Well, Mid October is supposed to be Autumn, but it seemed a bit more serious than that when I carried the gear out to the van to be greeted with a heavy frost... There was also depressingly little activity in the trees arund the house (wind wise that is: the sparrows seemed lively enough).
Arriving at the club it still seemed to be rather depressingly still... There seemed to be some chance of a bit of breeze though, and it did seem warmer than Epsom. Without much help from the wind the RC set a rather unusual course... I suppose you could descrive it as a double V: picture three marks in a V shape with about a 45 dgree angle at the bottom. Now position a fourth mark within the V a way up from the base, and a course that goes up one side of the V, down to the inner mark, back up to the other upper corner of the V, and back down to the start... Clear? probably not. Anyway, it seemed a somewhat eccentric course to set, but not nearly as eccentric as the wind variation during the course of the race, and in the end we seemed to get a good bit of all the usual wind directions, so it worked out fine... the wind cheered up a bit too, and might have been approaching force 2 at times. Ask me what wind directions we had on which legs, however and you''re out of luck!
The RS200s, in prep for their winter events, had a private (well almost private: no names although you can work it out from the results) start, and Carl Mayhew and Julie Harrison took an early lead and maintained it, with the help of the sorts of private gusts which always seem to turn up for the best sailors:-) Peter and James Curtis took an early lead from the fast handicap start, and were rarely headed in their class, and eventually overtook the RS200s. Who was doing well and who wasn''t amongst the Lasers was distinctly tricky to work out due to eccentric starting:-). Also notably doing well were Solos as you''d expect in the light conditions. Gareth Griffiths in particular going very well, and Ian Hamilton in his Xenon also seemed well placed at times. There were planty of snakes and ladders about for the unwary though, and plenty of gusts to compress the fleet on legs that happened to be downwind at the time...
So, results... Here you are.
Gareth Griffiths won on scratch scoring, for rather less than the first time, and Ian Hamilton won on the personal handicaps, again not for the first time. They are the respective series winners, both counting 4 wins. Difficult to beat that in a seven race series! You have to give lots of credit for the way Ian and crew have worked on the Xenon: I think they are effectively sailing at band 3 level now so that''s a tremendous piece of work. Lets see if they can carry on improving at the same rate!
The top 6 in the main handicap is rounded out by Peter Curtis, Rob Pettit, Mike Storey, Brian Greenaway and Paul Playle. Paul is another who''s been showing distinct imprvement through the season to the extent that he''s now regularly at the front end of the Solos. The rest of the top 6 in the personnal handicap (excluding those ineleigible for prizes, is John Smith, Paul Playle, Tony Butler, myself and Brian Greenaway.