It was quite breezy during the day, but there was a gentle Force 2 at rigging time, bright sunshine, it was reasonably warm: idyllic?
The first Wednesday of the year makes for a very short evening, so there was a simple course. There was a good deal of east in the wind so a beat up to the middle to X, well clear of the windward bank was well advised. Then a long reach back, another beat, and another long reach to the start, subject to wind changes...
This year we have two starts, the Lasers in with Solos etc and the Lasers got quickly into clear air with Kevin Pearson soon prominent at the front.
When the wind went round some for lap two X, the first windward mark, somehow found itself in a calm patch, and there was a very weary approach to the mark for the fleet. I understand that the RC were getting rather concerned about the fleet's ability to get round to the finish in time at this point. However the wind did fill in again reasonably, and everyone did get derigged before dark.
By the middle of the second beat of lap two the EPS and 300 were well into the Laser/Solo pack, and it was noticeable that the leading Solos were not that far behind the leading Lasers. However the handicap gap between Laser and Solo is not what it was five years ago, and the leading Solos - also not what they were five years ago! - need to be a lot closer than they did.
The provisional results are here. I'm classing them as provisional because I thought I heard that the RC thought Kevin Pearson had rounded a mark incorrectly, and under our SIs it is permitted to DSQ without a hearing for a failure to sail the course, but nothing has got to me yet. Kevin won on the water, with Paul Playle and Evan Cairns 2nd and 3rd in Solos: Evan having swapped to a Solo just in time for the major handicap changes! Rounding out the top six were Cj Cavallari - a good effort in an RS200 in the conditions I thought, Andy Barnett (Laser) and Roy Poole (Solo).
In the personal handicap the top six were Mike Jones/Uta Griesenbach (Vision), Ian Peace (Solo), James Vineer (Laser and provisional as we haven't seen enough of him to allocate a personal handicap band confidently yet), Nigel Cope (Laser), Roy Poole (Solo) and Clare James/Lucy Gibson. Sadly it was Lucy's last race as a local sailor since she's moving house, but she plans to come back for special events.