Well, breeze most certainly on. A very light turnout suggested that many people had spotted that passing aerial canines were lacking in metal neckwear... We didn't have anyone in the club watching the anemometer during the race, but I'm told a 43 knot gust had been observed earlier.
Anyway some hardy souls rigged up and went sailing, whilst I simply rigged up the camera. Truth is it was a bit too dark, especially towards the end of the race, for my rather limited camera skills, and I have a fine collection of blurry dark and out of focus shots. Also, disappointingly, noone really did anything very spectacular in the falling over near the bank stakes until after the race when it was very dark and my camera batteries had given up the struggle. Still, there's a gallery of some of the least worst at the end. The normal phenomenum of the picture showing at least two wind forces less than the sailors were experiencing applies.
Two Solos and a National 12 were out for the Slow start. Evan Cairns was even on the line and going when the gun went. The only one all evening. Mike and Jo weren't far away in the National, but CJ in the other Solo, was. The fast start saw Gareth Griffiths, with a 7 size rig up on his Aero, and Ian and Douglas in their RS400. Technically Gareth ought to have been on the slow start as an Aero 7, but he claims he was sailing an Aero 9 reefed down, which is fair enough but awfully confusing. Especially to my automated results scoring.
Course was a straightforward triangle to keep things simple, with the gybe well up to windward to give plenty of room for recovery before the bank, which was a kind thought for the competitors, but a little disappointing to the camera. The Aero went for a swim on the first lap, and again on the third I think, but otherwise folk stayed disappointingly upright. The beat on lap two provided the biggest wind of all - there were plentiful foam streaks coming off the wave crests which normally means nearer 40 knots than 30. As I say though everyone was going upwind so real craziness was avoided. At this point CJ decided that enough was enough in a borrowed boat and sensibly headed for the bank, whilst the National snapped a lower on the gybe and also retired, grateful that the mast had survived.
At lap three, no more than 25 minutes or so into the race, we decided that probably enough was enough and gave the three survivors an S flag. Places were as they were on the water. Evan had sailed round staying relatively cool and calm, and picked up first in both Standard and personal handicaps, which, with only one race counting out of three, also puts him first in both series! Douglas and Ian kept the kite in the bag and took second place, whilst Gareth's two swims secured third. Ian and Douglas made up for their sane race with a spectacular falling in just off the jetty, but sadly I'd put the camera down by then.
So, for what they are worth, here are some photos...