Can you believe it - this was the last but one Wednesday race of the season... Another year gone, another year older... Moan, sigh, depression... I was racing up in Scotland last week, and sunset was an hour later, so presumably they get longer evening series. Mind you I don't think I'd like the hour earlier sunsets in the winter...
Anyway, last night. Very quiet on arrival, enough breeze to sail but not much more. It was one of those race officer's nightmare breezes for course setting though: they set a course at 18:45, and reset it at 19:00 after the wind went round.Then we all trooped out there and the wind came in quite reasonably and clocked round a lot more, so that was their third course of the evening... Even then it continued to go round and made the course somewhat one sided towards the end of the race... Well, what do you do? Anyway, it was a quadrilateral, and in general the first reach tended to being usable with kites, the run tended to go one sided, and the second reach tended to be a bit shy for kites.
The slow fleet, somewhat depleted and missing all its major 'stars' started off first, followed by a stronger Laser fleet and then the fast boats. By the windward mark all the classes seemed to be bunched together, so presumably the Solos had got quiet wind/unlucky wind direction for their beat. Having carelessly tapped the RC boat on the start I started off with a penalty, and my race really went downhill from there so I'm not that up on the fine detail...
Mike Curtis was sailing with son Harry, about the lightest practical crew in an RS400, which in the conditions did him no harm at all, and he took the lead early on, chased by Dave Nunn, who could never quite catch him with his RS600. Kevin Pearson built quite a lead up in the Lasers, with Evan Cairns and John Magrath somewhat closer behind. Looking very competitive indeed were Liz Carrel and Harry Phelps in an RS200, often close up to Mike Storey's Laser EPS, itself not badly placed.
When the sums were finally done correctly, Mike C took the race by a whole 2 corrected seconds from Liz. Mike Storey was 3rd, Kevin 4th, Dave Nunn 5th and Evan 6th. In the Personal handicap Liz won by a comfortable minute and a half from Mike, then Dave, Mike S Evan, and John Magrath rounding off the top 6.
So series placings. Gareth has only to avoid a DND to win the standard handicap series. Second place is still theoretically just open I think, as Richard Barker could pip Mike Curtis if he can sail and win next week. 4th and onwards places are still very much up for grabs.
In the personal handicap series Nigel Cope wins if he sails and gets in the top ten, maybe even lower depending on other results. As he's so far won every race he's sailed it would be a terrible shame if he can't get the race in (or for that matter do race duty!). Otherwise it is very much up for grabs between Evan Cairns and Mike Curtis. Ben Jones is another one who will hurtle up the list if he sails and does well, but I don't think he can beat Evan.
Supper was a shepherds by from team Phelps, it was warm, there were drinks in the bar, it was a good evening! Next week I think one of Kirsty's Thai curries is planned, and I believe a Race Officer is still required for the duty team.