Foolish of me really. I commented at the weekend more than once that this has been the windiest summer I can remember. So of course I arrived at the club tonight to be greeted by flat calm. It was even drizzling when I walked out of the office, but thankfully there was no return of that later on.
Fortunately towards the end of rigging time a bearable sort of F1 breeze was drifting across the reservoir, and racing started in respectable enough conditions with a quadrilateral course. For the first time ever I was in the slow start, as I''ve acquired a 40 odd year old International Moth, partly as a vintage event boat for the CVRDA events in the area, and partly because 6 months without sailing has left me not remotely capable of handling the Canoe.
The line was somewhat port biased, and Mike & Sophie Storey (N12) timed things immaculately starting on starboard at the pin: I really don't know how they avoided running out of line and time, but they did. Graham Potter (Albacore) was pretty well placed towards the pin too. I didn't see how the Lasers got on, but with the wind getting lighter both they and the fast boats had got worryingly close to the middle of the slow fleet before most of us had reached the windward mark. However Mike/Sophie and Graham had slid round the windward mark in the last of the wind and got away down the reach, and that was pretty much the last the rest of us saw of them other than as dots in the distance. They finished the first lap in about 30 minutes or something, and there was no real choice but to send them (and thus the rest of us) round for another lap, even though when the main body went through the wind was distinctly sickly.
At this stage Graham's Albacore seemed to build up an enormous lead on the Twelve. Also doing reasonably were Paul Wright-Anderson in his Roosterised Laser, and Maggie Futcher in her Byte. Paul was pretty much racing level with Mike Curtis' RS400. The rest of us... Well, on the first reach of the second lap the wind pretty much switched off completely. Dave Nunn, seated on the foredeck of his RS600, received a little gentle heckling betting him he could stand up and sail the boat from there. He responded in fine style - not standing up, but actually doing a headstand on the foredeck of the boat against the mast. I really wouldn't have believed it possible. Excellent skills. No-one was prepared to try and top that, so we drifted along.
Around twenty to nine there was an outbreak of sound signals as the Twelve and the Albacore finished whilst most of the rest of us were still stuck on the second leg. The next finisher was thirteen minutes later! Those who could be bothered trickled over the line until around ten past, the second lap having taken twice as long as the already slow first...
Results: Well the Twelve had fought back and eroded enough of the Albacore's lead that he won on handicap. These were the first two. Paul W/A picked up third with the Rooster, and Maggie Futcher an extremely respectable 4th with her Byte. Provisionally my Moth just pipped Carl Mayhew's RS 200 for 5th.
In the personal handicap results were very similar: the frst two were the same, Paul Wright-Anderson was demoted to 5th putting Maggie and I at 3rd and 4th, and Ian Cleaver (RS200) got the 6th.
Series wise Gareth still leads, but only on the strength of better average points: both he and Mike Storey are counting three wins a second and a duty. Plenty of others are still in easy reach though. Ian and Claire still lead the Personal from Graham Potter.