Solo Open 10 July 2010

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Saturday July 10 dawned bright and hot but with a promise from the met office of a gusty SW. The Race Office set a trapezoid course for the 19 Solos with a beat, a beam reach, run and shy reach – something of everything. Of course the wind gods knew different, the beam reach on the windward edge of the reservoir saw some big shifts and the shy reach was sometimes a second beat. With lots of pretty cumulus clouds building in the hot humid weather the wind was shifting and varying from generally about force two to a brief calm and gusts that were a lot stronger. Picking the right route through the gusts and shifts was critical.

Race 1 saw defending champion Dan Goodman pull well clear of the fleet with Richard Willets also putting clear water between himself and the chasing pack. Dan continued to pull away while the pack fought hard for positions in the shifty wind. Richard was almost caught by the pack but then they suffered as the two flyers continued to sail away down the run, the next group of five boats was becalmed on the reach (which for them became a beat followed by a run followed by gybe, followed by – well nothing…. until they heard the sounds of boats almost planing behind them as a line of about ten boats came roaring up and swallowed them just before the next mark. Some words were heard discussing just who did and didn’t have water at that mark…Fortunately the race officer allowed one more lap and the wind stayed so the pack could sort itself out again. After a lot of place changing in the group Barry Wicks took third from Peter Witherington and Vanda Jowett.

Over lunch the wind seemed to have filled in a bit more but remained just as shifty. Always there and mostly force 2-3 but each cloud brought a different direction. Dan Goodman took the bullet again in race two taking the lead on the first lap from Vanda Jowett with the consistent Richard Willets working his way up to finish third.

After a quick turnaround race three started in similar conditions with Vanda getting a flyer up the first beat pulling out a clear lead from husband Jon whose second place in the last race gave him fourth overall from a three way tie.

Overall Dan Goodman retained the trophy with his impressive wins in the first two races, Vanda Jowett was second, Richard Willets third and Jon Jowett fourth. Gareth Griffiths retained the trophy for first home boat.

Many thanks for the Laser fleet for all their hard work making the day run so smoothly.