward bank, roughly a run, depending on wind direction at the time, and broad reach back to the start.

 

As the start sequences got under way it was apparent that the wind really was wandering around: I''m sure all the starts had completely different line bias... The first two got away cleanly, but the fast class start was a little more interesting... It was fairly light on numbers, but made up for it with action... the majority were going for a mid line start, but I think the wind freed and a gaggle found themselves heading for the pin rather faster and tus earlier than they would have liked... More or less alongside each other were Mike Curtis (RS400) and Paul Wright Anderson (Rooster 8.1), with Paul to windward and the wrong side of the line, and Mike obviously having no intention of letting him back... Well that was one thing, but the end of the line was approaching faster than the clock was ticking, and Mike managed to be OCS too... They looped back quickly and took transoms, and as seems to happen quite often, found a nice shift on the right hand side together with clear air and were quickly back in contention... So much so in fact that Mike actually rounded the windward mark first,helped by one or two boats overstanding the mark quite a bit coming in from the left. How I managed to decide I wanted to sail to mark 8 with 9 written very large on my forearm is one of life''s mysteries...

 

Mike got some nice gusts downwind on the first laps, and was quickly up with the Lasers and Solos, although the rest of us were rather closer to each other. Clouds were approaching, and there was a very black and obviously raining cloud to windward. We never got the rain, but there was a lot of meteorology going on and the wind was tending to build during the race, indeed by the end it must have been well up to the top of F3... It was hard to pick out any particular boat during the race... I was concentrating on failing to catch Mike Curtis when the wind picked up to something Canoe friendly, and didn''t pay too much attention to the others, but Mike Storey (EPS) was a darn sight closer than I wanted for much of the race, as was Paul W-A, and both Gareth Griffiths (Solo) and Evan Cairns (Laser) seemed to take an awful long time to catch up to...

 

So results... Another close one: 23 seconds separated the top three. Gareth won by a whole two seconds from Mike Storey, with Evan Cairns 4th and Mike Curtis 5th, Mike only just over a minute behind Gareth. CJ Cavallari took 6th place is his vintage Solo... In the personal handicap some different names did well: Nick Marley (Vareo) won by a good minute, with Dave Baldwin (Laser) second from John Smith (Laser), myself 4th, Tom Swithinbank 5th in his Feva S, and Chris Smith (Solo) rounding out the top 6.

 

Series wise, its going to take a run of very good performances to beat Gareth Griffiths, and the next bunch are all very close indeed, which doesn''t help if one of you needs to get a run of wins... In the personal handicap Ian Hamilton also holds a handy lead, but with quite a bunch catching him...