Start of Season Race and Watling Plate 1 – 18 April 2015
Race officers have been asked to provide a report for the website and in the tragic circumstances of last Sunday and the loss of Peter Johnson, it is a report that is difficult to write. Peter was in good form on the committee boat on a very cold day and on the way back, we agreed that we had managed to give competitors some good courses in spite of a shifty N/NE Force 3-4. He felt that we had done a pretty good job. His collapse after coming ashore was a terrible blow to all who knew him.
As racing had been postponed the previous Sunday, boats were racing in both the first round of the Watling Club and for the Start of Season Race. The three races were run back to back in the Watling Plate format of sausage, triangle and reverse Olympic with the wind getting up well into F4 in the second race. It was windy enough to keep the safety boat busy with Steve Shaw in his Hobie Tiger training up his new crew, Kate Batty by capsizing with and without the kite! Twelve boats got to the line for the start but unfortunately the Fireball was damaged on launching and was not able to compete. There was some very close racing between the top five but in the end the RS500 sailed by Jamie Freeman and Keith Sykes won the first and third races to take the series with two wins from Chris Sallis (3 pts) in his D1 having just edged out Martin Browne D1 (5pts) by 5 seconds in the final race with the third D1 of Ben Falat (7 pts) finishing 4th.
Sometimes the results don’t matter and I think that we all feel that this was one of them.