There was a light coverage of mist on arrival but by midday this had cleared eventually being replaced by sunshine. The sea bore more resemblance to a mill pond making for a very easy launch to the start line. HW was approaching so just a little flood tide remaining and a F2 wind from the SE.
Nine boats launched comprising of 2 x RS400’s, 2 x Solutions, 2 x Contender and one Phantom, Laser & Sprint
Race one – Richard & Scarlet (RS400) got their one and only mistake of the day out of the way early by being over the line at the start. Dave & John (RS400) and Nick (Phantom) headed the fleet at the windward mark. Unfortunately Dave & John rounded the mark to starboard rather than port and in the process taking Nick with them! This let Richard & Scarlett, who had recovered quickly from their eager start to slip through into the lead.
After lap one they had a small lead over the Dave & John and Nick. Behind, Keith (Laser) headed a pack of four boats with just 14 seconds separating all four.
Lap two saw the start of a day long battle between the two RS400’s who were never far apart with now just two seconds between them. Keith had opened up a small lead on the others led by Phil (Contender).
At the finish line Richard & Scarlet had opened up a small lead on Dave & John. Nick was a comfortable third and Keith had consolidated his lead on the others finishing over a minute and a half ahead. On corrected time the faster boats took the honours with the RS400’s first and second and Nick third.
Race two – The wind by now had increased a tad to F2-3 with very little tide. Richard & Scarlet made amends for their previous start to lead the fleet to the windward mark. After the first lap Richard & Scarlet held a small lead on Dave & John with Nick third. Steve, sailing the club Solution led the rest who once again closely packed.
Over the next two laps positions were almost unchanged. At the line the gap between the leading RS400’s was unchanged, Nick a comfortable third and Steve just pipping Phil.
On corrected time the RS400’s took 1, 2 with Steve beating Keith by six seconds for third.
By the start of race three the tide had changed and now ebbing. Dave & John led at the windward mark and after the first lap had a small lead on Richard & Scarlett with Nick third. Behind Phil was leading the chasing pack which this time was spread out.
On lap two Richard & Scarlett had a good downwind leg closing the gap to Dave & John to just five seconds. Phil had a good windward leg closing the gap on Nick and pulling clear of the others.
On lap three the two RS400’s approached the gate on different gybes with Richard & Scarlet on starboard and had caught up enough to catch Dave & John to slip into the lead, which they held to the line. One corrected time it was another 1.2 for the RS400’s with Nick claiming another third.
With the sun now out and a warm F3 wind the race team offered the fleet a fourth race, which all bar one were keen to join.
Once again the RS400’s were neck and neck throughout the race with Dave & John just managing to hold off a strong challenge from Richard & Scarlet. Behind Steve and Keith were fighting for next place with just four seconds between them at the line, with Steve crossing just ahead.
On corrected time the RS400’s were nearly five minutes clear, perhaps a sign of the effort and concentration both were having to invest. Keith claimed third by just a few seconds over Steve.
We may have sailed back to shore tired but we all had a terrific day on the water. Many thanks to the race team for excellent courses, a great day’s sailing and some of the best and closest racing we’ve had for a while.
Pictures of the day now on the club Flickr site.