Conditions did not look too promising on the approach to Gorleston for the fourth instalment of the Summer series as thick sea mist had descended along the shore restricting visibility. Happily by launch time the mist had thinned out enough to be able to see the course area and most importantly the marks. Twelve boats ventured out, eight different classes with five Lasers which have made a mini revival since the two-person boat guidelines were introduced.
The race team set a triangular course for the first race with the ‘wing’ mark offshore. The flood tide made for a challenging beat for the Lasers and Europe. Phil Highfield, sailing a RS700 made quick work of it as he sailed away from the fleet eventually lapping all bar Richard Fryer in his RS300 and winning on corrected time with Dave (Laser) second and Richard third.
Race two reverted back to the more usual windward leeward format. Steve (Europe) hit the line just right to momentarily lead until the faster boats overtook. Phil (RS700) opened up a big lead again lapping most of the fleet for a comfortable win on corrected time. The Lasers, Europe and Solution were having a close battle with about one minute separating them after two laps. Richard Foster put in a quick final lap almost catching Dave at the line to earn a third place with Dave second.
For race three we were back to triangles but with visibility now a little worse the race team set the wing mark inshore. By this time the flood tide was now easing making for a quicker beat, particularly for the slower boats. Phil did his usual disappearing trick again lapping all bar Richard in his RS300 who managed to keep close enough to win on corrected time. The Lasers and Europe enjoyed another race long tussle with Steve and Dave both leading the group at some point with the latter just ahead at the finish to claim second with Steve third.
On returning to shore the surf had built up making a challenging and sometimes undignified return to the beach.
Thanks must go to the Gorleston Lifeguards for managing the bathers as we ‘landed’ ashore. And thanks to the race team for all their work rearranging the course to provide another great days sailing.