Summer's here isn't it - well supposed to be... It was a very overcast and slightly chilly sort of day, but there was a reasonable racing breeze, and we were spared the very challenging conditions the Surrey Schools had had on Saturday.
This is, of course, the Anniversary Series report, and as I hope you know now this series has a staggered start this year wih the more expeienced starting two minutes before the less experienced.
When we came to set the course, there was a reasonable looking beat and a reasonable looking run available from an on-the-water inspection, so then it was a question of how to incorporate those into an interesting course. Some discussion ensued amongst the race team, but a simple quadrilateral seemed rather a waste, so what we elected to do was the first three legs of the quadrilateral, but then put in a short semi beat up from the leeward mark, and then a long shy reach right across the reservoir, and a short reach back to the start. So that made for a 180 degree gybe right in fromt of the clubhouse. Unfortunately (or not, depending on your point of view) the wind was never really strong enough to deliver the sort of capsize frenzy one might expect at such a mark rounding.
From the start the Curtis family were prominent, Peter sailing with Sophie Jones in the RS500 and James sailing with Harry Phelps in the 29er. They seemed to spend most of the day racing each other, with the 29er having the advantage when the wind piped up a bit and the 500 doing better in the lighter patches. Mike Storey in his EPS seemed to be snapping hard at the heels of John Oldham's Phantom, and Gareth Griffiths was well up amongst the Lasers, doubtless to their discomfort.
The long reach was interesting in that the wind was swinging enough for kites to pay on some laps - notably the first and last - but not others. I was anticipating seeing some of the two handers going way high of the rhumb line on a fast two sail reach before hoisting the kite, but it never happened. Oddly bunches of singlehanders defending their wind ended up far higher than the two handers ever did.
The race was probably as long as any we've run for a while, some boats even knocking up over 90 minutes sailing, but it seemed to be a good day so why not keep it running? Anyway, the results are here.
Top six with the standard handicaps were Peter Curtis/Sophie Jones (Rs 500), Gareth Griffiths (Solo), Mike Storey (Laser Eps), John Oldham (Phantom), Chris Smith (Streaker) and Clare James (RS 200). Apologies, I didn't get the name of Clare's forward hand.
In the personal handicap the top places were James Curtis (29Er), Jonathan Braidley (Laser), Ben Russell (Solo), John Oldham (Phantom), Clare James (RS 200) and Caroline Baldwin (Byte CII).
Overall, after only three races trends are probably not that meaningful. Technically it should still only be one race to count, but I've scored it with two. Gareth Griffiths leads the standard handicap from John Oldham, and David Lawton the personal handicap, also from John Oldham!