Anniversary Series August

You know, sometimes its trickier to write about a race you really enjoyed than one you didn't. A good racem, you're focussed on the immediate, maybe your eyes aren't looking any further than the wind and the immediate tactical and strageic issues, and when that lap is over it goes. Well, today was a really enjoyable race, so you'd better cross your fingers I can remember enough to be worth writing about...

Well, it was a nice warm morning, and a good selection of boats about, especially for August. Especially pleasing to see a good number of our less antique sailors... There was a reasonable racing breeze, I guess top of Force 2 verging on 3, with enough variation to make things interesting, but not enough to be irritating and troublesome. Course, well, I have to remember this. There was a beat, then a shortish shyish reach, and then another shortish leg - a deep reach or run - into the middle of the lake. There was then another beat back up, and a tricky one this often was too, followed by a long reach across the lake and a broad reach more than a run back to the start. 

As regular readers (if any) will know we're running gold and silver fleets with separate starts for the Anniversary race this year, with the first start containing all the more experienced sailors and being fairly crowded, and the second start being intended as a less pressured affair for the less experienced racer. Well, I took the conservative route of starting on port and taking transoms at the start, finding a lucky gap so I didn't have to start after everyone, and Peter (new RS300 out) Curtis and I crossed tacks a couple of times up the first beat and I got to the top mark first. On the run, however, I was to discover that the new RS300 sail and the larger sail size seem to me to make the boat an appreciably more potent weapon downhill than it was before, and I couldn't stay ahead... The two of us, in the fastest boats, sailed out on our own, and behind us there seemed to be a particularily dense pack. There seemed to be a radial leading the bunch at the windwad as I recall, and looking at the results I'm presuming that was Alistair Smith embarrassing the full rigs... 

I also recall hearing a lot of noise at a subsequent mark rounding, and if I recognised the voices across the water correctly it was probably that well know legal firm of Smith, Smith and Griffiths, frequent participants in such affairs... I sailed a shocking second lap and lost touch with Peter C, and almost regained touch with the main pack when I cunningly explored a private lull, but unfortunately (for the report) managed to regain a bit of space and start sailing the boat a bit better on the last lap. It seemed to be an awful long time after the first gun, Peter's, before the pack crossed the line. Indeed Peter was on shore and walking back for a cup of coffee... 

So results. Well, in the scratch handicap Peter won by a mile - well a good four minutes on corrected time anyway. Alistair Smith took an excellent second place in a Radial, with Gareth Griffiths 3rd, Smith (père) 4th in the Streaker, Smith (no relation) 5th and Roy Poole 6th in a Solo. I usually just do the top 6, but Alex Storey's impressive 7th, (considering how few races he's done in a Laser Radial to date) also deserves a mention. With the personal handicaps I had the task of allocating a handicap for Alex. Clearly he doesn't get a band 5: apart from anything else he's spent enough time at the business end of a competitive 12 for that, but on the other hand band 3 seems far too aggressive, so he got allocated band 4, which also gave him the race win. 2nd was Ed Chamberlain, also in a Radial, 3rd the improving Tony Sproat (Solo), 4th Alistair Smith, 5th Ian Peace in a Solo and 6th Nigel Thomson. Three Radials and all fairly new sailors in one way or another: its really good to see that.

And overall places? 5 races gone, two to count. Peter Curtis now leads the series from Gareth griffiths, with John Oldham 3rd, Chris Smith 4th, Malcolm Barnes 5th and Mike Storey 6th. Dave lawton leads the personal handicap results from John Oldham, Caroline Baldwin, Dave Baldwin, James Curtis and David Clark.

I usually stop don't bother to report the rest of the day's sailing for this report, but we had a couple more good races in nice breeze, and I especially enjoyed the start and first couple of legs of the first back to back, which was personally one to treasure...