We nearly didn't get this one in (Wednesday Series Week 5)

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Well, we nearly didn't get a race in this week... Driving to the club I really thought it was going to be no race, and I guess from the turnout plenty of others thought much the same and didn't bother. Walked up the steps though and there was some wind on the water the far side, but a desperately wide calm patch at the windward bank where we were. Still not quite sure why I rigged the boat to be honest.

Anyway, when we all launched the wind had really switched off, and it was over ten minutes  before we reached the far side, which of course was where the start was, near mark 7.

Tip one for duty teams - if the wind has switched off that badly, why not ask if the sailors would like a tow to get them out to the start on time. Spending fifteen minutes getting to the start line only to be five minutes late for the start is no-one's idea of fun...

So the course. It was a long course for a Wednesday, even more so for an evening with very little wind.

It was, well, to be honest in those conditions no-on expects a perfect course, and the wind was to vary a fair it over the course of the race, but it was kind of longish beat, sometimes very one sided up to 9, under the clubhouse, and starboard rounding, down to X which was moderately near the lee bank, I think nearish to 6, another beat come fetch up to 1, broadish reach to 5, and beamish reach back to 7. You're just at the mercy of what the wind decides to do in those conditions.

Anyway, I got down to the line just in time to round the CB within a few seconds of the gun, and headed very slowly up the beat. Two minutes later a bit of wind came in, and so did the fast boats, so we really didn't have much of a lead. I don't know there's much to note about the race really, there was the odd patch of breeze, but to a fair extent it was a driftathon mixed with bands of wind that could open - or close - some big gaps. 

To be honest I was surprised not to be finished at 7 on lap one, which might have been a good call, if maybe a bit early, but there was no commiteee boat there. There was, however, the committee boat at the end of the first beat, which rather suprised me. I was even more suprised when they finished the girls in the Feva, because I was wondering how they were going to average lap the race.

Anyway, the second lap was a bit better than the first one, but not much, and we drifted in after between 45 minutes and an hours racing. I don't think I can think of another sport where a lap that on another day might take you 10 minutes can take 30! I remember thinking that Gareth was awfully close to the RS400 on the water, annd so it proved, as he took yet another win. Andy Barnett took 2nd in his RS200, and Mike Curtis 3rd in his RS400, all from the fast start, and a couple of corrected minutes ahead of the first boat from the first start, Evan Cairns in a Solo. John Magrath (Laser) and Ben Russell (Solo) rounded out the top 6. The personal handicap top 6 was Andy B, Ben, Gareth,Andrew Jones (Solo), John and Mike. Full results are here

And how were they going to work out the Feva time? Well, now we come to 

Duty Team Tip Two: always start and finish from the same point, otherwise average lapping isn't going to work unless you do some very tricky stuff with timings at mark roundings on the first lap. 

I couldn't really think of a sensible and fair way to work out Ching's result with the Feva, so we held an on line redress hearing today and awarded them average points.

So, not a sparkling evening's sailing. Off the water, however, Yin delivered us Coq au Vin, and very good it was too.