That was a pretty decent sailing morning, at least for the first race, with a bit of breeze about, a bit of sunshine, a bit of warmth in the air... Anyone might think spring was on its way. So off went this month's anniversary series, which as I hope regular readers remember features both standard and personal handicap results, plus a staggered start system where the more experienced sailors set off first, and the less experienced get what we hope is a less intimdating start line.
Firstly an apology: the more we checked over last month's results the more problematic they got, especially for the Laser sailors: in particular Joe Dunn, Matt Y and a third Laser sailor whose boat may have 861 in the sail number(!). In what was admittedly a strange race the RO seems to have got confused. If you'd like to email me using this form I'll explain more, but provisionally I have given you estimated points finishes.
Anyway, course for this one was vaguely what I call an unwrapped Olympic, with a couple of beats between different pairs of marks, a couple of reaches and a run - when the wind cooperated. Much of the time it didn't, and we had all sorts of wind directions. The second beat was up to X (our permanent movable mark if you see what I mean), and I hadn't actually spotted its location before the start, which is always a mistake of course. So as we headed down the second reach I was looking in all directions, and failed to find it. The course board had suggested it would be roughly in the middle of the reservoir, as it often is, but I couldn't spot it... So I rounded the mark and headed upwind, totally lost. A couple of tacks later I spotted it, right up towards the windward corner, which was a very appropriate place to put it, but not what I was expecting at all! The boat behind me, equally mystified, later told me he was following me because I looked so convinced about where I was going...
It was certainly an odd day for wind direction: there seemed to be a persistent wind benf half way down the run on the right, for instance, which freed you up for a while when you weren't expecting it, and then tightened up again. Still it was an interesting race, with plenty of variety.
On the last lap John Oldham, in a Phantom, found some wind on the right hand side of the second beat when everyone else was stuck in lulls, and made up a tremendous distance to actually finish first on the water. He won by nearly a minute and a half on handicap. Garthe Griffiths and Julie Harrison (Solo and RS200) tied for second, Chris Smith 4th with his Streaker, Roy Poole 5th and Mike Storey 6th. Full results are here.
John O also took the personal handicap from David Clark, David Lawton and Roy Poole (all Solos) wth my Canoe 5th and Dave Baldwin's Vareo 6th.